Based on the data of Philippine Payments Management, Inc. (PPMI), InstaPay recorded 29.53 million transactions for the period of March-May 2020, when several parts of Luzon are put in quarantine to combat the spread of COVID-19. This is 76.24% higher than pre-lockdown figures of 11.57 million from December 2019 to February 2020.
The number of PESONet transactions spiked by 89.06% with a total of 6.90 million transactions from March to May 2020 compared to December 2019 to February 2020 numbers. The value of transactions on InstaPay and PESONet also increased.
InstaPay and PESONet are two digital payment schemes under the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) National Retail Payment Scheme (NRPS).
PPMI is a stand-alone, self-governing regulatory structure, ran by payment industry participants in the Philippines and is recognized by the BSP as the country’s Payment System Management Body.
PESONet transaction value from March to May of this year was P134.04 billion or 34.05% higher compared to combined figures from December 2019 to February 2020. For InstaPay, transaction value in the same period amounted to P175.51 billion, around 54.43% higher than the previous three pre-ECQ months.
“The increase in InstaPay and PESONet transactions show that Filipinos have adopted digital payments as part of the new normal. Many business owners and individual users have seen the value, convenience, and safety of using e-wallets,” said Carmelita Araneta, GM, PPMI. “As our economy slowly adjusts to the realities of the pandemic, we believe that digital payments will become a regular part of the way we conduct our transactions.”
During the quarantine, the BSP encouraged the use of digital payments as accessible, convenient, and secure ways to do transactions. In April 2020, BSP Governor Ben Diokno encouraged MSMEs to use digital payments in their transactions.
The BSP’s financial literacy and inclusion initiative has been running a campaign, “#SafeAtHome with E-Payments”, to promote digital payments with the banked segment of the population since April 2020.