Gift-giving amid pandemic? 'Use digital money, 'BSP tells public

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THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) encourages the public to use digital wallets when sending cash gifts this holiday season.

“Digital wallets offer a safe, secure, efficient, and convenient way to transfer funds to family and friends during this season of giving,” BSP Gov. Benjamin Diokno said in a statement on Monday.

Using digital money as an alternative means of giving cash gifts is highly recommended to reduce physical contact and virus transmission between giver and receiver. This will allow the Filipino tradition of giving aguinaldo to family, friends and significant others to continue despite restrictions on mobility and face-to-face gatherings.

The widespread use of digital money is in line with the BSP’s digital payment transformation and financial inclusion goals.

According to its latest report, the BSP achieved its target of reaching 20 percent of digital payments volume by 2020, largely driven by high-frequency, low-value retail transactions through electronic fund transfers.

The BSP remains committed to catalyzing digitalization of payments and digitizing at least half of all transactions by 2023 in its push to promote a more inclusive and tech-savvy Philippine economy.

Digital wallets rose in popularity since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic as social distancing and lockdowns prevented many from coming into close contact with one another.

Digital wallet apps like GCash and PayMaya reported that their users more than doubled during the pandemic and transaction volumes skyrocketed as people sought new ways to send and receive money.

According to BSP, at least 20 percent of payments are now done through digital channels, largely driven by high-frequency, low-value retail transactions through electronic fund transfers.

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