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Philippines gets real-time payments tech from Vocalink

Source: BancNet

BancNet, the national clearing switch operator for InstaPay, a real-time retail payments system in the Philippines, will tap into Mastercard’s expertise and the next-generation real-time payments technology of Vocalink (a Mastercard company) to provide InstaPay users with improved services, better data capabilities, and stronger security features.

This partnership will enable BancNet to leapfrog several generations of payments technology and bring the country to the forefront of state-of-the-art innovations in account-based real-time payments.

Mastercard will operate the infrastructure through a regional payments hub in the Asia Pacific region using the rich ISO 20022 messaging format, which streamlines communications across financial institutions, provides enhanced transaction data for mitigating risk, and facilitates compliance with regulatory requirements, among other purposes. With such an infrastructure, BancNet will be able to offer more seamless and secure services to its members. In particular, the new infrastructure will deliver cutting-edge data analytics and anti-money laundering (AML) services to help BancNet members identify “mule accounts”. In addition, this infrastructure will provide the members with more robust cyber security tools to ensure safety of the country’s rapidly growing digital payments ecosystem.

The BancNet and Mastercard collaboration is expected to further propel the adoption of InstaPay. This initiative will support Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the payments industry’s shared vision of accelerating digital payments to 20% of all payment transactions in the country by 2020.

Cezar P. Consing, President of BancNet Inc., says, “BancNet’s use of Mastercard and Vocalink’s technology will turbocharge InstaPay and lay the foundation for the growth of cashless payments in the Philippines. BancNet is excited to adopt this state-of-the-art technology and to contribute to the digitalization of our country.”

While InstaPay mainly supports person-to-person (P2P) payments today, use of the Vocalink technology will extend InstaPay’s reach to encompass broader consumer payments, government and commercial payments. Furthermore, this technology will enable a more intuitive customer experience by allowing fund transfers with the use of easy-to-remember proxies such as mobile numbers and email addresses. The transaction volume across InstaPay’s network grew 54% between the end of 2018 and March 31, 2019, underscoring the speed at which the market is embracing digital transformation.

“With InstaPay, we see greater empowerment of both the public and private sectors. Greater efficiencies of electronic payment channels will also bring about an accelerated velocity of payments, increasing economic activities,” says Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier.

Given the large number of overseas Filipino workers and the corresponding demand for international remittance services, BancNet intends to further develop InstaPay over time to enable users to make cross-border fund transfers securely and cost-effectively.

Ari Sarker, Co-President – Asia Pacific, Mastercard, says, “Mastercard has enduring partnerships with governments and companies in the region and is committed to helping them realize their digital ambitions, enabling connected commerce for everyone. The Philippines has a growing tech-savvy population, a flourishing digital economy, and access to an increasingly integrated regional trading network, all of which fuel a wide range of opportunities for digital transformation. Mastercard is excited to be a trusted partner in supporting the government’s vision of driving financial inclusion for the Philippines by accelerating digitalization.” 

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