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BSP eyeing cross-border payment deals with Thailand, Malaysia


THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) is also looking into forging cross-border payment agreements with Thailand and Malaysia, officials said.

“There’s a constant communication with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) neighbors to also enter cross-border agreements,” Raymond O. Estioko, director of the Payment System Oversight Department of the BSP, said at the virtual Digital Pilipinas – World Fintech Festival Stage held on Friday.

Earlier this week, the BSP and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) signed an enhanced FinTech Cooperation Agreement to facilitate payments between the Philippines and Singapore. In 2017, the central banks had an initial agreement to broaden the scope of collaboration and partnership between the BSP and MAS.

“The upgrade of the agreement dovetails really well with the goal of ASEAN leaders to facilitate payments integration in the region, that would usher further ASEAN economic integration,” BSP Assistant Governor Edna C. Villa said.

The new agreement signals the start of formal dialogue between BSP and MAS to link their retail electronic fund transfer systems — InstaPay for the Philippines and PayNow for Singapore.

Mr. Estioko said they are looking into inking similar agreements with Malaysia and Thailand due to their economic transactions with the Philippines.

“Singapore was just the first because of our strong economic relationship with them. They have that bilateral and multilateral experience as far as payments connectivity is concerned, which we can learn from,” he said.

Ms. Villa said cross-border payment links can boost the regional economy. She added the region has also seen increasing visitor arrivals.

“Given these, ASEAN member states have agreed to prioritize the establishment of interoperable cross-border real time payment systems which can support the increasing globalization of trade and investments as well as growing tourism and manpower mobility in the region,” she said. — LWTN

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