E-PESO

The E-PESO Activity is a USAID/Philippines project that supports the objectives of the U.S.-Philippines Partnership for Growth (PFG).  A bilateral initiative, the PFG represents a partnership between the Philippines and the United States to address binding constraints to achieve sustained, more inclusive economic growth.

E-PESO will partner with the Government of the Philippines and private sector to achieve a 20-fold increase in electronic payment (e-payment) usage and support the development of an economic infrastructure that will enable Filipinos access to new financial products that will help spur broad-based and inclusive economic development.

E-payment offers secure, cost-effective means to enable Filipinos gain access to electronic transaction accounts.  It provides a platform for accessing a broader range of financial services that can help them build assets, better withstand shocks, and participate more broadly in the formal economy. E-payment also offers greater ability to track financial flows in line with Government of the Philippines’ thrust towards greater transparency and accountability in financial transactions.

ACTIVITIES

E-PESO supports the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to guide implementation of the National Retail Payment System and promote interoperability across e-payment transaction accounts. To drive transaction volume, E-PESO will provide technical assistance to government agencies to expand the use of e-payments in government-to-person and person-to-government payments.

Engaging the private sector, E-PESO will support businesses to shift from cash to e-payments, and support initiatives to develop appropriate e-payment infrastructures that will enable these. E-PESO will provide technical assistance to the BSP to promote digital security, consumer protection, and financial literacy.

USAID is working with BSP and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the implementation of the project. E-PESO will partner with a broad range of government agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Science and Technology - Information and Communications Technology Office. The activity will also collaborate with various local government units under the Cities Development Initiative, electronic money providers, e-payment service providers, industry associations, third party aggregators, banks and other financial institutions, and other private sector partners.

RESULTS

E-PESO supported the development of a detailed roadmap for the establishment of the National Retail Payment System (NRPS), and provided technical assistance to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in convening several public-private dialogues to help guide the development process.  

In partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (M-CCT) Program, E-PESO developed communication and educational materials on how to use their new e-money enabled prepaid debit cards, targeting the homeless, indigenous peoples in remote communities, and displaced families.  DSWD, Landbank of the Philippines and local e-money issuer OmniPay are now working to transition all 4.5 million families (23% of all households in the Philippines) currently receiving conditional cash transfers from cash to electronic payments by the end of 2016. 

As part of the Philippine government's commitment under the Better Than Cash (BTC) alliance and to ensure transparency and efficiency in the use of public funds, the DBM requires all government disbursements starting in 2016 to be made via electronic payments. Once enacted, the provision will become part of the 2016 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

E-PESO continued USAID’s partnered with four city governments (Batangas City, Valenzuela City, Quezon City, and Municipality of Pulilan) and three new cities (Iloilo City, Cagayan de Oro City and Zamboanga City) to assist them to transition collection of taxes and business permits, as well as the pay-out of social benefits from cash to electronic mobile money-enabled systems.

GOAL

Support the Philippines to shift from a cash-based economy to digital through the development of an efficient, transparent, and inclusive e-payment ecosystem that contributes to broad-based economic growth.

OBJECTIVES

  • Drive transaction volume
  • Support the expansion and effective management of e-payment infrastructures
  • Improve the enabling environment for e-payment usage; and,
  • Build the e-payment ecosystem with particular focus on key cities identified under USAID’s Cities Development Initiative

Last updated: March 24, 2017

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