BSP ‘recalibrates’ approach in issuance of EMI licenses


BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno announced on Thursday that the monetary board has decided to “recalibrate” its approach in handling applications from non-bank institutions for new electronic money issuer (EMI) licenses.

“This strategic change will enable the Bangko Sentral to monitor the performance of current market players and the risks they pose to the financial industry. This will also allow us to assess their impact in relation to our financial inclusion and digital-payments transformation objectives,” Diokno said.

This means that all applications received by the BSP until December 15 this year will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Applications received until December 15 with noted deficiencies will be returned and considered closed. The BSP said it will no longer entertain nor accept new applications beginning December 16.

Diokno said the new approach involves closing the regular application window for new EMI licenses for non-bank financial institutions for a period of two years.

The BSP will also introduce a “test-and-learn” pathway for innovative e-money solutions that offer strong value propositions. This will include propositions for those with new business models, un-served, targeted niches and new technologies.

Diokno said applicants may still participate in the digital payments and financial ecosystem by requesting for exemption under the new “test-and-learn/regulatory sandbox” framework.

“[This] reflects our commitment to espouse an enabling environment for responsible and responsive innovation in the financial industry. At the same time, we will be able to ensure that the business environment continues to serve the public interest, allow healthy competition among market players, and foster safe and interoperable payments for the digital economy,” the governor said.

As of end-October, there are already 35 licensed non-bank EMls, which is more than three-times the number of players in 2019.

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