BSP to BSFIs: Ensure smooth access to clients


THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reminded BSP-Supervised Financial Institutions (BSFIs) that Instapay and Pesonet customers must continue to have uninterrupted access to services this Holy Week.

The BSP issued the reminder in anticipation of the public’s continued use of digital payments over the holidays and long weekends. This is in line with the central bank’s broader efforts to promote financial consumer welfare.  

“BSFIs must ensure the uninterrupted availability of their contact channels—including hotlines, emails, and chatbots—to receive consumer concerns,” BSP said in a memorandum. “Furthermore, the BSFIs are also advised to ensure timely and adequate responses to concerns sent via these channels.”

PESONet is a batch electronic fund transfer service that is a viable alternative for checks and recurring payments. Meanwhile, InstaPay is a real-time, low-value payment substitute for cash transactions.

The BSP, meanwhile, said the Monetary Board recently approved amendments to FX regulations to adopt as permanent policy the majority of the operational relief measures for FX transactions.

Under Circular No. 1080 dated March 27, 2020 and related Circular Letters, the BSP adopted as a permanent policy some of the measures it introduced at the height of the Covid-19 lockdowns.

The implementing circular will take effect 15 banking days after its publication.

These measures included the issuance in electronic form of BSP—International Operations Department (IOD) documents [e.g., BSP letter-approval, Bangko Sentral Registration Document (BSRD)] and electronic submission of BSP-IOD issued documents to authorized agent banks (AABs)/

AAB subsidiary or affiliate forex corporations (AAB forex corps) and to the BSP.

The BSP also permanently adopted the policy on electronic submission of BSP-IOD application forms without the required electronic/digital signatures, provided that this is accompanied by the required attestation from the submitting party.

The list of measures also included the electronic submission of reports to BSP-IOD and the lifting of the notarization requirement for certain supporting documents for trade and non-trade current account transactions, and foreign investments.

The BSP also lifted the applicable processing fee in relation to non-compliance with the prescriptive period for submission to BSP-IOD of applications/requests for various FX transactions.

Further, documents issued by the BSP-IOD in electronic form starting March 27, 2020 (e.g., BSP letter-approval, provisional BSRDs) shall remain valid even after the period covered by Circular No. 1080.

This means the BSP will no longer issue original hard copies to replace the said BSP documents.

Meanwhile, the waiver of monetary penalties for delays incurred in the submission of reports to the BSP-IOD shall remain effective until 30 June 2023 (unless extended by BSP). 

Image credits: Patrick Roque via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0