BSP to ‘refresh’ financial inclusion strategy in 2022

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THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced over the weekend that they will be launching a “refreshed” financial inclusion strategy early next year.

In a statement, the BSP said an updated version of the current National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI), which has served as the main guide of the country’s financial inclusion initiatives in the past six years, will be launched in January 2022.

The updated NSFI is set to cover a six-year timeframe from 2022 to 2028, with strategies translated into priority initiatives, key performance indicators and targets.

“This marks a departure from the current NSFI which provides the guiding principles for promoting financial inclusion but has no timeframe and targets,” the BSP said in a statement.

The BSP also said they are currently holding consultation workshops with stakeholders from various sectors to solicit feedback and inputs on the updated NSFI with assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said “much work” remains to be done to make formal financial services accessible to all, especially as the pandemic and the rapid advancement of digital technology are bringing new possibilities and challenges in the pursuit of financial inclusion.

Earlier this year, Diokno said the BSP achieved its target of reaching 20 percent of digital payments volume by 2020, due largely to the behavior shift catalyzed by the pandemic.

According to BSP’s latest data, 20.1 percent of monthly payments volume were done digitally by the end of 2020, improving from the 17 percent digital transactions in the first six months of 2020.

“As the landscape has evolved, so must the strategy. This impetus compels us to revisit the original strategy document and ensure that the NSFI remains a responsive framework for driving financial inclusion as a whole-of nation undertaking,” Diokno said.

The NSFI was launched on July 1, 2015 to foster public-private coordination and harmonize policies and programs on financial inclusion in the country.

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