BSP’s 2-in-1 tack: Old notes for digital cash

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A FRUIT vendors and other wet market sellers in Bohol province were recently able to exchange unfit banknotes and coins with digital cash, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

BSP Visayas Regional Office (VRO) offered currency exchange services to market vendors on the sidelines of the Paleng-QR Ph Plus launch in Tagbilaran City.

This is not the first time the BSP exchanged unfit banknotes and coins with digital cash. In December, the BSP Mindanao Regional Office, during the launch of the Paleng-QR Ph Plus, allowed e-wallet users to exchange their unfit banknotes and coins for e-money.

“The ‘BSP Piso Caravan’ currency exchange program was conducted for the first time in Visayas to replace unfit money by depositing the equivalent amount to clients’ e-wallets. The BSP VRO staff also assisted those without e-wallets in setting them up,” BSP said in a statement.

Unfit banknotes are soiled, limp, stained, or have faded print, obvious writings, or markings. Meanwhile, unfit coins are those with corrosion or markings.

Juliet Boniel, a fruit vendor at the Tagbilaran City Central Public Market, shared the benefits she experiences using an e-wallet.

“Mas pinadali at hassle-free ang mga transaksyon. Nabawasan din ang pagpila ko sa mga bangko at remittance centers para mag-transfer ng pera [It hastened and made my transactions hassle-free. I also need to line up less frequently at banks and remittance centers to transfer cash],” Boniel said.

The BSP Piso Caravan is in line with the central bank’s commitment to preserve the integrity of the Philippine currency and promote digital payments to bolster financial inclusion.

Earlier, BSP said mutilated or damaged banknotes are also accepted for exchange provided that they passed the three qualifications for redemption.

These qualifications are: the current size is equivalent to at least 60 percent of the original size of the banknote; the security thread is intact; and a portion of the signature of the President of the Philippines or the BSP Governor is present.