The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) stressed the need for innovations that would make the credit card industry more sustainable amid the growing number of environmentally conscious consumers.
In the 43rd Anniversary of the Credit Card Association of the Philippines (CCAP), BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier said credit cards create 15,000 metric tons of waste annually. These products eventually find their way to various landfills.
Fonacier said over 3 billion plastic payment cards are shipped globally every year given that the average lifespan of every card is three years. Each credit card contains 5 grams of plastic leading to thousands in tons of plastic waste.
“This unfortunate situation, however, can be turned into an opportunity. For its part, the BSP continues to implement initiatives aimed at reducing climate and environmental risk through the Sustainable Central Banking [SCB] program,” Fonacier said.
“BSP strives to create a policy framework that encourages the adoption and expansion of sustainable finance. The SCB highlights the BSP’s responsibilities as an enabler, mobilizer, and viewer in promoting sustainability goals with a common goal towards reducing the carbon footprint in the industry and can introduce reforms to reduce, reuse and recycle credit cards,” she added.
Fonacier said one of the recent innovations to reduce plastic waste from credit cards is MasterCard’s decision to remove PVC plastics from payment cards on its network by 2028. This was announced by MasterCard in April 2023.
However, the BSP official said more needs to be done in order to ensure a more sustainable future for future generations.
Another element to consider is the rise of eco conscious consumers who prefer sustainable payment option. This growing segment highlights the need towards creating a more sustainable future for the next generation.
Meanwhile, the CCAP forum, which carried the theme “The Future of Payments: Credit Cards and Beyond,” featured presentations of global payment industry leaders American Express, Mastercard, UnionPay, and Visa.
“The theme encompasses the use of credit cards, as we discover and mold its future in various forms and modes, how it will continue to help digitalize the payment landscape of our country, and how it helps in our journey towards having a financially inclusive Philippines—with credit card as a financial product that is and can be made available to all Filipinos, for cashless and cardless payments,” said CCAP President Rolando Ebreo in his closing remarks.
CCAP Chairperson Ma. Magdalena Surtida said the local credit card industry expects to see the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and other digital technologies that will enable issuers to make data analysis on consumer spending habits and demographics, as well as detect and prevent fraud.
She said the association, comprised of 17 major credit card players in the Philippines, also expects the following trends in the coming years:
• Increasing use of mobile applications for doing credit card transactions and credit card account management to promote self-service, “enabling our cardholders to have more control over one’s credit card account.”
• More “tokenization,” or the conversion of sensitive data into tokens, to deter fraud as well as to deliver a more seamless credit card payment journey with merchants while enjoying personalized services.
“For 2024 and beyond, we expect to harness the power of AI and other new technologies to help us further in fraud detection,” Surtida said.
To pursue its mission to educate cardholders on responsible credit management, protect them against unauthorized transactions and scams, and increase their awareness on credit card features and benefits, CCAP has been expanding the audience reach of its intensified campaign.
CCAP’s Facebook page now has 43,000 followers, in addition to collaborating with the BSP on PisoLit, its platform for the digital, and social media-based financial education advocacy.