TO modernize the country’s retail payment system, increase the adoption of greater use of e-payments, and to shift from a cash-heavy to a cash-lite society, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas launched the Philippine EFT System and Operations Network (PESONet) yesterday.

PESONet, a batch electronic fund transfer credit (EFT) payment stream, is the first automated clearing house (ACH) under the National Retail Payment System (NRPS). Launched in December 2015, the NRPS relies heavily on inter-government agency collaboration and industry participation to bring about a safe, efficient, affordable, and reliable retail payment system. The NRPS is envisioned to bring about an interoperable ecosystem allowing seamless electronic fund transfers and payments between and among accounts.

PESONet is one of the ACHs prioritized for implementation given its potential to be an efficient channel for government and private business collections and disbursement. PESONet provides an electronic alternative to the still widely used paper-based check system.

Through PESONet, businesses, the government, and individuals can conveniently initiate electronic fund transfers and recurring payments from the sender’s accounts maintained in BSP supervised financial institution (BSFIs), such as banks and other non-bank electronic money issuers (NB EMIs), to corresponding recipient accounts in other BSFIs.

Funds can be made available to the recipient account/s within the same banking day or immediately upon clearing. Payees receive the funds transferred in full and shall not pay for electronic crediting to their accounts. Moreover, for greater transparency and to help clients determine which EFT products offer the best value for their money, all participating BFSIs are required to disclose to BSP the details of all fees that will be charged to their clients. A bulletin board of fees will be posted at the BSP website.

To date, 33 BSFIs, which are comprised of universal, commercial, thrift and rural banks as well as NB EMIs, have signed up to participate in the PESONet. This number is expected to increase as the demand for better EFT services intensifies.

The event, hosted by BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr., was attended by heads and officials of national government agencies, Mr. Justo Ortiz, Chairman, Philippine Payments Management, Inc. (PMMI) with other banking and payments industry leaders, as well as representatives from the USAID. (PR)