From 1% to 30%: the journey of the Philippines towards responsible digital payments

A founding member of the Better Than Cash Alliance, the Philippines has paved the path in transitioning to responsible digital payments, providing many key lessons and insights for other countries embarking on a similar journey.

In 2013, digital payments accounted for only 1 percent of total payments by volume in the Philippines. By 2020, the country had surpassed its original target of 20 percent, with digital payments accounting in 2021 for an impressive 30 percent of total payment volume.

This case study examines the success story of the Philippines by diving into the key decisions made by the government and private sector in accelerating the adoption of responsible digital payments, including:

  1. Continuous evaluation of progress against transparent targets
  2. Proactive policymaking to satisfy evolving needs
  3. Institutionalizing data systems and building internal capacity to collect and analyze data

Dr. Felipe Medalla, Governor, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

“Our strong commitment to accelerating responsible payment digitalization over the last decade has helped broaden financial inclusion and participation in an increasingly digital economy for millions of Filipinos, including women. We hope the lessons from our experience in the Philippines can also offer useful insights for other countries on a similar journey.”
Dr. Felipe Medalla, Governor, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

While the Philippines’ path towards responsible and inclusive digitization of payments is unique, other governments can apply the lessons learned, such as fostering a multi-stakeholder approach:

  1. Build consensus across government and private sector champions
  2. Invest in data-driven policymaking
  3. Be intentional about the subject and cadence of tracking

Ruth Goodwin-Groen, MD, Better Than Cash Alliance, speaks about the social promise of digital money.

“The Better Than Cash Alliance celebrates the Government of the Philippines’ and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ leadership of this remarkable responsible payment digitization journey. It is with great pleasure, we share the key lessons and good practices from their ten-year data-driven success story.”
Dr. Ruth Goodwin-Groen, Managing Director, Better Than Cash Alliance

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