WorldRemit: Digital remittance rising among overseas Filipinos


Digital payments continued to see increased use throughout the Philippines as the country continued to grapple with the COVID pandemic, which an international money transfer firm said was true in cross border transactions as well.

In a statement, the country head of digital remittance firm WorldRemit said the upward trend of digital payments will be sustained in both domestic and international transactions even after the health crisis subsides.

“Remittances are an important component of the Philippine economy,” WorldRemit country director Earl Melivo said. “It has quickly become a digital affair for many and a still increasing number of overseas Filipinos sending money back home.

He said digital money transfers are attracting users who are seeking quicker ways to send money to loved ones while first-time users are forced to make the shift because of COVID-19. These clients, since then, had realized the value of digital transactions.

Melivo said that sending money online saves time, and gives the parties involved more control and transparency over the transaction, thus making them more convenient for both the sender and the receiver.

“As more and more Filipinos adapt to the use of mobile wallets, the drive of local banks to higher depositor base and the granting of multiple digital banking licenses in the Philippines, we’re already seeing increased and sustained volumes towards these channels compared to the usual cash payouts,” he said.

Recently, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno revealed that the National Retail Payment System had already surpassed its target of raising the number of digital payments in the country by 2020 to 20.1 percent of total transactions compared to 14.1 percent in 2019.

The BSP also reported earlier this year that digital payments in the country have risen by 5,000 percent over the course of the pandemic alone.

In support of digital payment in the Philippines, the BSP developed its Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap, which aims to make half of all financial transactions digital by 2023.

“We are seeing a higher adoption of digital remittance services both by senders and their recipients all over the world, including in the Philippines,” Melivo said. “Recipients are continuing their shift towards digital receiving methods, particularly, remittances towards bank accounts and mobile wallet services.”

He said that, with the continued globalization of the economy and the rise of e-commerce, cross-border digital payments are becoming even more relevant to daily consumers.

Providers, like WorldRemit, allow anyone to send money quickly and securely overseas from their devices without having to line up at a physical remittance center, and 95 percent of recipients often receive the full amount in a matter of minutes.


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