By Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio, April 24 2019; Business World

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THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has released the draft circular of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the National Payment Systems Act signed into law last year to provide a comprehensive and legal regulatory framework to govern payment systems.

The draft circular requires all operators of payment systems (OPS) to register with BSP, as the law seeks to include non-financial institutions that use payment systems overseen by the central bank.

According to the circular, the OPS includes entities that maintain a platform which enables payment or fund transfers regardless of whether the source and destination accounts are maintained with the same or different institutions, and operate the system or the network that enables payments or fund transfers to be made through the payment instrument.

According to the circular, an OPS needs to pay a one-time non-refundable registration fee of P20,000, and should the Certificate of Registration (COR) need to be replaced for whatever reason, the OPS needs to pay a non-refundable replacement fee of P1,000.

“Considering that usage of payment systems is not necessarily limited to banks and non-bank financial institutions, the scope of the regulatory powers of the Bangko Sentral are likewise expanded under the NPSA to cover non-financial institutions such as operators, their service providers, among others,” BSP said in a statement.

“The draft Circular is part of the first phase of the phased-in implementation of the NPSA, which prioritizes the creation of a baseline inventory of all operators of payment systems (OPS). This is required under Section 10 of the NPSA which provides that all OPS shall register with the Bangko Sentral. This inventory will also be used as inputs to the specific criteria for designating payment systems, as well as the oversight rules to be applied to such systems and the participants,” BSP added.

According to BSP, “the NPSA can well support the twin objectives of maintaining a payment system that is necessary to control systemic risk and providing an environment conducive to the sustainable growth of the economy. “

The draft also provides a transition period for OPS restraints to file applications with the BSP.

The draft is open to comment from stakeholders until April 26. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio