By Richmond Mercurio, May 24 2019; Philippine Star

Image Credit to The Strait Times

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is set to have a national quick response (QR) code standard that will ensure a safe and efficient payment system by the next quarter, according to a Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) official.

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier said during Bloomberg’s Industry 4.0 discussion yesterday that a national standard for QR code payments would come out by the third quarter.

“It’s coming up in the third quarter. We are now working with the industry in coming up a national standard. We should only have one national standard,” Fonacier said.

“It should only be one national standard because we are really pushing for inter-operability. It should be easy if there’s only one national standard for QR. That will enable a lot of small transactions. Even the farthest area in the Philippines can do payments or buy something,” she said.

QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes that are readable by smartphones which allows merchants or retailers to charge consumers via online bank apps or reloadable e-wallets.

QR code payment is a form of secure, convenient, and affordable cashless payment.

“What it all means is that our QR merchants will be available to everybody. If it goes the way it’s going to go, which is a single standard, it opens up to everybody what we have and they open up what they have to us. From that point on, it’s all about customer experiences. It’s about having the money in your wallet,” Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu said.

Both PLDT and Globe, through their respective digital payments units, have been undertaking efforts to expand QR-based mobile payment technology in line with the BSP’s National Retail Payment System (NRPS) initiative that aims to increase the share of electronic transactions in the country by 20 percent in 2020.

The BSP launched the NRPS in December 2015 to create a safe, efficient, affordable, and interoperable electronic retail payment system.

The goal of the NRPS is to increase retail electronic payment transactions to 20 percent by 2020 from one percent in 2015.