BSP To Implement Two-Year Ban On All e-Money Applications

The BSP will implement a two-year ban on all e-money applications.

BSP — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will implement a two-year ban on all non-bank electronic money issuer (EMI) applications including those bank-owned EMIs starting December 16 in order to ensure a liquidity-strong digital payments sector.

Photo source: UNTV News

In a text message to Manila Bulletin last November 19, BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier said that the two-year ban was for all non-bank EMI applications including those bank-owned.

Fonacier also said that the two-year moratorium will allow the central bank to monitor the EMI sector and to ensure financial stability.

BSP is currently assessing the impact of the number of players on the overall development of this segment in the industry,” Fonacier said.

According to BSP Memorandum No. M-2021-064 signed by BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno last November 17, all applications for EMI license from non-bank institutions which was also referred to as “EMI-Others” received until December 15 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

The memorandum covered EMI-Others or non-bank institutions registered with the central bank as a money transfer agent. Other institutions issuing e-money were classified as “EMI-Bank” and “EMI-NBFIs” or non-bank financial institutions.

Based on the memorandum, the decision to close the application window for non-bank EMI-Others was to guarantee that resources will be managed and “mobilized judiciously” and to also ensure the development of “innovative e-money solutions that offer strong value propositions” as well.

Proposals that offered “strong value propositions” should be carefully explained and to submit detailed proposals on the following:

  • new business models
  • unserved and targeted niches
  • new technologies that will be offered

The BSP may limit the total number of entities that will avail of the test and learn pathway taking into account the total number of applications received and the assessment of the overall banking and payment systems situation,” Diokno said in the memorandum.

READ ALSO: BSP Says Digital Banks Can Help Boost Economic Recovery In PH

According to a report on Manila Bulletin, non-bank EMI applications received before December 15 with incomplete requirements will be declined and documents will be returned.

The central bank said that it will no longer process those applications further.

Manila Bulletin also reported that the central bank will be issuing another memorandum to guide new non-bank EMIs that will apply before the window closes on December 16.

The central bank was supervising 34 registered and licensed non-bank EMIs including GCash, PayMaya, and GrabPay as of end-September this year. Also, the central bank was monitoring 29 bank-owned EMIs as well.

E-money or electronic money was described as electronically-stored cash in an instrument or device such as cash cards or e-wallets accessible through mobile phones or other access devices.

The central bank defined it as “issued against receipt of funds of an amount not lesser in value than the monetary value issued and accepted as a means of payment by persons or entities other than the issuer.” It was also withdrawable in cash or cash equivalent.

However, e-money held by EMI-Bank wasn’t considered as deposits.

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