BSP closely watching operators of payment systems


MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will closely monitor the operations of licensed operators, as well as their compliance with rules and regulations to ensure the safety, efficiency and reliability of the payment system in the country.

The regulator issued Memorandum 2021 045 requiring registered non-bank operators of payment systems (OPS) using the Philippine Payments Settlements Systems (PhilPaSS) and PhilPaSS Plus, the systems used by banks in settling their interbank payment transactions, to comply with all the rules and regulations as participants of a designated payment system.

The Monetary Board issued Resolution 992 on July 29 designating the BSP’s Philippine Peso Real-Time Gross Settlement (PhP-RTGS) payment system as a systematically important payment system.

In compliance with Circular 1089 or the Payment System Oversight Framework issued in July last year, registered non-bank OPS should comply with regulatory expectations and contribute towards the observance by the PhP-RTGS of the principles for financial market infrastructures.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said registered non-bank OPS should make available relevant documents and information during regular onsite examination conducted by the regulator with prior written notification to evaluate the activities related to the payment system.

He said participants should also provide necessary information to facilitate the operators’ compliance with reporting requirements under relevant laws and regulations, as well as the evaluation of the PhP-RTGS or the national payment system.

“The BSP may perform validation of compliance on any of the guidelines at any time as deemed necessary,” Diokno stated in the memorandum.

The BSP chief also said registered non-bank OPS should adhere to the rules, standards, and requirements promulgated by the regulator and fulfill their respective roles to ensure safety, efficiency, and reliability of the PhP-RTGS payment system.

Furthermore, he said the players should also comply with the policy issuances of the BSP primarily directed at all participants of a payment system.

In late July, the BSP revoked the provisional license awarded to Digital Spring Marketing and Advertising Inc., the marketing arm of Lyka in the Philippines, which was earlier ordered to stop its online payments operations.

The regulator also directed Digital Spring to cease and desist from performing cash-in service, merchant accreditation and settlement process, among others on behalf of Lyka until the latter properly registers as an OPS with the central bank in accordance with the NPSA and other applicable implementing rules and regulations.

Social media platform Lyka was launched in the Philippines by the Hong Kong-based Things I Like Company Inc. in 2019, allowing its users to purchase, exchange, and use Gift cards in Electronic Mode or GEMs as payment for goods and services.