BSP backs digitalization of microfinance sector

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is promoting targeted digitalization efforts to ensure the continued recovery of microfinance institutions (MFIs) from the pandemic, BSP Governor Felipe M. Medalla said during the 2022 annual conference of the Microfinance Council of the Philippines Inc. (MCPI) last August.

In a statement issued last September 28, Medalla was quoted as citing Paleng-QR, an interagency program that aims to expand QR payments among small merchants. The BSP chief also noted ongoing efforts to develop a basic merchant account framework and satellite technology testing for two rural banks in Batangas.

MFIs are showing signs of recovery with loan growth up 4.1 percent in 2021 following a 2.50 contraction in 2020 and repayment figures rebounding to 84 percent in February 2021 from 56.5 percent in the second quarter of 2020, the BSP statement read.

“It’s hard to think of financial inclusion without looking at microfinance,” said Medalla. “I’m glad to hear that you consider the BSP as your number one ally. From our point of view, you are also a very important ally of the BSP,” the Central Bank Governor said.