RCBC and its latest innovation, the ePiso, took the spotlight during the second International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Workshop on Standardizing Digital Fiat Currency and Applications held in Cornell University Bloomberg Tech Campus in New York City, USA. ITU is the United Nations’ specialized agency for information and communications technologies.
The three-day conference centered on discussions about digital fiat currency and how it can positively impact a country’s financial policies and regulations, technical and business dynamics, and security systems. More than that, it also aimed to present how such financial breakthrough can contribute to inclusion, economic growth, technological innovation, and improved transaction movements.
More than 20 central banks presented their country’s studies and programs on creating a comprehensive digital platform for financial inclusion. Participants included central banks from Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Norway, and Sweden. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and RCBC represented the Philippines.
RCBC on leading the digital financial inclusion with ePiso
Margarita Lopez, RCBC’s Digital Banking Head, presented a convincing case on how the commercial bank utilized digital fiat currency technology to enable the unbanked market to have access to efficient financial services and solutions.
Supported by the BSP, the ePiso plays an integral part in RCBC’s core strategy to advance financial inclusion in the country. Melchor Plabasan, BSP’s core information technology specialist group head and deputy director, has given the nod of approval to the bank’s initiative to bring sustainable economic activities in communities.
“The launch of RCBC’s ePiso is consistent with our ‘test and learn’ approach where we are encouraging local financial institutions to develop an innovative product that will bring economic benefits to the public while at the same time ensuring risks are adequately managed,” shared Plabasan.
The BSP underscored the importance of this project as it showcased digital inclusion in enabling an alternative to physical cash handling and instant receiving of agri-loans.
At the global conference, RCBC’s ePiso was recognized for its efforts to make day-to-day commerce and financial activities more convenient and efficient for consumers. “Because the Philippines is primarily a cash-based society, we wanted to encourage the shift from using actual cash to digitized form of cash to help many Filipinos manage their money easily and securely as they go about their daily activities,” Lopez said.
The ePiso launch is accompanied by a mobile wallet which allows unbanked cash users to easily have access to financial services without having to open and maintain a bank account. They simply have to download the RCBC ePiso mobile app in Google Play.
The commercial bank recently pilot launched the ePiso in Muntinlupa City and Valencia City in Bukidnon in line with its efforts to reach and enable grassroots communities. Lopez shared, “We hope that our ePiso initiative can open the possibility for BSP to establish a digitized currency in the country that will improve financial inclusion.”