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BancNet taps Mastercard and Vocalink to enhance payments technology in the Philippines

The use of Vocalink will extend InstaPay’s reach to include government and commercial payments.

BancNet, the e-payment network and national clearing switch operator for InstaPay which is a real-time retail payments system in the Philippines, will tap Mastercard and its real-time payments technology of Mastercard company Vocalink to enable BancNet to leapfrog several generations of payments technology.

Mastercard will operate the infrastructure through a regional payments hub in the Asia Pacific region using the ISO 20022 messaging format, which streamlines communications across financial institutions, provides enhanced transaction data for mitigating risk, and facilitates compliance with regulatory requirements. The new infrastructure will deliver data analytics and anti-money laundering (AML) services to help BancNet members identify mule or illegal accounts.

The BancNet and Mastercard collaboration is expected to further propel the adoption of InstaPay, in support of the shared vision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the payments industry of accelerating digital payments to 20% of all payment transactions in the country by 2020, the announcement said.

Whilst InstaPay mainly supports P2P payments, the use of Vocalink will extend InstaPay’s reach to include broader consumer payments, as well as government and commercial payments.

“With InstaPay, we see greater empowerment of both the public and private sectors. Greater efficiencies of electronic payment channels will also bring about an accelerated velocity of payments, increasing economic activities,” says Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier.

Furthermore, the technology will allow fund transfers using easy-to-remember proxies, such as mobile numbers and email addresses.

The transaction volume across InstaPay’s network grew 54% in March 2019 from end 2018. Given the large number of overseas Filipino workers and the corresponding demand for international remittance services, BancNet eyes to further develop InstaPay to enable users to make cross-border fund transfers securely and cost-effectively.

“The Philippines has a growing tech-savvy population, a flourishing digital economy, and access to an increasingly integrated regional trading network, all of which fuel a wide range of opportunities for digital transformation,” Ari Sarker, co-president for Asia Pacific, Mastercard, said.

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