The Bangko Sentral released the draft Circular providing for the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 11127 or the National Payment Systems Act (NPSA), a landmark legislation that supports the performance of the Bangko Sentral of its mandate relating to the third pillar of central banking � the maintenance of a safe, efficient, and reliable payment system.

As the first comprehensive legal and regulatory framework governing the payment systems in the Philippines, the NPSA can well support the twin objectives of maintaining a payment system that is necessary to control systemic risk and providing an environment conducive to the sustainable growth of the economy.

Through a safe, efficient, and reliable payment system through which funds are transferred among banks and other institutions to discharge payment obligations arising from economic and financial transactions across the entire economy, the cost of exchanging goods and services is reduced. It is likewise an essential tool for the effective implementation of monetary policy, and the smooth functioning of money and capital markets.

Considering that usage of payment systems is not necessarily limited to banks and non-bank financial institutions, the scope of the regulatory powers of the Bangko Sentral are likewise expanded under the NPSA to cover non-financial institutions such as operators, their service providers, among others.

The draft Circular is part of the first phase of the phased-in implementation of the NPSA, which prioritizes the creation of a baseline inventory of all operators of payment systems (OPS). This is required under Section 10 of the NPSA which provides that all OPS shall register with the Bangko Sentral.

This inventory will also be used as inputs to the specific criteria for designating payment systems, as well as the oversight rules to be applied to such systems and the participants.

In addition, the draft Circular provides descriptive examples�albeit not exhaustive�of activities to sufficiently guide the stakeholders on which persons are required to register with the Bangko Sentral as an OPS under the NPSA.

In keeping with the thrust of the Bangko Sentral to promote efficiency and ease of doing business, said draft Circular contains a simplified registration process and streamlined documentary requirements.

Given that there could be institutions (banks, electronic money issuers (EMIs), or those involved in the money service business) already registered/licensed by the Bangko Sentral, which may also fall under the definition of an OPS under RA No. 11127 and in the draft Circular, such institutions will only have to submit a duly accomplished application for registration.

To ensure the smooth transition of the OPS existing at the time of the NPSA's effectivity, the draft Circular provides a transitory provision that allows said OPS to register with the Bangko Sentral within a reasonable period.

The solicitation of comments on the draft Circular containing the NPSA IRR is part of the Bangko Sentral's policy development process to afford opportunity for relevant stakeholders to provide their inputs. Any comment on the draft Circular may be sent to the Payment System Oversight Department (PSOD) at email: psod@bsp.gov.ph not later than 26 April 2019.

Source: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)