Clearly, the BSP sees the benefits of going cashless. Cash is costly to handle – you need to employ people to count, store or transport it, hence the fees banks charge consumers. It can also be dangerous to carry around.
On the other hand, mobile and other digital payments are quick and easy to scale, which translates to lower fees. They’re also transparent, as transactions are recorded electronically and can be tracked.
Most important of all, they allow the poor and unbanked to participate more broadly in the financial economy.
That’s why the central bank is doing its best to pave the way for a cash-lite society. It may be some way off, but experts think the Philippines is on the cusp of a digital payments revolution.