Philippines’ Fintech Industry Calls for ASEAN Wide Standardised QR

Philippines’ Fintech Industry Calls for ASEAN Wide Standardised QR

by September 4, 2019

The ASEAN must standardize quick-response (QR) codes for digital payments platforms to facilitate and simplify regional trade.

Lito Villanueva, Chief Innovation and Inclusion Officer at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) and chairman of FinTech, said that the immediate standardization of QR codes for payments within the ASEAN is a critical positive development in realizing a common aspiration towards an ASEAN Economic Community.

“These, of course, must be in collaboration with the ASEAN Bankers Association, country regulators, ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC) and the FinTech country organizations, we can then make this a reality sooner than later,” Villanueva stated.

The RCBC executive related that the region has seen the exponential growth of the financial technology (FinTech) industry in addressing the gap on accessibility of financial services to the remaining 53 percent unbanked population and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in ASEAN.

The region-wide evaluation hopes to leverage ASEAN’s above global average internet penetration rate of 63% and mobile connectivity at 132%.

Some of the current problems identified were regional and domestic gaps that hinder FinTech’s growth, challenges which must be addressed through upscaling human capital, enhancing broadband infrastructure at the home front, and harmonizing policies to create a seamless ASEAN-wide digital economy.

These were the key observations made during the first of the Smart Showcase Series, recently held at the Securities Commission in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The event was organized by CIMB ASEAN Research Institute (CARI) with the support of ASEAN BAC and the ASEAN Business Club, with over 20 speakers, 10 FinTech showcases, and an audience from over 10 participating countries.

Incidentally, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will release its circular standardizing QR codes to prevent the proliferation of closed loop infrastructures and instead promote interoperability of systems, both domestically and regionally.