BSP Monetary Board Grants RCBC Approval Distribute COVID-19 Relief Fundby Fintech News Singapore April 20, 2020
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) granted authority to Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) to accept government funds to assist the social amelioration program under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
RCBC is the first private universal bank permitted to aid in the efforts of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The Yuchengco-led bank is now allowed to accept deposits from the agency and help distribute emergency cash aid to beneficiaries though its digital platforms.
Earlier, the BSP has also permitted the use of RCBC’s two digital platforms to help in the quick disbursement of the social aid to 18 million families nationwide.
One is the deployment of a modified version of RCBC’s planned DiskarTech app, a transactional digital bank account that hosts an array of financial and social inclusion tools. The DiskarTech Lite platform is a digital disbursement tool covering beneficiaries regardless whether they have mobile phone device making it inclusive, comprehensive, secure, fast, and transparent.
The other one is the expanded deployment of the existing ATM Go mobile point-of-sale service intended for all carded Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries nationwide accepting all prepaid, cash card or debit ATM cards issued by any BSP-supervised financial institution.
“RCBC’s digital banking technology promises to be a quick and inclusive solution to subsidy disbursements that is also transparent for all stakeholders. I commend BSP for approving this digital way of disbursing the social amelioration. As a financial inclusion partner, we welcome this digital disbursement in Albay,”
said Hon. Joey Salceda, representative of the 2nd district of Albay and chairman of the House ways and means committee.
Salceda added that these digital initiatives aim to reduce face-to-face interactions to zero or one, simplify the disbursement process time to less than three minutes, optimize disbursement efficiency per cash-out point, and cover beneficiaries with or without mobile devices using these RCBC digital platforms.
“RCBC will be lending the use of its platform free of charge to the national government. We believe that this is our duty to offer the bank’s capability and knowhow to improve the disbursement process of much-needed social aid,”
said Lito Villanueva, RCBC executive vice president and chief innovation and inclusion officer.
Functionalities of the DiskarTech-Lite app will be limited to receiving and withdrawing funds from a user’s account. The complete features will only be available when the beneficiaries upgrade to the full DiskarTech – Basic Deposit Account.
“DiskarTech-Lite will be the facility used by RCBC to distribute cash to beneficiaries in localities identified by DSWD in coordination with their local government units. The digital solution can accommodate recipients who have smartphones, feature phones, and even those without any mobile devices,”
RCBC President and CEO Eugene Acevedo said.
This disbursement platform of RCBC is in line with its Damayang Sambayanihan: Hatid-Ayuda Sa Kababayan collaboration with Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP), MASS-SPECC Cooperative Development Center (MASS-SPECC), National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO), and CIS Bayad Center, Inc. With this collaboration, over 10,000 customer touchpoints will be made available for the payout.
These private companies have agreed in March to double their efforts in providing alternative facilities in disbursing government subsidies to underserved beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, ATM Go devices may be used for cash-out, balance inquiry, funds transfer, bills payment, and e-loading transactions.
ATM Go has disbursed in the first quarter of the year more than a billion pesos through its cash-out partners in 72 provinces nationwide using over 1,800 terminals. More than half of recorded withdrawal transactions are for DSWD’s 4Ps payouts.
“So far, we have covered 89% or 72 out of 81 provinces. Additional 2,000 terminals will be deployed in the next couple of weeks. But our aim is to ensure to have these digital touchpoints in all 42,045 barangay from Batanes to Sulu,”
RCBC, through ATM Go, is also the first in the banking industry to provide facilities for the encashment of 4Ps subsidies and other social grant disbursements. Due to the high consumer adoption and convenience, DSWD has recently endorsed ATM Go to all its regional directors and field offices for off-site payment of CCT-4Ps social grants nationwide.
Existing partner merchants and branches will be the same frontliners disbursing emergency cash aid using the DiskarTech platform and ATM Go.
DiskarTech was adopted by the Liga ng mga Barangay as the national financial inclusion accelerator program and capacity-building initiative. DiskarTech will also be integrated in the training modules across over 1,000 Negosyo Centers nationwide run by the Department of Trade and Industry.