Oliver Bugarin 12 0 0 4 min to read

Filipinos currently possess financial transaction accounts in excess of 50%.

According to the findings of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) 2021 Financial Inclusion Survey, more than half of the adult population of the country currently has a financial account (FIS).

According to the survey’s findings, account ownership increased from 29 percent in 2019 to 56 percent in 2021. Since the survey’s inception in 2015, this growth represents the biggest two-year growth. The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic accelerated the usage of digital payments, which served as the catalyst for the expansion.

BSP Governor Felipe Medalla stated in a statement on Monday that “in light of the most recent data, the BSP will continue to widen its efforts to support the wider adoption of digital technology, which has successfully enabled the onboarding of more Filipinos into the official financial system.”

The adoption of e-money accounts, which increased from 8 percent in 2019 to 36 percent in 2021, was credited with the surge in account ownership. The majority of persons in the middle class and low-income group, as well as those between the ages of 15 and 49, now have this type of account.

In the meantime, the proportion of adults with bank accounts increased as well, nearly doubling to 23% in 2021 from 13% in 2019.

By a third of those having savings, banks continued to be the preferred formal institution for money management, followed by cooperatives and microfinance organizations.

Six out of ten Filipinos, according to the FIS, changed their financial habits during the pandemic.

Filipinos boosted their emergency savings (37 percent), started or increased their use of online banking, and borrowed more money (17 percent) (15 percent).

The FIS also revealed that in 2021, of those with mobile phones and internet access, 60% made payments and other financial transactions online, a significant increase from 17% in 2019.

However, there are still issues with the financial inclusion objective. The fundamental obstacles to owning an account, like a lack of money and transaction fees, continue to exist. For a sizable portion of the population, it is nevertheless common to lack the necessary paperwork to open an account.

More than half of savers still store their money at home, according to the survey’s findings.

These difficulties, which are particularly severe among lower-income groups, emphasize the significance of developing systems that will support the financial resilience of the most vulnerable populations.

According to Medalla, “the BSP continues to work not only with other government agencies but also with the private sector and development partners to achieve our shared vision of accelerating financial inclusion toward broad-based growth and financial resilience. This is done through the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion 2022–2028.

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