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Digital literacy needs more boost

DESPITE the many advances in financial technology, a lot of people still doubt transactions via digital financing. A big portion of the adult population continues to have trust issues and lack awareness about the use of digital payment solutions.

Promoting digital literacy plays a crucial role in deepening the public’s trust in digital finance services. Wider internet connection access as well as having a digital identification system will facilitate the scale and reach of digital financial services.

Based on the results of the 2019 Financial Inclusion Survey, 69 percent of adult respondents said they have mobile phones but only 12 percent of them use their mobile phones for financial transactions.

The same survey showed that 53 percent of the surveyed adults use their phones to access the internet, but only nine percent of them use it for financial transactions.

Results of the same survey showed that seven out of 10 unbanked adults have mobile phones, which is an opportunity to further increase digital financial transactions in the country.

Experiences during the pandemic show the importance of digital financial transactions in an economy. The pandemic accelerated the use of digital payment platforms and boosted the central bank’s bid to increase the share of digital payments to 50 percent of the total by 2023.

Automated teller machines withdrawals during the enhanced community quarantine fell by 24 percent in terms of volume, and 13 percent in terms of value compared to the 76-day period before the lockdown.

During the same period, check transactions dropped by 67 percent in volume and 62 percent in terms of value. On the other hand, electronic fund transfers rose by 74 percent in volume and 42 percent in value.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Assistant Governor Illuminada Sicat said without the vaccines that will prevent the spread of the virus, the increasing trend in digital transactions is expected to continue even as lockdown measures are eased.

We need to address people’s doubts on digital financing transactions. Doing so would further increase the share of electronic payments in the overall landscape in the country.

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The government has found a way to speed up water projects in the country. And the strategy is similar to what the government applied on the telecommunications sector—a law.
RA 11032, also known as the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, aims to streamline the current systems and procedures of government services.
For the telecommunications sector, the Anti-Red Tape Authority issued a Joint Memorandum Circular to automatically approve all pending applications for common telecommunication towers with the local government units.

The agency plans to do the same with the water sector. ARTA aims to closely coordinate with acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua and Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs Vivencio Dizon to identify the water-resource infrastructure projects with pending applications. It will also meet with water concessionaires and stakeholders.

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Publication Source :    People's Journal