IS it time to say goodbye to that red angpao?
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has encouraged ninongs and ninangs to give out e-aguinaldo or digital cash gifts this holiday season instead of actual cash.
It is a safe method of sending money as gifts to our loved ones, the BSP said.
“We encourage our countrymen to take advantage of the ease and safety provided by digital finance in sending their cash gifts during the holidays,” the BSP said in a statement.
It has been a tradition for Filipinos giving out cash gifts to put these in red envelopes called angpao.
But the BSP said electronic alternatives are now available.
It said gift givers who want to give cash as gifts or who want to donate to charitable institutions could use a wide array of digital payment channels to transmit money.
Examples of these are InstaPay and PESONet, e-wallets, and QR Ph, which people can use by scanning a code, it said.
QR Ph is based on the Europay-Mastercard-VISA standard, the global standard for secure payments, it said.
The push for e-aguinaldo is part of its efforts to promote the wider adoption of digital payments to promote financial inclusion. It will also pave the way for the efficient flow of funds in the economy, it said.
The BSP is seeking to convert at least half of the total volume of retail payments into digital form.
Its goal is to get 70 percent of adult Filipinos to be part of the financial system through transaction account ownership by 2023.
According to the BSP, digital payment innovations lower transaction costs and eliminate barriers to owning a transaction account.
Cash, coin supply sufficient
But those who are old school and still want to give out crisp peso bills to their loved ones are assured of a sufficient supply of cash this yuletide season.
The BSP said in an advisory that there is a sufficient supply of fresh banknotes and coins available to meet the seasonal surge in the demand for currency.
It said the demand for currency increases during the Christmas season. This is because Filipinos want smooth, new bills to give out to families, friends, and godchildren.
The demand usually increases from October to December, it said.
The denominations with the highest demand during this season are P1,000, P100, and P50 bank notes.
Also in demand are P20, P1, and P0.25 coins.
The BSP said the public could exchange their unfit coins and banknotes for fresh ones at their depository banks with no charge.
They are also encouraged to regularly use coins in paying for goods and services.
Unfit banknotes are those that are soiled, limp, stained, faded, or have obvious markings. Unfit coins are ones that have markings and signs of corrosion.