Month: June 2021

Financial Inclusion

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)

In 2007, the BSP dedicated an office to financial inclusion, a vital move to eliminating poverty in the Philipines and benefiting the overall economy.

Today,  two billion people are denied access to traditional financial services. Morocco, Vietname, Egypt, Philippines, and Mexico have unbanked populations exceeding 60 percent of their people.

Financial inclusion itself provides only a means to an end, it is not the end. It enables better consumer protection, financial education, better decision-making, and increased wealth.

Seeveral central banks have already clear policies in place to address CBDC and these include the banks in – Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia and the Philippines.

“​ With the signing of Republic Act (RA) No. 11211 on 14 February 2019 amending the BSP’s charter, financial inclusion and its complementary objectives of financial literacy and consumer protection became a mandate for the BSP. The amended charter states “In the attainment of its objectives, the Bangko Sentral shall promote broad and convenient access to high quality financial services and consider the interest of the general public.” BSP

Benjamin E. Diokno

BSP Governor


Turkish QR Codes

“The Regulation on the Generation and Use of the Turkish QR Code in Payment Services (Regulation”) was published in the Official Gazette dated 21 August 2020 and numbered 31220. The Regulation enacted by the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (“CBRT”) introduces the national QR Code of Turkey in order to establish a standard QR Code structure and common rules within the payment services ecosystem regarding this structure.” CMS Law-Now

TR QR Code in 2020

Turkey has a large unbanked population (31 percent) and that country has been under pressure to reform digital services.

This action is one more step by Turkey to meet PSD2 standards; these standards are part of more general regulatory framework involving RTS (regulatory technical standards) and SCA (secure customer authentication).

These standards are designed to product uniformity in commerce, achieve better accountability, and to protect customers.

The Central Bank in Turkey made the objectives clear which included making Turkey cashless – 

TR QR Code is intended to ensure OR code standardization in retail payments by promoting cashless payment at all levels, and eventually to support the use of less cash in Turkey. By means of these common rules, users of different payment service providers will be able to make payments with QR Code, and payments between different payment schemes, digital wallets and payment service providers will be facilitated. Also, adoption of the QR code as a payment method will be encouraged in merchants, including small ones.”



Digital Lira (Turkey)

The Digital Lira

The prospect of a central bank digital currency was made public in late 2020 with an expectation of pilot work in 2021.

Turkey has been tackling the rise of cryptocurrency adoption and banned bitcoin and many others in April 2021. 

Turkey has a large GDP exceeding 850 billion dollars making it within the top 20.

Turkey does have a university with a dedicated blockchain interest. 

“There is an R&D project started on digital money. At the moment, the conceptual phase of this project has been completed. We aim to start pilot tests in the second half of 2021.” Bank of Turkey 


Bank of Indonesia and the Digital Rupiah



“Payment System Innovations will be accelerated in order
to speed up digitalisation in financial sector as
well as national integration of economic and
finance digitalisation through various initiatives.”


The Digital Rupiah

In 2019, Indonesia’s central bank plans to digitize were made clear. The 5 initiative plan was announced; details provided that the following will be used – 

  • Open Banking APIs
  • Integrated Payment Interface
  • FMI (RTGS)
  • Integrated Reporting
  • SupTech and RegTech

On May 25, it was announced by the bank’s governor that a digital rupiah would be developed. 

No specific details about timelines, technologies, or specific goals were stated in the Governor’s announcement about Indonesia’s planned CBDC.

Indonesia ranks at 16th in the world for its GBP which exceeds a trillion dollars. GDP per capita is at 99 in the world. It is the 4th most populous nation in the world, and is in the G20. 

Indonesia’s 20 year economic development started in 2005 and by 2025 the 5 initiatives should have been implememented. 

Indonesia’s RTGS became operational in 2000.  It is part of the FMI in Indonesia which has – 

  • Central Counterparty (CCP)
  • Central Securities Deposities (CSD)
  • Electronic Trading Platform (ETP)
  • Securities Settlement System (SSS)
  • Trade Repository (TR)


Indonesia uses a retail based payment system called QRIS. This allows in-store QR scans to purchase goods. This allows international payments too, and real-time payments.

QRIS is part of the 5 initiatives and the payment systems infrastructure to be rolled out  by 2025.

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population, and payments for zakat, infaq, alms (ZIA) were reported as 13 percent in 2019 of payments. QRIS may be used to enable these payments.

These raft of developments and ambitious plans for digitalization are especially relevant in Indonesia due to the large unbanked population and the dominance of cash. It is second to only India in cash dominance. 

A handful of wallets are dominating the e-wallets vertical in Indonesia – 

Perry Warjiyo paid references to the growing digitalization of Indonesian payments in his address to the 14th Bulletin of Monetary Economics and Banking. 

He also referred to financial deepening, which refers to the wider provision of financial services and liquid money. 

He also stated that digital currency must always be controlled by the central bank and not allowed to be in the private sector.

5 Initiatives


Bank of Mauritius and the Digital Rupee



Bank of Mauritius

Harvesh Seegolam, the Governor of the Bank of Mauritius, stated the schedule for the digital rupee – 

  • Initial discussions were in 2020 which revealed a huge potential
  • Now discussions with the IMF are taking place
  • By the end of 2021, there will be a pilot

He also explained cross-border playments and local payments were motivators with financial inclusion being large factor.

2020 Annual Report

Bank of Ghana plans the e-Cedi

Bank of Ghana to Pilot the e-Cedi

Dr Ernst Addison, announced a four stage program to delivering the e-Cedi: 1) Design, 2) Implementation, 3) Pilot, 4) Feasibility. He said the design was “quite far” to completion and the implementation was being be examined. 


Monetary Policy Committee

In 2019, the BoG announced the planned sandbox for the e-Cedi. In 2015 the Payments Oversight document was published describing flows via the Ghana interbank settlement system.

Ghana is a progressive nation, often ranked within the top three African nations for freedom of speech. 20 percent of the world’s coca is produced in Ghana. 

Payments Oversight

  • GIS
  • CCC
  • GACH
  • e-zwich
  • gh-link
  • mobile money
  • FMI
  • BIS

World Bank Payments


The Planned e-Cedi

“In an increasingly digitized environment, the Bank of Ghana has evaluated its role in a digital
economy. The Central Bank is in discussion with key stakeholders to explore a pilot project (in a
sandbox environment) on central bank digital currency with the possibility of issuing the e-cedi in
the near future.”

Sandbox | Press Release

Rolling Out the Digital Ruble

Digital Ruble Concept

In April 2021, the Bank of Russia published a target model for a digital ruble and courted responses.


Digital Ruble Concept



  • 75% Approval Now
  • 9% Later Approval
  • Move towards digitalization
  • Cost Reduction
  • Time Improvements

“It should be accepted everywhere, ensure high speed of transactions,
safety and a high degree of protection against fraud.”

Bank of Russia

Press Announcement


Brazil embraces Digitization


The Digital Real

Brazil salutes new payment innovation

Brazil enjoys being  in the top ten world economies by GDP. 

However devastating impact of Covid-19 has battered the economy driving Brazilians into poverty. 

Fsical policies became uncertain as the Brazilian Government financed a 156 billion dollars rescue package. 


To address global and national changes, the BCB announced on 24 May 2021 new guidelines for a digital Real.


The 2020 Study Group


The Brazilian Payment System (SPB) is being progressively digitized dated to replace the paper and coin based Real.


To address digitizing the Real, the BCB formed a study group in 2020.

Several key areas were of interest – 

  • Financial Inclusion
  • Economic Growth
  • Technical Innovation
  • Efficiency

Strategic Planning  Financial Citizenship; and the BCB’s BC# Agenda were all motivating factors –

  • Inclusion
  • Competitiveness
  • Transparency
  • Education
  • Sustainability


the 2021 Guideline

The BCB’s latest announcement will further address its BC# Agenda –

  • Dynamic Technological Evolution
  • Efficiency in Retail Payment Systems
  • New Business Models
  • Cross-border Transactions

The BCB welcomes private sector involvement.

The digital Real could use smart contracts, IoT systems, and programmable money.









2021 Press Release

The future

The BCB will extend the success of PIX (payment method), and the development of Open Banking to deliver CBDC solutions.

These changes will impact the FMI of Brazil.