The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is mandating the full adoption of the Philippine QR Code standard by July 1, 2023.

In a statement on Friday, the BSP said its policy-setting Monetary Board has approved the guidelines that will facilitate the full transition of all quick response (QR) code-enabled payment services to the National QR Code Standard, or “QR Ph.”

QR Ph is the country’s QR code standard, based on the Europay-Mastercard-VISA (EMV) standard, a global standard for secure payments.

It was developed to standardize the use of QR codes.

The BSP said the guidelines mandate BSP-supervised financial institutions (BSFIs) acting as payment service providers (PSPs) and offering QR code-enabled payment services to use and display QR codes on their internet and mobile channels starting July 1, 2023.

The central bank said PSPs, including those participating in the InstaPay automated clearing house, are required to submit the status of their compliance with the QR Ph standard within 30 days from the date of the memorandum.

“With the active development of the industry in this space, it is timely for the BSP to ensure that QR-enabled payments are supported through the interoperable QR Ph standard. This way, PSPs and their clients would be able to fully realize the benefits brought by the convenience, speed, and ease of using QR Ph,” said BSP Governor Felipe Medalla.

“The QR Ph standard is currently being adopted for two high-impact use cases in the country, namely person-to-person and person-to-merchant payments. These transactions form the bulk of the average total retail payments made by Filipinos in a month. Standardizing QR codes enhances customer and merchant experiences, leading to greater usage of digital payments,” added BSP Deputy Governor Mamerto Tangonan.

The BSP said the guidelines were issued through a memorandum that provides for the transition of non-QR Ph codes for electronic payments services to the QR Ph standard before July 1, 2023.

Thereafter, “non-QR Ph codes or proprietary QR codes shall be disabled and shall no longer be available to the public,” it said.

The BSP said PSPs are also reminded to provide appropriate product training and guidance on the features of QR Ph to their employees, including store cashiers and managers.

The central bank said the memorandum implements BSP Circular No. 1055 on the “Adoption of the National Quick Response Code Standard,” issued in October 2019.

Circular No. 1055 requires BSFIs that serve as PSPs to adopt the national QR code standard in their payment services.

This is aimed at transforming the fragmented QR-driven payment services into interoperable payment solutions, eliminating the need for merchants and customers to maintain several accounts and display numerous QR codes.

The Philippine Payments Management, Inc., which is the payment system management body accredited by the BSP, developed QR Ph in accordance with the provisions of Circular No. 1055, the central bank said. — VBL, GMA Integrated News