Bangko Sentral shares tips in determining fake banknotes

Robie de Guzman   •   September 9, 2021   •   1118

MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday advised the public to carefully check their banknotes to ascertain the genuineness of the Philippine currency.

The BSP issued the advisory following reports circulating in social media and messaging apps on the existence of alleged counterfeit 1000-Peso banknotes.

Under Republic Act No. 10951, counterfeiters of Philippine currency are subject to the penalty of imprisonment of at least 12 years and 1 day and a fine not exceeding two million pesos, the central bank warned.

To check the authenticity of the new generation currency (NGC) banknotes, the BSP advised the public to use the “Feel-Look-Tilt” method to check the security features.

A detailed illustration of this method has been posted on BSP’s website.

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“From January to June 2021, the BSP led five successful law enforcement operations that resulted in the arrest of 14 individuals and the filing of nine separate criminal charges,” the central bank said.

The BSP also said it regularly conducts public information campaigns to educate the public on the design, security features, and proper handling of Philippine currency as well as relevant laws, policies, and programs.

“The BSP enhanced the New Generation Currency (NGC) banknotes to incorporate the latest anti-counterfeiting technology and improve the visual and tactile differentiation of each denomination,” it said.

The central bank advised the public to immediately report any information on counterfeiting of Philippine currency to the nearest police station or law enforcement agency for appropriate action.

The public may also reach the Payments and Currency Investigation Group (PCIG) at this email address, it added.

BSP urges public to use digital money for cash gifts

Robie de Guzman   •   November 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Monday called on the public to use their digital wallets when sending cash gifts this holiday season.

​The BSP said that the use of digital money as an alternative means of giving cash gifts is “highly recommended to reduce physical contact and virus transmission between giver and receiver” amid the persisting threat of COVID-19.

“Digital wallets offer a safe, secure, efficient, and convenient way to transfer funds to family and friends during this season of giving,” BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said in a statement.

The central bank said the widespread use of digital money is in line with its digital payment transformation and financial inclusion goals.

Citing latest reports, the BSP said it has achieved its target of reaching 20 percent of digital payments volume by 2020, largely driven by high-frequency, low-value retail transactions through electronic fund transfers.

“The BSP remains committed to catalyzing digitalization of payments and digitizing at least half of all transactions by 2023 in its push to promote a more inclusive and tech savvy Philippine economy,” it said.

Nat’l ID sufficient proof of identity in opening bank accounts – BSP

Robie de Guzman   •   November 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Tuesday reminded financial institutions that the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) or national ID is considered sufficient proof of identity to open a bank account.

In a statement, the BSP said the BSP-Supervised Financial Institutions (BSFI) should accept the national ID card, in both physical and mobile formats, as sufficient proof of identity without the need for another ID.

The central bank’s call is in support of the Memorandum No. M-2021-057 issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which reminds all government and private entities to accept the PhilID card as sufficient proof of identity, subject to proper authentication. This is in line with Republic Act No. 11055 or the PhilSys Act.

“PhilSys will help more Filipinos, especially the marginalized and low-income, to begin saving money in banks and other BSFIs,” said BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno.

Diokno added that the national ID system will support the wide scale opening of transaction accounts, particularly the Basic Deposit Account, which is designed to meet the needs of the unbanked.

The PhilSys will offer online and offline methods for identity authentication through the PhilID physical security features, QR code digital verification, biometric verification, and SMS one-time password (OTP).

These features will facilitate stronger and more secure methods of identity verification than traditional methods such as manual matching of handwritten signature against specimen.

The BSP likewise directed BSFIs to include the PhilID in their list of valid IDs.

“As a foundational digital ID system, the BSP considers the PhilSys as a gamechanger for financial inclusion, a state wherein there is effective access to a wide range of financial services for all,” it said.

“Aside from contributing to the massive opening of transaction accounts, PhilSys is expected to transform how services are delivered and accessed in the Philippines, accelerating the country’s transition to a digital economy,” it added.

As of October 21, 2021, the number of transaction accounts opened due to the co-location of PSA registration sites and Land Bank account opening facilities totaled 5,922,304 accounts, the BSP said.

BSP warns public against fake banknote designs

Robie de Guzman   •   November 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Tuesday warned the public against fake banknote designs that have been circulating on social media.

In a statement, the BSP said it has not issued new banknote designs or a new design series.

The central bank issued the advisory in response to a P500 commemorative banknote first posted on a satirical news website and is now “being shared broadly” in social media.

“The BSP warns the public against accepting fraudulent banknotes and encourages anyone in the know to report use of fake banknotes to the police or to the BSP’s Payments and Currency Investigation Group (email address: currencyinvestigation@bsp.gov.ph),” it said.

It also enjoined the public to stay informed about legitimate banknotes issued by the BSP.

The central bank warned that under Republic Act No. 10951, counterfeiters of Philippine currency are subject to the penalty of imprisonment of at least 12 years and 1 day and a fine not exceeding two million pesos.

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