The Philippines reached a significant milestone in the innovation and advancement of Fintech as a memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed with India to develop a strong collaboration in financial technology. The MOU, signed by Finance Secretary of the Philippines Government, Benjamin Diokno and Indian Ambassador Shambhu Santha Kumaran, signifies the growing partnership between the two nations. It also aligns with the upcoming fifth Philippines-India Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation scheduled to take place in New Delhi this year.
Fintech solutions for international markets
The MOU establishes a Joint Working Group (JWG) on fintech, consisting of representatives from the Philippines’ Department of Finance (DOF) and India’s Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance. The JWG will address discussions on sharing best practices, improving policies and regulations, developing fintech solutions, and creating international standards, including an international version of Application Programming Interfaces (API).
Secretary Diokno focussed on the potential of this collaboration and highlighted India’s expertise in digital technology and the Philippines’ young and tech-savvy talent pool. He emphasized the boundless possibilities for both economies in the digital era.
The JWG will be co-chaired by the DOF and DEA, with participation from various Philippine government agencies such as the Department of Foreign Affairs, National Economic and Development Authority, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Department of Information and Communication Technology, Securities and Exchange Commission, Insurance Commission, and the Philippines Statistics Authority. India’s representatives include the DEA, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Union Identification Authority of India, Reserve Bank of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India, Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority, Ministry of External Affairs, International Financial Services Centres Authority, and Indian Computer Emergency Response Team.
The Philippines Ambassador to India and the Indian Ambassador to the Philippines will serve as points of contact and participate in JWG meetings, further enhancing the collaboration.
Exponential growth in digital payments
Ambassador Kumaran shared India’s experience with exponential growth in digital payments, citing the hundred billion digital payments made annually and the success of the unified payments interface (UPI) in driving a cashless, digitalized economy.
The Philippines government has been actively promoting investments in advanced technology. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives approved the E-Governance bill, prioritized by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s administration, which promotes the use of information and communications technology (ICT) for efficient public service delivery and financial inclusion. The country is also pursuing economic liberalization bills like the Public Service Act, Foreign Investments Act, and Retail Trade Liberalization Act to attract investments in advanced technology.
The collaboration between the Philippines and India in fintech showcases the commitment of the two countries to expand on digital advancements for economic growth, innovation, and financial inclusion.