Posted: December 2021
Goodbye, Angpao. Hello… e-wallet?
Whatever happens, that iconic red envelope has had a good run as it helped symbolize the joy and magic of Christmas for every kid – and that’s across generations.
On the flipside, though, sorry, Ninongs and Ninangs. The pandemic won’t help you escape your ‘Aguinaldo’ duties much longer. You all need to give some dough out because the number of ways you can are expanding.
In yet another reason as to how widely digital the world is, Christmas monetary gifts are looking like it’s about to transition. It may sound silly now, but it is slowly turning, and it may turn faster as we move along.
How so? Keep in mind that even young teens and pre-adolescent kids own smartphones now, and having an e-wallet account is becoming an unofficial necessity.
MayBank opened it up with Pass It Ong last year, and other foreign banks have followed – HSBC, Affin Bank, and AmBank, just to name a few, all released an ‘E-Angpao’ during the lead-up to Chinese New Year 2021.
BSP has planted the seed
Here in the Philippines, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is supporting the game-changing shift. It’s more of a safety measure for COVID-19, of course, and part of BSP’s aim to encourage the nation to modernize its payment activities. Beyond that, however, is also the push that may open the proverbial digital door for monetary gifts.
Here’s what BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno told reporters in a November 2021 press briefing:
“Digital wallets offer a safe, secure, efficient and convenient way to transfer funds to family and friends during this season of giving.”
At the very least, Diokno has given Filipino kids an idea that the prohibition of public gatherings or the need for physical distancing are not impenetrable walls.
A needed transition?
This may be of the baby steps that BSP is taking to reach their goals. Gov. Diokno has long said that their target is to guide the Philippines into digitalizing 50% of its transactions by 2023, which is approaching pretty fast. For some context, 2020 ended with digital transactions reaching 20%.
Whether BSP reaches its goal or not, their support for such a transition can improve the country’s financial inclusion while also progressing every Pinoy’s approach to digital payments.
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