Published 25 November 2022, The Daily Tribune

Aside from traditional debit and credit card payments, the use of Quick Response Codes or QR Codes as an alternative way of payment is now becoming popular nowadays. Indeed, QR technology made the lives of people easier since the manual encoding of account information details is substituted by the simple scanning of QR Codes to make effortless and convenient payments.

In November 2019, the Philippine Payments Management Inc., under the supervision of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, launched the National QR Code Standard or the “QR Ph”. Under the BSP Circular No. 1055, series of 2019, the BSP required the payment service providers, including banks and non-bank electronic money issuers or EMIs, to adopt the QR Ph to foster payment system efficiency by transforming the fragmented QR-driven payment services in the country into interoperable payment solutions.

Interoperability means that an end-user of the QR Ph needs only to maintain a single bank or electronic money account to transfer payments with other individuals or merchants whose accounts are maintained with other payment service providers. For example, Juan may use QR Ph to pay for his purchases from Mang Jose even if they use different banks or EMIs.

In order to make payments using the QR Ph facility, the customers need to follow the simple and easy steps below.

  1. Open the preferred banking or non-bank EMI mobile application and choose Transfer money or pay via QR;
  2. Scan the merchant -recipient’s QR Ph code and if prompted by the application, type the amount to be sent; and
  3. Check the details and approve the transaction. The customer will receive a message confirming a successful transaction.

Apart from the convenience brought by the QR Ph facility, the customers will not pay any service charge or fee for the use of this facility. Moreover, micro, small and medium enterprises, and informal businesses need not invest in costly equipment such as point-of-sale terminals as they only need to print their QR Codes. This facility also obviates the need for merchants to hold a substantial amount of small-denominated bills and coins which serve as “change” to their customers.

On 12 October 2021, the QR Ph facility was fully launched to expand the adoption of digital payments in the country and to support the strategic goal of BSP to transform 50 percent of the volume of total retail payments into digital form by 2023.

For more of Dean Nilo Divina’s legal tidbits, please visit For comments and questions, please send an email to