Satellite technology helps rural bank restore operations after Typhoon Odette

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) continues to support the issuance of Executive Order No. 127 and its implementing rules and regulations, which will liberalize access to satellite technology for broadband services. This is expected to improve internet connectivity in remote areas.

“With enhanced access to satellite broadband services, financial institutions can improve their disaster recovery plans as part of their resilience strategy. They will also be able to set up more access points, such as branch lite operations, ATMs, and cash agents in underserved areas,” said BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno.

Governor Diokno cited a rural bank in Mindanao that turned to satellite technology following typhoon Odette last January 2022.

Cantilan Bank (CANBNK) said their recently installed aperture terminals (VSATs) restored online connectivity and ATM operations of their Del Carmen and Dapa branches in Siargao City.

“By supplementing our network redundancy measures with VSAT connectivity, the bank effectively provided a contingency measure for branches operating in disaster-stricken areas,” said CANBNK Executive Vice President Tanya Hotchkiss.

The BSP is optimistic that with EO No. 127 and other market-enhancing policy reforms being introduced, satellite broadband services will become more accessible and affordable, which will further boost digital financial inclusion in the country.

Under its Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap 2020-2023, the BSP aims to digitalize half of retail payments in the country and onboard 70 percent of Filipino adults into the formal financial system by 2023.