The coronavirus pandemic has weakened economies throughout the world, however, it also amplified the reliance on the internet, cyberspace, and online technologies massively, making financial technology an emerging global industry.
Cyber technology has indeed become a part of everyone’s daily life
The financial technology industry is booming because it gives convenience to people and accessibility to various needs at a click of the finger. People can do their banking transactions and shop online, or order food, groceries, and other necessities from online markets, and even make business dealings through their mobile phones or laptops; all these without the hassle of waiting in line, feeling the heat of the sun and dust in the surroundings and most importantly without the need of going outside and being exposed to coronavirus. Cyber technology has indeed become a part of everyone’s daily life.
The representative of Albay and House Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, Congressman Jose Ma. Clemente Salcedaintroduced House Bill 7760 (HB7760) titled “Financial Technology Industry Development Act of 2020”. The objective of the proposed bill is to aid in strengthening our economy by developing the financial technology industry.
The measure authorizes the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to establish a Financial Technology Office (FTO) which shall have the power, among others, to develop a regular financial technology industry roadmap and recommend policies and programs for financial technology development.
Special Investors Resident Visa (SIRV) for financial technology investors
To encourage foreign investors, another feature of the proposed bill is to allow the issuance of a Special Investors Resident Visa (SIRV) for financial technology investors. Any alien who possesses the following qualifications may avail of SIRV:
1) Not convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude 2) Not afflicted of dangerous or contagious disease
3) Has not been institutionalized for any mental disorder
4) Willing and able to invest at least Seventy-Five Thousand US Dollars (75,000USD) in the Philippines. Required investment amount may be lowered to Fifty Thousand US Dollars (50,000USD) for aliens availing of EO No. 63 and EO No. 1037 and the conditions provided thereof.
The foregoing condition may be waived upon the recommendation of the Governor of the BSP, for qualified investors in the financial technology industry.
The proposed bill also includes the financial technology sector in the Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) for ten (10) years. As apriority sector, financial technology companies may avail of investment incentives and other benefits.
Annual review of data security laws and capabilities pertaining to financial technologies
To shun threats of possible abuses of cybersecurity, the proposed bill also provides for a provision requiring BSP and Department of Information and Technology (DICT) to conduct an annual review of data security laws and capabilities pertaining to financial technologies to ensure that the government shall not use its regulatory powers excessively.
Cyber technology is crucial to the development of the financial sector. This bill will mold the financial industry and eventually bring in the much needed investments which may fast track our economic recovery.