Credit card firms welcome SIM registration law

October 16, 2022

News & Lifestyle section of Dad On The Move Family Travel Blog.

The new law mandating the registration of subscriber identity module (SIM) will help curb credit card fraud and remove the barriers toward digitalization in the country, according to the Credit Card Association of the Philippines (CCAP).

Credit Card Association of the Philippines (CCAP)

Credit card firms welcome SIM registration law

In his speech during the 42nd anniversary of CCAP, an organization comprised of 17 major credit card players in the Philippines, CCAP Chairman Rolando P. Ebreo said Republic Act No. 11934 or the SIM Registration Act represents “a major step in removing the impediments towards digitalization, of pinpointing where the problem really lies.”

“We fully supported the ideals of the SIM Registration Act and that despite its disapproval in December 2021, we have continued to follow through on the interim measures we can implement through the telecommunications companies and through the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)… CCAP has been privileged to have been given the chance to share with the BSP that the clickable links are not the problem, but the people who maliciously use them. With the SIM registration law, we are set, as a nation, to combat that malice and to once again add a layer of protection for our Filipino consumers. It will help mitigate, if not prevent, scam messages that contain links used to lure the victims into giving out their information. It is a realization of our desire to institutionalize measures that protect our customers,” said Mr. Ebreo.

In the past two years since digital payments accelerated due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, CCAP has been pushing players in the telecommunications sector, regulators, and lawmakers to adopt stricter measures and enact laws against SIM-related fraudulent activities. 

This was after noting a 21% increase in fraudulent credit card activities since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 as consumers shifted to various digital payment platforms due to mobility restrictions.

CCAP Executive Director Alex Ilagan said these challenges prompted CCAP to launch its #FightBudolMovement to raise consumer awareness on emerging modus operandi and fighting credit card fraud. 

The organization also continues to work with various government entities to promote consumer welfare through initiatives that focused on the responsible use of credit cards and consumer protection from smishing attacks and other credit card-related fraud.

CCAP members, along with the BSP, also continue to help alleviate credit card debt by helping debtors pay off their outstanding payments through the Interbank Debt Relief Program. “As the effects of the pandemic linger, CCAP and its members will continue to work together in offering

more liberal debt restructuring/forbearance programs to allow cardholders in financial distress repay their obligations and regain good credit standing,” Mr. Ilagan added.

While the law on SIM registration has finally been enacted, CCAP vowed to “continue to evolve by collaborating with more government agencies to promote consumer rights and protection,” said CCAP President Mags Surtida.

She said CCAP will expand its reach to other payment landscapes and conduct more credit education webinars in schools and companies. “We want to work with card schemes closely to innovate our credit card products to be more tech savvy and to reach a more relevant target market. Exciting times are ahead and there is more meaningful work for us,” said Ms. Surtida.

In attendance during CCAP’s 42nd anniversary forum held virtually on Oct. 17 were CCAP’s 17 member-banks; guest speakers from global credit card networks Mastercard, JCB, and UnionPay International; and BSP Gov. Felipe Medalla as keynote speaker.
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