GCash leads digital fintech revolution under new normal

GCash, the preferred mobile wallet in the Philippines, is leading the country’s shift into the new normal through digital financial technology, making it part of the lifestyle of many Filipinos.

GCash Marketing Manager Winsley Bangit said the pandemic has set the stage in cultivating new trends and behavioral changes in the Filipinos’ way of living that make way for increased adoption of fintech.

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GCash innovations foster growth of Philippines’ gig economy

With its 20 million users composed mostly of young, working Filipinos, GCash has tailored its mobile financial platform to fuel the growth of the country’s gig economy.

Anthony Thomas, president and chief executive officer of Mynt (Globe Innovations, Inc.), which operates GCash, said the company sees a huge opportunity in the gig economy and continually innovates to address the needs of freelancers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“Most of our businesses are micro-businesses, and the gig economy is alive and well. A lot of opportunity comes from freelancers or businesses that employ just a few people. GCash could be a very convenient disbursement platform for them,” Thomas said at the IN_PACT Asia 2019 forum held on May 28 at the ADB headquarters in Manila.

GCash solutions

The Philippines’ leading mobile wallet and a pioneer in fintech services, GCash provides an efficient end-to-end payroll to payout solution for Filipinos operating outside the usual employment schemes, Thomas said. It also allows payment acceptance through QR transactions, and InstaPay transfers, which lets users send money to any banks in the Philippines for free.

“We make it very easy to accept payments offline through QR codes, or online with minimum to no cost so entrepreneurs, small businesses and freelancers can really focus on what they need to do rather than worrying about administrative problems in their lives and businesses,” he said.

The Mynt CEO was one of the speakers representing the fintech sector at the IN_PACT Asia forum, which this year centered on “Convening for Collective Impact.” The event gathered more than 300 social designers and innovators, and over 30 thought leaders and experts on social innovation and impact.

Anthony Thomas speaking at the ADB In_Pact Asia 2019 - Convening for Collective Impact

Anthony Thomas speaks at the ADB In_Pact Asia 2019 – Convening for Collective Impact.

Financial inclusion

The Philippines, which has one of the youngest workforces in Asia, is an emerging hub for social entrepreneurs, numbering nearly 165,000, and online freelancers, estimated to be around 1.5 million. Self-employed Filipinos make up 26.9% of the country’s 41.2 million labor force, the second biggest category of employed workers, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Still, financial inclusion remains a challenge as 2 out of 3 Filipinos do not have access to bank accounts, and 9 out of 10 do not have access to loan credit.

“But the smartphone penetration is good, and the Philippines is an increasingly social media savvy country… What we’re doing is incentivizing people to go online,” Thomas said, presenting GCash’s financial services, which include GScore, GCredit, GSave and GInvest.

Financial services platform

“We’re not stopping at just creating payment convenience in your day-to-day lives. We are ultimately a financial services platform where we collaborate with lenders, asset managers, banks, and insurance companies. And we’ve already launched a way where we’re giving people a digital identity,” he said.

UNDP resident representative Titon Mitra, who was also a guest speaker at the forum, recognized that the most impressive social innovations were coming from emerging economies, citing fintech companies like GCash.

“In a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, innovations are imperative,” Mitra said. “It’s not just about fostering social innovations but fostering social innovations with a coherent purpose. If we’re going to drive social innovations the right way, we have to make it everyone’s responsibility.” (Press Release)

Coding the future of payments: GCash breaches 50k QR merchant mark

The use of QR for mobile digital payments is very popular in various emerging and developed economies. In China, for example, mobile digital payments account for over half of the country’s total transaction volumes.

In the Philippines, the use of the technology is still in its nascent stage, and has yet to see an explosion in usage.

Despite that, GCash, operated by Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. (Mynt), sees the value of setting up as many QR-enabled merchants as possible, as it believes that the future of mobile digital payments lies on innovative technologies.

Secure, convenient

“QR payments provide security and convenience to both merchants and their customers. Our thrust as a mobile wallet is to acquire as many merchant partners as possible — even micro-entrepreneurs such as taho vendors — to future-proof us from the expected boom in usage,” said JM Aujero, Vice President for Merchant Solutions.

Already, GCash has breached the 50,000 merchant mark in the first quarter of 2019, a huge milestone for the company that introduced this technology first in the Philippines in 2017.

“We want to be as pervasive as our partner Ant Financial is in China. QR is the future of payments, and we are committed to lead in this arena here in the Philippines,” he said.

The QR technology of GCash is far reaching, spanning from Luzon to Visayas and down to Mindanao, including popular tourist destination Boracay.

Empower MSMEs

This particular technology is empowering micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to adopt into the digital arena. Aside from giving them access to millions of customers, the QR payments solution of GCash allows merchants to enjoy auto-sweeping of their daily transactions into their account.

It likewise provides a better performance evaluation of the business, as the system provides for QR transaction reports, which allows enterprises to study and analyze their transactions real time. Cash handling issues are also addressed through the QR payments system.

GCash offers merchants no set up fees, a huge customer base, lower rates than most debit and credit cards, a chance for increased marketing, and access to periodic reports to oversee their business performance.

“Merchants and social sellers can leverage on the ubiquity of GCash in the Philippines, as well as benefit from this simple, cost-effective, and secure alternative to cash,” he said.

Get more users

GCash is embarking on a battle against cash to capture more users this year, and the need to increase the number of merchants in the GCash platform only continues to be more pronounced.

The GCash QR payments solution, he explained, is supportive of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ goal of reducing cash payments and increasing the share of non-cash transactions to 20 percent of the total volume by 2020.

“Our aggressive stance in fighting for more QR-enabled merchants stems from the fact that every day, more and more GCash users onboard the platform. Use cases for QR payments also continue to sprout,” he said.

“With Ant Financial as our partner, we are well-equipped to deliver the best QR experience in the Philippines. Ant Financial will also help us in strengthening our hold while massively scaling up our QR reach in the country,” he said. (Press Release)

With GCash Scan To Pay, transactions are quick, cashless

I ordered a pretzel and picked up a loaf of ciabatta to go yesterday at the Abaca Baking Company in Ayala Center Cebu. Instead of reaching for my wallet at the cashier, however, I took out my phone.

I opened the GCash app, chose Pay QR and scanned a QR Code – some sort of barcode – placed near the cashier. The app then prompted me to enter the amount of my bill and after I did so, I was told that the transaction was successful and I got a digital “receipt.”

Just like that, I made my first QR code payment.

GCash Scan To Pay
NO CASH. Using GCash, you can buy bread at the Abaca Baking Company and pay the exact amount it by scanning a QR code at the counter. The cafe is among the about 90 shops in Ayala Center Cebu accepting payments via the system.

Convenient payments

It was quick, convenient, and glitch-free. There were no more counting of bills and coins. The cashier did not need to ask whether I had change – a perennial holiday shopping rush problem in stores. I paid the exact amount in less time than it took for cashiers to perform regular transactions.

I also had an updated record of my GCash transactions right within the app: from purchases to receipt of money to cellphone loads.

And since my first GCash Scan To Pay transaction happened this weekend, I also had a 20% cashback on my purchase.

My first QR Code payment happened during GDay in Ayala Cener Cebu. The event, which closes today, was held as a way to promote use of GCash, said Lhen Pavia, VisMin Business Development Head for Mynt, the fintech arm of Globe.

GCash Scan To Pay merchants

GDay in Cebu is held at the Ayala Center Cebu. The mall is also the first in the province to use GCash Scan To Pay QR code payments. It launched with 50 merchant partners on November 29 and now has about 90 merchants toward a yearend goal of more than 100.

In Davao, GDay is held in Ayala Abreeza Davao.

During GDay, all participating merchants offer a 20% cashback on top of the Christmas sales discount when customers pay using GCash Scan To Pay. The 20% cashback offer is up to P500 per store, per day and will be credited within 3 days.

Moviegoers who use the GCash App to buy tickets at the Ayala Cinemas will also enjoy a P100 one-time cashback. The cashback is only applicable to one ticket per user per day.

GCash will also raffle off P10,000 GCash 3 times daily to customers who will scan to pay for their purchases on partner merchants during the promo period.

GCash Scan To Pay
SCAN TO PAY. With GCash, you just scan a QR Code to pay the exact amount for your purchase or bill.

Cashless transactions

“The key is to build an ecosystem for cashless transactions,” said JM Aujero, Mynt Head for Merchant Solutions.

Aujero said regular tasks – such as people buying things, paying for services or receiving their salaries – can be vastly improved if turned into digital operations.

He said merchants can easily and quickly accept digital payments by tapping the GCash platform. They don’t need to buy or rent expensive terminals, deal with certain documentary requirements, or sign up for high cost services and platforms. They just work with GCash, get a QR Code sticker, and start accepting payments, Aujero said.

He also said they are working to add basic analytics to the system so that their vendors would know their top times or highest earning products, among other important information.

Pavia said they are working with more merchants to quickly roll out GCash QR Code payments throughout the country. They are talking to malls and store chains first so that they can easily scale deployment, she said.

GCash Scan To Pay
GCASH MERCHANTS. GCash is working to have more than 100 establishments in Ayala Center Cebu accept QR Code payments.

Enthusiastic response

She said response to the system has been very enthusiastic with merchants quickly signing up when they started inviting stores.

They are also deploying it to non-retail institutions like schools. GCash can be used not only in canteens but also in paying for school fees. Pavia recounted how a school in Mindanao has a pawnshop inside the campus because it was through it that parents sent money to pay tuition. She said the problem on sending money for school fees can be easily solved by GCash and they are currently working on how to simplify this via integration into the school’s existing system.

Aujero said they are working to expand use of the platforms and this year’s investment by global electronic payments leader Ant Financial of the Alibaba Group provides a strong boost to make this happen in the Philippines.

Alipay pioneered QR Code payments in China, where it has 520 million users. In India, it has 300 million users.