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Meeting Filipinos’ financial needs during the pandemic

Beyond cashless payments and transactions, GCash widens access to various financial services

From taking its initial steps, the adoption of cashless payments and transactions has taken full speed due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Now, as more consumers use digital financial services to transact safely and efficiently, GCash has taken the lead to bring in more Filipinos towards the benefits and conveniences of going cashless.

During an online forum in the World Fintech Festival Martha Sazon, president and chief executive officer of Mynt, the operator of GCash and chairman of the EMoney Association of the Philippines, shared that this year saw the financial service getting closer to realizing its vision of ‘finance for all’.

“People who have never thought of using cashless payments before suddenly [learned to use it], resulting in massive registrations. In response, we empowered them to transact using their mobile [to] pay for essentials and bills, and even receive aid from the government on a convenient and safe platform,” Ms. Sazon said.

She pointed out that GCash responded to the shifts in consumer behavior caused by the quarantines several months ago. With the pandemic raising the trend for e-commerce, virtual communities, and navigating through financial stability, Ms. Sazon continued, GCash served as a safe and convenient platform for social sellers, finance-conscious individuals, and at-home consumers to transact, receive, and even maximize their money.

As the Mynt CEO shared, GCash has empowered at least 500,000 social sellers on their P2P (person-to-person) platform. Over PHP 1 trillion in transactions have passed through the GCash app during 2020, peaking at a PHP 7.5 billion daily gross transaction value, and with more than 6 million transactions in a day. The mobile wallet company also grew its users to 33 million, a 65% growth versus last year.

GCash has also played a significant part in sustaining the economy amid COVID-19’s disruptions, characterized by a record-low 6.9% drop in gross domestic product, 10% unemployment rate, and 26% of micro, small, and medium enterprises closed during the lockdown.

“With this, we see GCash playing a key role in keeping the economy moving and helping businesses and livelihoods. We’ve helped them thrive amidst the crisis,” Ms. Sazon shared. Latest figures show that there are about 500,000 social merchants to date in the P2P network, with more than 11,000 merchants added during the ECQ.

Beyond payments and transactions

As it strives to remain relevant amid the pandemic, GCash has become the leading finance application. Ms. Sazon attributes this to the app’s services that are tailored to meet consumer’s various needs. More than enabling everyday payments and transfers, GCash offers a wide range of accessible financial services. GSave, for instance, enables users to open and maintain a bank account straight from the GCash app for 3.1% interest and without any minimum amount. This December, GSave offers up to 4% per annum for accounts that maintain a balance of P100,000.

Functioning like a flexible loan or credit card, GCredit enables users to have their own personal revolving credit line in GCash, which they can use any time they want. GInsure, meanwhile, helps GCash customers access insurance products that give cash assistance and medical coverage. In partnership with Singlife, GInsure offers a medical coverage for dengue and COVID-19 costs for as low as Php300/year.

“As we become more relevant, we are the undisputed leader in terms of active users,” Ms. Sazon added. “GCash has surpassed Twitter and Grab in July, and in August we have overtaken Netflix. This just goes to show that we have become a part of everyday lives of Filipinos.”

In addition to its financial services, GCash has recently introduced GLife, an all-in-one digital lifestyle platform for convenient access to several brands. Also accessible via the GCash app, GLife enables users to shop, eat, and play without having to download multiple apps. GCash’s partners that are included in GLife are Lazada, Puregold, Goama games, Globe ONE, Kitchen City, Zeal Rewards, and American Express.

Aside from serving as a safe and convenient e-payments platform for merchants and consumers, GCash has become a lifeline to many Filipinos. It became a partner of the government in disbursing aid to many Filipinos through the Social Amelioration Program, distributing P16 billion to two million Filipinos in Makati, Quezon City, and Taguig.

GCash has also become a channel for many Filipinos to donate for relief efforts during Typhoons Rolly, Siony, and Ulysses. With a big boost from celebrities and non-government organizations, GCash was able to collect P21 million for relief efforts.

All these achievements during this year show that GCash has been at the forefront of bringing Filipinos towards adopting cashless payments.

Ms. Sazon emphasized that as GCash continues to play its role in accelerating cashless payments among consumers, it looks forward to collaborating with fellow players in amplifying financial inclusion. “We all need to work together. There’s no single entity that can do that. Even with GCash, with all our success, we cannot do it alone,” she said.

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