How Filipinos have Embraced Digital Finance

Published January 5, 2021, 4:14 PM

by Len Amadora

2020 has been a year full of challenges, with the world still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 economically. In the Philippines, consumers have adjusted to the new normal by adopting, among others, fintech services to make their financial lifestyles more convenient and themselves safe against the pandemic.

Dedicated in its commitment in democratizing payments, GCash, the undisputed leader and preferred mobile wallet in the Philippines, shares how Filipinos have embraced digital finance through a snapshot of its performance this year.

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 Forest, the mobile wallet’s multi-awarded, gamified solution in reducing the nation’s carbon footprint, has now over 6.7 million users actively collecting carbon points, which in turn can secure the users an actual tree to be planted in select forest sheds in the country. 

“GCash has played an integral role in keeping not only the economy going this year, but keeping Filipinos safe and sane during the pandemic. We’ve seen not only heads of households and young adults use the GCash app for their financial lifestyle, but even consumers that advocate a greener Philippines, in maximizing what our platform has to offer,” said Martha Sazon, President and CEO of GCash.

GCash is also revolutionizing the way Filipinos handle their money. As of November 2020, 3 million GSave accounts have been opened, demonstrating how banking behavior is shifting from traditional physical branch visits, to simply transferring to a digital savings account. Lending is another example: Over PHP 8 billion have been extended to more than 900,000 Filipinos in need of funds through the app’s GCredit service, disrupting existing processes for loans in the country. 

As a force for good, GCash users have donated more than PHP 40 million in 2020 alone as relief to those who have been affected by COVID-19 and the typhoons near the end of the year through the mobile wallet’s CSR initiative GCash for Good. Gone are the days where donations are only done through banks, with donors scanning deposit slips as proof of transactions. Once again, behavior has shifted from traditional to digital. 

Shopping is another use case consumers have applied GCash to: this year alone, Filipinos spent over PHP 16 billion on popular online shopping sites such as Lazada and Shopee. Meanwhile, more than 600,000 merchants and social online sellers opened up shop during the pandemic with GCash as the primary mode of payment.

“Aside from regular financial transactions such as money transfer and bills payments, we’ve noticed shifting behaviors on how money and digital money is being used, namely on entertainment, savings, donations, and online shopping,” added Sazon, crediting the mobile wallet’s quick pivot on user needs to further expand financial inclusion in the country through digital transformation.

GCash is so pervasive in society that it’s becoming a verb: A Filipino on average mentions the word “GCash” on social media every second of every day in the country, not yet including other communication media such as personal conversations, texts, and emails. Memes have also popped up this holiday season, asking ninongs and ninangs to just send their aguinaldos using GCash.

The outlook of fintech indeed is bright in the country, especially now that the new normal is here. This year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas announced their Digital Transformation Roadmap, where the agency aims to shift at least 50 percent of retail payment transactions to digital, and to have at least 70 percent of Filipinos have their own e-wallet by 2023. GCash fully supports this endeavor, and is confident that it will be able to accelerate meeting this goal, as 1 in 3 Filipinos already have a GCash account. 

Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. (Mynt), which operates GCash, is part of the portfolio companies of 917Ventures, the largest corporate incubator in the Philippines wholly-owned by Globe Telecom Inc.

GCash is available for download on the App Store and Google Play. For more information, kindly visit https://www.gcash.com/.

 
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