You head to your ‘suki’ stalls at the ‘palengke’ for your weekly marketing run, or you need to pay the trike driver - those are as real as it gets as examples of your typical, everyday financial transactions. In this time of pandemic and community quarantine, with health and safety protocols paramount on our minds, it’s only natural that handing over paper bills and coins can be health concerns. But do they really have to be concerns?
When we mark time at our favorite malls, we gain admittance by registering via a QR code; and when we eat at a fine dining restaurant, we’re offered cashless transactions via a QR code. So, what if these palengke purchases or tricycle charges could also be conducted in a cashless manner? Wouldn’t that be great? No need to bring wads of cash, be ‘bulsa-ful’ of coins and loose change. Well, GCash is making that happen right now!
Most of us are familiar with GCash, using it on a daily basis for purchases, for food ordering and deliveries. Well, GCash is diversifying their reach and application, supporting small and micro entrepreneurs by offering the GCash QR code. This drive for financial inclusion means that market vendors and even trike drivers will now have access to financial tools and solutions like e-wallet and GCash QR, in order to grow their business safely during this ongoing pandemic.
BangkoSentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor Benjamin Diokno has a vision for the Philippines to become more adept in digital currency and achieve inclusive financial growth, saying, “50% or half of all transactions should be digital by 2023, and 70% of Filipino adults should have formal bank accounts by 2023.”
And for us consumers, across a broad social strata, that’s truly welcome news. Smartphones are in the hands of so many ─ its possession is democratized by the diverse range and price points of tech companies offering us these smartphones. So, here’s a wonderful example of technology helping us go about our everyday lives in a much safer manner - an initiative that isn’t just connected to promoting usage or exclusivity, but one that’s taking public health and safety into strong consideration, and really connects to the daily lives of every Juan and Juana.
BSP Gov. Diokno also shares his insights on promoting digital payment methods: “Digitalization measures go hand in hand with ensuring a safe cybersecurity environment same regulatory environment as banks.”
Presently ongoing is GCash deploying these QR codes nationwide. They’re reaching out to associations of market vendors, sellers, tricycle drivers and operators. The thrust is to educate them on the use of the QR Codes as a safe, reliable and secure way to receive payments from their customers. Aside from accepting GCash as payment, tricycle drivers and market vendors can enjoy access to financial services made available through GCash. And let’s face it, while the impetus to adapt may be stronger now on account of the pandemic, the writing has been on the wall, that this is the way of the future.
As Martha Sazon, President and CEO of GCash was proud to explain, “The use of QR codes for small businesses and tricycle drivers is a big help because by scanning the code, you can type the amount to the merchant and give the exact amount without a problem.”
“This is part of our financial inclusion program, so small businesses can enjoy the benefits of financial technology at a time when they need it the most. Many of them are frontliners too. We should focus on helping them by providing them with tools so they can continue growing their businesses and serving their customers during the pandemic.”
The platform’s relevance is a foregone conclusion, as in the past few months, there have been an estimated 38 million registered users, and that’s a third of our total population.
In Antipolo, the LGU mandated that public transportation should enable digital payments as an option. There are over 4,300 applications from TODA drivers to enable QR payment, and that’s growing daily. GCash partnered with ACTFFI (Antipolo City TODA Transport Federation Inc), one of the largest TODA federations in the country, to facilitate this LGU mandate.
Pasig has a Cashless Ordinance, and GCash partnered with the LGU, and the Pasig City Mega Market RTW, Vendors Association Inc (PCMMRTWVAI) in order to have the Association’s vendors understand better the possibilities open to them, and how to optimize its usage.
For Ronnie Fabian, a textile store owner at the Pasig Mega Market, the GCash QR has meant added business from customers outside of the public market. When people would call and ask him to deliver, he found it too risky to accept COD terms, and with GCash, he’s able to service these orders in a manner that’s safe for both parties.
Even in Boracay, GCash found a partner in GerWeiss, a fleet of electric tricycles, e-trikes as they’re popularly called. Right now, over 30 e-trikes accept GCash payments. A company with sustainability and eliminating air pollution as its core mission vision; it was an easy fit for GerWeiss to also see cashless transactions as a way to further engage with their customers in a way that maintained social distancing.
GCash provided financial literacy education, and training, to the GerWeiss drivers, to facilitate their confidence in accepting payments via their QR code. GCash recognizes that this shift in contactless transactions may encounter some resistance at first, as “old habits die hard”. But for the vendors, trike drivers, and micro-entrepreneurs, it’s hard to ignore the over 33 million regular GCash users. 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 on Google Play. For partnerships, media inquiries and synergies, please contact the Corporate Communications Department and email email@example.com.