41 million Filipinos strong

Published June 8, 2021, 9:32 PM

by Philip Cu Unjieng

As GCash began the virtual launch that would highlight their new and exciting partnership with Air Asia, the other very interesting announcement had to do with the fact that they’ve now topped the 40 million subscribers mark.

In their drive to upgrade fintech (financial technology) here in the Philippines, it’s interesting to note that GCash, a wholly owned subsidiary of Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. (Mynt), found maturity and widespread acceptance as the payment app-of-choice over the last year. It may be ironic to say it in such a brutally honest manner, but it took a pandemic and the corollary health concerns, to truly make the public wake up and realize the value of cashless, online transactions.

GCash President and CEO Martha Sazon

Growth for GCash has been steadily rising, and it soon became a matter of expanding coverage, forging partnerships, and thereby enchanting the contact points and possibilities subsumed under GCash use. The virtual launch I was invited to attend is just one of the new and important such partnerships, and it’s a collaboration that will metaphorically and literally, “take off” in due time.

It’s Air Asia and GCash working together; and while travel restrictions may still be a hindrance for the moment, you can’t sit there and not tell me that you’ve not been missing travel. Whether to go abroad, or to explore the different facets of local tourism, I’m sure so many are chafing at the bit, eager to once again succumb to their wanderlust, and restart the travel button.

Air Asia CEO Ricky Isla

Both GCash and Air Asia are only too aware of this situation, and so the partnership was strategic on all counts. The convenience and safety of booking Air Asia Philippines flights and paying via GCash can not be underestimated. Filipinos have grown accustomed to engaging in financial transactions via the GCash app, and the partnership has expanded the vistas of what can be transacted.

On the Globe/GCash side, not only was GCash President and CEO Martha Sazon present, but Globe’s President and big boss Ernest Cu was on hand to welcome Air Asia to the GCash fold. For Air Asia, CEO Ricky Isla and CFO Rey Berja took up the cudgels. Also present on the GCash side were Frederic Levy, Chito Maniago, and Luigi Reyes; while for Air Asia, we had Steve Dailisan. Issa Litton more than ably hosted the event, and even got one media representative commenting that his heart beat shot up during the games and raffle prizes portions of the launch.

The ceremonial toast celebrating the GCash and Air Asia partnership

It’s almost a given that virtual launches of this sort follow a by-now expected sequence; so it was refreshing to have Issa drum up genuine excitement and anticipation throughout the event with her energy. Interesting to note from this, how few of the media guests dropped out early.

And it’s great to appreciate how the touch points of GCash and Air Asia will go beyond booking flights. Air Asia has expanded its virtual engagement to booking hotels, eating in restaurants and even retail. Parallel to this is how GLife on GCash has evolved to be a virtual marketplace. In no time, I’m sure an entry point to all that Air Asia offers can be availed of via GCash.

In more ways than we can count, GCash is the face of tomorrow, at our fingertips today.

All smiles while keeping time with our Future Fintech world