The country’s favorite virtual wallet, the GCash app, held their first ever GCash Digital Excellence Awards recently. And while at one level it was GCash giving recognition to their institutional partners who have innovated, transitioned, and helped GCash’s drive to the astounding record of 51 Million users in 2021—it was, more importantly, a potent message of how GCash had been a driving force for safe, contactless financial inclusivity, during a time when health and safety protocols made such a mobile wallet more important than ever.
To pay bills, to buy load, to send money, to shop, to financially transact—at a time when we needed to do this from the safety of our homes, or when outside, doing so in a safe manner; it is GCash making this easier to happen conveniently and reliably. This digital inclusivity became the virtual lifeline for so many Filipinos—from students, to fish vendors, sari-sari store owners, and tricycle drivers—all needing a medium by which they could transact, or ply their business, to survive; and GCash led the way in providing the means.
Hosted by Chito Maniago of GCash, and Issa Litton, there were multiple awardees subsumed under six major categories, and it was a testament to how crucial GCash was keeping it ‘business as usual.’ that so many of the awardees showed up, recognizing how vital a role GCash had played during this pandemic.
Of course, the first order of the day, was to have GCash President and CEO Martha Sazon offer her welcome remarks. And then, we had Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno discoursing on the digital transformation in the banking system; and how contactless and cashless transactions were not only the wave of the future, but was already here. Mobile wallets such as GCash, with its current level of 51 million subscribers and growing, was proof positive of how mobile wallets were here to stay.
I mentioned earlier the six major categories; and along with a listing of who the awardees were per category—the roll call of the GCash Digital Excellence Awards are as follows:
Excellence in Innovation & Leadership Award—to the City Government of Makati, and to the DTI.
Excellence in Digital Public Aid Distribution was awarded to DSWD & the SSS; and in the LGU section, to the City Governments of Makati and Muntinlupa.
Excellence in Digital Public Service Award —to the Pag-Ibig Fund, to Parañaque, and to the DTI.
Excellence in Digital Ecosystem Innovation—in the NCR, the City Government of Quezon City and Antipolo. For Regional, Lapu-Lapu City, Tagbilaran City, and Samal Island. And for the Water Districts, Baguio, Metropolitan Cebu, and Davao.
Excellence in Digital Advancement of the Youth—to the University of Makati in Makati, to the Muntinlupa Science High School, Bulacan State University, the Eastern Visayas State University, and Caraga State University.
Excellence in Digital Financial Inclusion—awarded to Rameses Systems Inc., to the City Government of Makati, to the DTI, to the BSP, and the second District of Bataan.
All in all, along with the musical numbers of Lani Misalucha, it was a wonderful way for GCash to cap this banner year, to give recognition to their partners, and to put in relief how GCash is championing financial inclusivity.