GCash: No plans for digital bank for now

GCash (G-Xchange, Inc.), the country's top financial app, has "no plans to get a digital banking license at the moment", although it's not saying never, the company told Manila Bulletin.

Asked what Gcash can do that a digital bank cannot do, the company responded,

"Our position as a platform player gives us the opportunity to continue to collaborate with other financial institutions so that they can offer their products to our 60 million and growing digitally-savvy user base."

"We believe that customers have varying needs and that is why we are providing options through having different bank partners offering various propositions."

"Even without this license, we are already able to offer a full suite of financial services (savings, investment, insurance, credit and loans) — making it accessible, affordable and easy to understand for all Filipinos," GCash reasoned.

Having a digital banking license is not a silver bullet, Ernest L. Cu, President and CEO of parent firm Globe Telecom and GCash President and CEO Martha Sazon maintained in an earlier virtual briefing, after competitor Paymaya opened its own digital bank.

"Becoming a digital bank is not a magic solution to be able to address all the current problems of the industry," GCash reiterated todate.

"As a platform, we are best-served to reimagine solutions that can best work for the consumer," the company told MB.

"You need to build the user base and it takes more than just having a digital bank to do that. There is real work to be done in acquiring users, getting them to inhabit various use cases and eventually educating them into more complex financial services."

Financial inclusion is of vital importance to GCash.

"It's a massive effort, which needs the collaborative efforts of the regulator, the financial institutions and the fintech platforms."

At present, one in every five banked Filipinos has a GSave account.

GSave was created by GCash and CIMB Bank, one of Southeast Asia’s largest banks, to address the population's need for more accessible financial services.

GSave is also set to onboard the Bank of the Philippine Islands to give consumers more savings and financial product choices.