GCash sees hypergrowth in fintech access, lending & Super Apps

Financial technology (fintech) is democratizing access to financial services, especially in developing countries like the Philippines and super apps like are becoming the trend as both businesses and consumers take on more loans.

These are the top trends in Southeast Asia as the region of over 600 million people becomes a top fintech market, according to Winsley Bangit, Chief Customer Officer of Mynt, which operates e-wallet platform GCash, during FinTech Fireside Asia’s webinar on “Unlocking FinTech Opportunities in Southeast Asia.”


“A lot of fintech will move into providing access to the unbanked and underserved," he pointed out.

"That’s where access is going to be more important, both in providing democratized affordable solutions and delighting customers.”

Significantly, fintech is now a tool for greater financial inclusion.

Access to financial services may be currently unevenly distributed, but fintech can serve as an equalizer and a key to bringing the whole region into a very different space in the near future.

Countries like the Philippines, which suffers from very low bank penetration, have the opportunity to leapfrog through democratized access.

GCash, for instance, was able to provide financial access and an inclusive digital lifestyle to more than 50 million Filipinos, or 70 percent of the adult population, many of whom are unbanked, Bangit pointed out.

Super apps like GCash are also becoming a trend as people shift online for their essentials.

Already, pure-play fintech and regional app players have evolved and expanded to become fintech-led super apps that can provide multiple services from e-commerce and financial transactions to online communications.

“What's good about Southeast Asia is that there are a lot of categories ripe for digital disruption – transportation, logistics, e-commerce, retail, etc. And every day, consumers are looking for the right solutions,” Bangit explained.

“Because various formal and informal categories are under-penetrated with regards to digital services, Super Apps have a role to play in making things either accessible in one space or making transactions seamless across all categories.”

Another trend in financial services that will lead growth in the region is consumer and business lending.

“That's a very big space. We see it being adopted not just by local players but also by players moving into the region,” according to the executive.

Many people and micro businesses do not have proper documentation to get a credit score and uplift themselves.

But with its vision of access and inclusive finance, GCash has introduced various innovations in lending – from installments, Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) solution, personal loans, merchant loans, and short-term credit.

“We're trying to explore the range of how we could empower individuals and businesses, especially the small ones,” Bangit noted.

So far, GCash has tapped and digitized more than five million local businesses.

Although Southeast Asia is a mix of markets, the spotlight has begun to shine on developing countries.

“There's a thriving startup scene in Indonesia and Vietnam. And in a span of half a year, the Philippines gave birth to two unicorns, one of which is GCash," said Bangit.

"The appeal of other Southeast Asian markets is already there. As fintech players, we will continue defining the industry and creating a lasting impact. That’s where the genius of fintech will be, particularly in the region,” he concluded.