Globe Telecom is positioning GCASH, the company’s flagship mobile commerce brand run under subsidiary G-Xchange Inc., as a means to extend formal financial services to more “unbanked” Filipinos, a press release from the firm said.
Speaking before hundreds of mobile money transfer business leaders from Asia-Pacific at the annual MMT APAC conference and expo, Globe Telecom President and CEO Ernest Cu said that the Philippines’ high mobile phone penetration rate is good for the expansion of mobile banking and commerce into remote and hard-to-reach areas in the country, the press release said.
This, in turn, can lead to easier access to credit, thereby helping reduce poverty and spurring economic growth at the grassroots level, he added.
“Globe has brought the true convergence of telecommunications and financial services in its mobile-based electronic money wallet, GCASH. We envision GCASH to be an important catalyst in making financial services more affordable and within reach of as many Filipinos as possible, especially those at the base of the economic pyramid,” Cu said.
Recently, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines tapped GCASH REMIT, the domestic cash pick-up service of GXI, for the expansion of the Conditional Cash Transfer program to more remote areas across the Philippines, the press release said.
GCASH is the largest remittance network in the Philippines with 18,000 payout outlets, the press release said.
Globe maximizes outlet availability by providing more accredited payout locations — 9,000 traditional and airtime outlets like pawnshops, loading stations, sari-sari stores, gift shops, pharmacies, internet cafes, food establishments, and cellphone shops on top of 9,000 ATMs nationwide, it added.
GCASH also continues to widen its ecosystem, forging international and domestic partnerships to provide various services such as remittances, savings, loans, and bills payments, among others, the press release said.
It has forged strategic alliances with Western Union, RCBC, Xoom, MoneyGram, New York Bay Remittances, Trans-fast, Vodafone Qatar, Belgacom International, Carrier Services, Boku, Multiply, and Friendster.
These are additions to the 60 rural banking partners serving more communities and microentrepreneurs using the GCASH platform on top of other key partners like Villarica, Tambunting, Palawan and Prime Asia pawnshops, SM, and Mercury Drug, the press release said.
In October 2010 GCASH made a major breakthrough in being the first non-financial institution to launch a customizable ATM Card linked to a mobile wallet that provides 24/7 access to over 9,000 ATMS in the country.
In 2009, Globe acquired 40 percent stake in BPI Globe BanKO Savings, Inc.
BanKO’s main thrust is to serve the needs of those who are traditionally unbanked or underbanked, using mobile and related technology, the press release said.
The bank also aims to come up with new innovations specifically for micro-finance institutions that will enable them to expand their customer outreach over time, the press release said.*