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Globe GCash pioneers FinTech solutions in PH

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Globe GCash pioneers FinTech solutions in PH

11:43 AM November 19, 2015

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MORE THAN a hundred CEOs and senior financial executives gathered in 
Cebu last September to join the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
 discussions of the Cebu Action Plan (CAP).

In an event entitled “Finance Sector Roundtable and Dialogue with Apec 
finance officials and Ministers,” details of the CAP were presented to 
the private-sector delegates who were allowed to share their views on 
the pressing issues confronting the financial industry and economies
 in general, and to give additional suggestions on how the financial
sector can help pursue the objectives of the CAP.

Xavier Marzan1

CAP is a development roadmap drafted by the Philippines, with inputs 
from development partners and other member economies of the APEC. The 
four key pillars of CAP include financial integration; fiscal reforms 
and transparency; financial resilience; and infrastructure development 
and financing.

“Private sector participation is a crucial determinant of success and
 sustainability in any endeavor. As host of the 2015 Apec meetings, we
are pleased to see the overwhelming participation and interest of
financial sector executives in the discussions on the Cebu Action 
Plan,” Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said.

“Regional financial development and integration are needed in Apec’s 
financial markets to achieve economies of scale. In this regard, we
 will continue to promote financial integration, while balancing other 
considerations, such as investor protection, market integrity,
 regulatory conditions, monitoring de-risking, and financial stability,
 as these will pave the way for greater intra-regional trade and 
investments, and facilitate the development of more inclusive
 financial markets across Apec,” Pacific Rim finance ministers said in
 a joint statement.

Financial inclusion

Among the issues discussed during the meetings was financial
 inclusion, wherein ministers tackled the need to ensure that
 affordable financial services can be available to all, particularly
 the micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.

“To this end, we will promote trade and supply chain finance and 
alternative financing mechanisms in Apec to facilitate intra-regional 
trade and investment activities and greater regional integration, and 
boost inclusive growth,” Apec finance ministers said.

Philippine companies, for their part, have been doing their fair share 
in providing products and services that can help enhance financial 
inclusion in the country.

Leading telecommunications provider Globe Telecom is at the forefront of enabling financial inclusion with its Globe GCash, an internationally-acclaimed mobile money service of its wholly-owned subsidiary G-Xchange Inc.

Xavier Marzan2

“If you look at the Philippine market, three out of four Filipinos do
 not have access to bank accounts. Those that have bank accounts do not 
access the various financial services available to them and are still
 very much underserved. At the same time, about 40 percent of our 
municipalities do not have a physical banking presence. So there are
 very few people and businesses today that have access to these 
financial services,” Xavier Marzan, President & CEO of GXI explained.

Innovative services



In the last couple of years, Globe has also commercially launched
 innovative and first-in-world mobile payments services including GCash 
Beep Mastercard, GCash Powerpay+, and Globe Charge mPOS.

GXI, whose services have earned various international accolades, has 
also established a wide network of local and international partners 
that includes government agencies, utility companies, cooperatives,
 remittance companies, universities, enterprises, banks, and commercial
 establishments that leverage GCash as a means of payment for products 
and services via mobile phone or other digital channels.

“From our perspective, the markets we are serving are the unbanked and 
the underserved segments and this market is quite significant
 domestically. Our goal today is to scale up our reach and distribution
 so that we are able to cater to more people and businesses outside of 
the urban areas. In addition, we do have regional aspirations and 
we’re working on potential partnerships,” Marzan related.

“If you look at the region, there are multiple countries that are in
 the same situation as the Philippines (wherein about 1 to 2 billion
 people are unbanked). That’s why our vision is to ‘bank’ the next billion 
which includes the Philippines and other markets. The future is really 
bright because providing Filipinos access to financial services that
 help them achieve their dreams in many different ways is something
 that really matters not only to Globe but to the country in general,”
Marzan added.

Wide acceptance

Currently, Globe GCash is enjoying a wide acceptance among users and
 is continuously growing. Records showed that for 2014 alone, GCash
 grew its active base and transaction counts by over 100 percent.

“Our live base is currently around 3 million and our aim is to grow
 the number exponentially in the next few years. The challenge is 
always in education and encouraging customers to use it for the first
 time-—financial services are quite complex and by adding technology to 
it, it becomes even more complicated. However, once customers start
 using GCash then they become engaged with the service,” Marzan
 related.

“Although GCash is at the forefront of innovation in financial services, at the core of what we do is basically financial inclusion. We provide financial services to those who are unbanked or underserved by the financial sector today, both in terms of consumers and merchants. With our GCash Mastercard product, which is a debit/prepaid card attached to the GCash mobile wallet, we enable the masses access to digital commerce,” Marzan added.

GCash now has more than 13,000 fixed partner outlets that accept cash 
in and cash out transactions. These are a combination of pawnshops, 
retailers, convenience stores, distributors, including the likes of
 7-11, Puregold, SM, etc.

“We are focused on rapidly expanding this base by growing into our 
Globe retailer base. The vision is to have a ‘cash-in point in
 every barangay especially if we want financial inclusion. Likewise,
 we are evolving the traditional businesses of GCash into more payments
 and transactions. We will continue to push the boundaries of 
innovation,” Marzan concluded.

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TAGS: APEC, apec 2015, apec special, FinTech, GCash, Globe
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