PayMaya, GCash announce successful trials of mobile money interoperability
PayMaya Philippines Inc. (formerly Smart eMoney Inc.), the digital financial services arm of PLDT and Smart Communications Inc. (Smart), announced that it has successfully conducted mobile money interoperability trials between its digital payments mobile app PayMaya with Globe Telecom’s GCash as part of an initiative of the GSMA in making mobile money services more inclusive and accessible to Filipinos, particularly among those without access to banking services. This is the first successful interoperability trial in Southeast Asia between two mobile money providers.
Moves toward local mobile money interoperability took a huge step Monday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, where mobile money operators from the Philippines and key officials from GSMA are gathering to step up plans for integrating mobile money systems in the country within the year.
GSMA’s initiative is also in line with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas-led vision for a National Payments Retail System in the country which PayMaya Philippines, as a non-bank financial institution, supports. Other stakeholders of the NPRS program include banks, remittance providers, microfinance and other financial institutions. PayMaya Philippines is the company behind pioneering mobile money service Smart Money, leading domestic remittance provider Smart Padala and the more recently launched PayMaya app, which is now the number one financial payments app in Google Play.
“This is a step toward advancing the future our digital economy. Even before this initiative, we have pioneered a mobile payments solution that can be used by users from any telco provider by launching PayMaya, an over-the-top digital service. Interoperability, therefore, is but a natural progression in the ongoing evolution of financial technology services in the country,” said Orlando B. Vea, president and CEO of PayMaya Philippines.
As the providers of the first and only telco-agnostic mobile wallet and payments service in the country, PayMaya also reiterated its full support behind mobile money interoperability in the country, which will soon allow users to receive and transfer funds from their PayMaya accounts to other mobile money users nationwide.
“This move underpins our commitment to help drive mobile money adoption by removing barriers between different providers. We advocate mobile money interconnection to lower cost, increase convenience and formalize cross-border remittance flows,” said John Rubio, President and CEO of Mynt, a fully owned financial services subsidiary of Globe. Mynt is also the mother company of G-Xchange, Inc. which operates GCash. “We are confident that more consumers would be more open to adopt mobile money services if they can send cash to anybody regardless of what mobile provider they are using especially if this means more efficient services and lower prices.”
With interoperability in place, users of PayMaya in the country can soon send funds to users of other mobile money systems, including the likes of GCash, and vice versa. Aside from domestic remittances, GCash and PayMaya are also expected to collaborate on merchant payments, bulk payments, government-to-person payments (G2P), and person-to-government payments (P2G), among others. This move is seen to boost the growth of mobile money usage in the country, and in turn expand the local digital commerce ecosystem.
“We welcome this milestone on the mobile money interoperability initiative between Smart/PayMaya and Globe G-Cash. This development comes on the heels of the launch of the National Retail Payment System (NRPS) Framework in December led by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and fully supported by the industry, which aims to create a safe, efficient, reliable and affordable electronic retail payment system that is interconnected and interoperable,” said BSP Deputy Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr.
In a speech delivered by BSP Amando Tetangco Jr., he said that studies have shown that shifting from paper to electronic-based payment system could generate an annual savings of up to one percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
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