Groups ride digital payments boom
Two of the country’s biggest business groups are riding a boom in digital payments through their financial technical units during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ayala Group’s GCash, backed by a venture between Globe Telecom and China’s Ant Financial, saw mobile money transfers surge higher by 1,000 percent in August alone.
At the same time, the group of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan announced the acceleration of cashless transactions from telecommunications to toll roads via platforms such as PayMaya, backed by PLDT Inc. and China’s Tencent.
“Minimizing face-to-face interactions, particularly in payments, not only helps curb the virus, but also facilitates smooth, seamless and convenient customer experience,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
The group noted that customer payments via PLDT and Smart’s digital channels have jumped threefold versus last year.
For GCash, its most used service is the “send money” feature.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, Filipinos find that GCash Send Money is the easiest and fastest way to transfer money whether it is for sending or remitting money to loved ones or doing payments to online merchants or other small and medium enterprises,” GCash president Martha Sazon said in a statement.
GCash has partnerships with remittance centers such as Western Union, MoneyGram and other centers from the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Pangilinan’s group also rolled out digital payments across business units in electricity retail and tollroads.
Manila Electric Co. accepts payments online on its app as well as PayMaya, Smart Money and GCash. Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., one of the country’s biggest operators of expressways, is shifting to full RFID toll collections by November this year to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
This was in line with a mandate coming from the Department of Transportation for operators to use cashless modes of payment.
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