If you’ve read other posts on OpenFinInc or Financial Inclusion at the Bottom of the Pyramid, you’ve discovered GCash mobile banking as an example of worldwide financial inclusion. Mobile transactions, enabled by entrepreneurial firms, provide millions of people in emerging markets with financial transaction ability on their handsets. Without entrepreneurial firms like GCash, citizens from Africa to India would still use cash exchanges.
I interviewed Paolo Baltao, President of G-Exchange about its GCash mobile money service in 2014. A subsidiary of Globe Telecom in the Philippines, G-Exchange operates GCash, providing mobile financial transactions to over one million Filipinos, spread across thousands of islands stretching into the heart of Indonesia.
Philippines – GCash Mobile Banking Homeland
To understand GCash, here’s a brief article about this vast group of islands.
At the entrance to Indonesia, the Philippines spreads across over 7,000 islands. Yet only 2,000 have inhabitants.
You’re living in the fields of the Philippines, growing sugarcane, bananas, Palay (rice) and corn. You and your family get paid in pesos once a week.
You don’t have a checking account; in fact, you’re unbanked. Cash in, cash out, one of 2.5 billion people on Earth who live without financial services.
Transferring money without a bank account is burdensome, taking two hours or more out of the day for transportation and waiting in line. And BILLIONS of dollars flow into the Philippines from far-a-way countries to relatives.
Every few months your cousin, one of ten million Filipinos who works overseas, sends you a cash remittance to make ends meet (10-15% paid to Western Union or another payment processor with high fees).
Mobile Transaction Solutions – Easy and Economical
Considering that 80% of the Filipino population is unbanked or underbanked, having a telco-enabled banking service has lessened the burden of consumers carrying cash. More than that, Filipinos using GCash’ services to save time and money while they run small businesses or work for other entrepreneurs.
With a GCash mobile banking account, consumers easily deposit pesos into electronic wallets. It’s safe, secure. Customers top off phone minutes and pay bills via mobile phones. When relatives send remittances, money goes directly into mobile wallets at lower transfer fees than other commercial services. Filipinos now control their hard-earned pesos without worrying about bank branches nearby.
If GCash members have relationships with banks, they can easily transfer money from their accounts directly into GCash mobile banking accounts. Paolo says The Central Bank of the Philippines has supported GCash mobile money services since its beginning.
To convert cash into GCash costs nothing. Cashing out, is 1.8%,
They’re 8000 GCash mobile money services outlets and ATM’s for bank customers near a terminal
GCash Recent Developments – Amdocs & Bux.com Partnerships
Amdocs, a U.S. technology firm, recently partnered with GCash to enhance its services:
Amdocs said the enhancement will enable G-Xchange Inc.(GXI), the subsidiary of Globe which operates GCash, to expand and scale up its capabilities to address evolving mobile financial services market needs such as delivering bulk payment for salaries and government disbursements.”
Bux.com, another vendor, provides services to Filipinos without bank accounts.
Filipinos who lack bank accounts or without banks in their area can use bills payment, mobile phone top up, and e-commerce. Bux.com and GCash help unbanked Filipinos easily open accounts and handle transactions.
Learning More About Worldwide Financial Inclusion
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