By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Developing the local financial technology (fintech) industry will help boost the competitiveness ranking of the Philippines in the coming years as it aids in the creation of an enabling environment that promotes improved human capital, according to a local fintech company.
GCash President Anthony Thomas said building a cashless ecosystem that enables the development of the digital economy across different industries will play a key role in improving the Philippine rank in the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
“Fintech presents a wealth of opportunities and benefits for the overall economy. Aside from reducing corruption and chargers attached to maintaining a paper-based payment system, fintech also promotes greater financial inclusion and enables government agencies and businesses to process transactions seamlessly. All these benefits will play a key role in improving the country’s competitiveness ranking,” Thomas said in a statement.
In the latest WEF report, the Philippines fell by eight places to 64th from 56th out of 141 economies surveyed by the WEF, after garnering an overall score of 61.9 points in 2019 from 62.1 points the year prior. The points are measured by a dozen factors ranging from infrastructure to innovation capability, taking into account measurements on productivity, human development, and economic growth.
Thomas said introducing fintech into different services will help create a more seamless process for the delivery of goods and services, including government transactions.
“By adopting fintech solutions, government agencies and companies are creating more value for consumers, while providing them with better and more seamless processes that ultimately lead to better productivity and, as a byproduct, economic growth,” Thomas said.
McKinsey Global Institute reported that digital finance has the potential to increase the gross domestic products (GDPs) of emerging economies — like the Philippines — by as much as six percent by 2025.
In the Philippines, GCash leads the cashless revolution, which is marked by better access to payments and financial services that are delivered through mobile phones and the Internet. Hailed as the preferred fintech of Filipinos by Nielsen, GCash has the widest reach of partners that range from government institutions, local government units, non-profit organizations, and business establishments.
GCash enables Filipinos to pay for their transactions with government offices such the National Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippine Statistics Office, the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the Social Security System, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Maritime Industry Authority, Pag-IBIG, and the local government of Quezon City.
It also allows citizens of Makati make the most out of their local IDs by infusing GCash’s technology into the Makatizen Card, bringing residents closer to government services such as payments of taxes and government fees. They can also use the Makatizen Card to receive cash allowances, stipends, and other cash benefits, as well as for personal remittances and other financial transactions.
GCash has also been tapped by different sectors in the transport industry such as Grab, Beep, Cebu Ferry, BGC Bus, Lalamove, Corominas Taxis, Araneta Center Bus Terminals, and even tricycle organizations all over the Philippines.
GCash is also present in multiple business processing outsourcing companies as well as schools like De La Salle University, Ateneo, and Enderun.
Aside from this, GCash users may also use their GCash accounts to transact in various malls, convenience stores, drug stores, and supermarkets — from Ayala Malls to Puregold — and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) like stalls in public markets.
“Our broader goal as an organization is to provide finance for all and we will continue to bring GCash into different industries to support the cashless revolution that is currently happening in the Philippines. As a strong government partner, we are committed to helping the Philippine economy grow and be more competitive in the years to come,” Thomas said.
Today, GCash has the widest mobile digital financial services in the Philippines. Beyond sending and receiving money, GCash users are enabled to pay for their bills online, buy airtime load, invest money, and have access to savings and credit lines. They may also use their GCash apps to pay for physical transactions and transfer money to and from other banks and fintech players.