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Mobile money to drive financial inclusion

The rising usage of smartphones paired with access to internet is driving the Philippines to reaching financial inclusion, a mobile money payment provider said last week.

Albert Tinio, president of G-Exchange Inc., operator of mobile money payment service GCash, said in a statement more Filipinos have started to adopt digital platforms, which opens the possibility for financial services to reach the big chunk of the population that remains unbanked.

The telco noted 106 million Filipinos have active SIM cards; 73 million mobile phone users, 34 million of which are smartphone users; and 67 million Filipino are using the internet.

“Filipinos have come of age and are ready to take the next step forward. We are world leaders when it comes to social media and we are very comfortable with the Internet. We have gone beyond calls and text and we seek to do more with our mobile phones. Thus, mobile financial services present an opportunity to complement mainstream financial services to serve millions of financially underserved Filipinos,” Tinio said.

Leading the charge for this adoption are the youth as well as enterprises, he added.

Telco giants PLDT Inc. and Globe are advancing digital adoption among enterprises, for an example, through quick response (QR) code system present in various merchants to allow consumers to purchase goods via their smartphones or buy loads and transfer money through mobile apps PayMaya and GCash.

Globe recently launched GCredit in its digital wallet platform digital wallet platform, introducing a trust score allowing users to avail loans. It also partnered with Alipay HK for cross-border remittance business to allow overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Hong Kong to send money online in seconds using the GCash app.

The Ayala-led telco currently has 8 million active users.

PLDT’s PayMaya including Smart Money, meanwhile, also have 8 million users. Last year, Paolo Azzola, chief operating officer at PayMaya, said the group was targeting to cover 30 million users by 2020.

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