Leave the cash at home and shop with your smartphone
You may not be able to multitask as much as you want to, but it seems there is no limit to what your smartphone can do.
The mobile phone, whose functions include making calls, sending text messages, taking photographs, making videos, recording audio, Googling information, among other things, has now also become an e-wallet (electronic wallet), allowing you to go shopping without carrying a lot of cash.
A joint venture between Ant Financial, Globe Telecom and Ayala Corp. opens retail shopping to e-payments using smartphones.
Mall goers will get the chance to experience GCash’s cashless shopping feature, including big store promotions and rebates, on Nov. 11, #GDay, at Glorietta.
Albert O. Tinio, GCash president and chief executive officer, said the new smartphone application will make payment for purchases “more convenient and more secure.”
GCash covers a wide range of products and services. Tinio said you can use it to buy prepaid cards for your phone, pay various bills, send money, and even pay your taxes online or offline.
Globe is partnering with various establishments to let you use GCash to pay for purchases using the QR code, defined as “a machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone.”
No expensive machines
Business owners also benefit from the new system as they do not have to install expensive machines to accept payments. GCash provides QR code stickers that customers can scan to pay. As the exact amount is collected through the process, you do not pay more than you should by not getting the correct change, while the establishment does not have to stock up on coins to give the exact change.
GCash thinks the system will also work for ambulant vendors, many of whom are already smartphone users.
In a recent media preview of the the new Globe GCash, Tinio said scanning the QR code will let consumers “pay quickly and securely. Digital payments can be made in about 30 seconds.”
Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu said, “Now that more people are using data on their smartphones, the time is ripe to enable digital payments using the smartphone… Our challenge today is to make digital payments the preferred choice among our customers, instead of cash or credit cards.”
Tinio said some 75 percent of Filipinos do not have bank accounts, while 40 percent have no physical access to banks. But 33 million of the country’s total population of 103 million are smartphone users, and 60 million of 73 million with mobile phones are online.
GCash partnered with Ant Financial, an affiliate of Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group, to develop the GCash smartphone app, which is patterned after Ant’s payment system.
“Ant Financial, Globe Telecom, and Ayala Corp. collaborated to accelerate financial inclusion in the Philippines and transform Mynt to become a global mobile payment brand,” Tinio said. Mynt is a financial technology company and Globe affiliate that operates GCash to provide innovative and first-in-world solutions to consumers, merchants and organizations.
The move is in keeping with Mynt’s goal “to enable the aspirations of the financially underserved.”
Cu said, “In this country, only 5 percent of the population have credit cards, leaving almost everybody to carry cash all the time to pay for something. Today, we are introducing the third method of payment— GCash. We found the right partner and the right time to really scale up the business and change the way we use financial services.”
Digital financial services
Eric Jing, Ant Financial CEO, said, “In the past months, Ant Financial has worked closely with the GCash product of Mynt, as we are dedicated to bringing digital financial services to our friends in the Philippines. Technology is helping more people enjoy the benefits of digital financial services in a cost-effective, efficient and safe way. I hope we may share our technologies and experiences with our partner, helping them to better serve more local users.”
Capping the media preview was a screening of the film “Thor: Ragnarok,” with Ma in attendance. He was in the country to receive an honorary doctorate from De La Salle University. Also in the audience were Jing, Cu, Ayala Corp. president and CEO Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Land president and CEO Bobby Dy, Tinio, and Anthony Thomas, Mynt president and CEO.
Pioneering in the use of the new and improved GCash are Ayala Malls led by Glorietta. Many shops and restaurants, as well as cinemas, in the mall are now GCash and QR code ready, as the Nov. 11 event will show.
Coming on board the GCash system soon are other Ayala malls. With the GCash scan-to-pay feature, customers can catch up with the cashless experience of shoppers in other countries.
To experience the convenience of the new GCash, download the app on Google Playstore or the App Store. Reload your E-wallet in GCash kiosks and digital payment booths around Glorietta or any Ayala mall, Globe stores nationwide, and over 13,000 partner outlets, including all 7-Eleven branches. You may also link your E-wallet to your account with the Bank of Philippine Islands, another member of the Ayala Group.
If your Globe/TM SIM (subscriber identity module) card expires but you still have money left in your GCash account, the balance may be transferred to a newly created account linked to a new mobile number.
The E-wallet might be closed if your GCash has zero balance for a year. It might be suspended if there is no transaction in six months and you will be charged a dormancy fee of P50 per month. –CONTRIBUTED
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