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Fintech firm eyes Vis-Min expansion

GCash, a financial technology platform of Globe Telecom and partner Ant Financial, is looking at tapping more micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the countryside of the Visayas and Mindanao as it wants to increase usage of the system.
Officials of Mynt, the company behind the platform, said it is launching a system which will enhance the penetration of GCash in the countryside and that this will also enhance the tourism industry.
Although he did not want to preempt the program that the company will launch in March, Reyner Villasenor, vice president for corporate communications at Mynt, said over the weekend that the plan is to enhance the penetration rate of the platform to reach areas that are supposed to be underserved or unbanked by financial institutions.
In December last year, the platform expanded its reach in Boracay, a top tourist destination in the country, by tapping vendors who sell ice cream and other goods through the use of quick response (QR) codes that are printed on the merchants’ shirts.
“Chinese and other tourists who wanted to buy from these merchants need only to scan the QR codes to pay,” said Villasenor as he singled out Chinese tourists because Ant Financial, which owns about 45% of Mynt, is the subsidiary of Chinese giant company Alibaba. Of the remaining shares, about 45% is owned by Ayala-led Globe Telecom and the remainder is owned by its parent company Ayala Corp.
At present, of about 60,000 merchant partners of GCash, about 2,200 are in the city and that GCash officials said there is a huge potential for expansion because the use of smart mobile phones have expanded.
He added that the influx of Chinese tourists in the country will also enhance the expansion of the use of GCash especially in the tourism industry. “Chinese tourists usually go to merchants that are recognized by Unionpay, Alipay (the financial technology platform of Ant Financial) or Wechat,” he added.
In the GCash platform, merchants can be paid both through the use of QR code for offline purchase as well as online.
Joseph Albert Lim, Mynt vice president for Financial Institutions and Strategy, said the expansion is aligned with the broad partnership of GCash with other financial institutions like banks.
“At present, it is easier to move cash between GCash and its partner banks,” said Lim as GCash has partnered with about 30 banks for fund transfer as part of the Instapay strategy of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Lim said instead of lining up in banks to send cash to relatives, clients can use the GCash platform to transfer funds for free through accounts of the receivers in banks.


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