The last few years have been unprecedented, with the whole world struggling to contain and beat the COVID-19 virus. It has been a time of major adjustments, as we redesigned our lives around the new normal. However, it has also been a time of rapid technological transformation and adoption of digital services, with the Philippines & the ASEAN region at the forefront of this shift.
During the crisis, we found ourselves in a unique position to help Filipinos, guided by our vision of financial inclusion and our purpose of "making Filipinos’ everyday lives better." At GCash, we strive for meaningful positive impact that will serve our community.
Vital digital financial products and services
With the government-mandated lockdowns limiting consumers’ access to banks, payment centers, and supermarkets, we offered users convenient and safe means to perform everyday tasks such as bill payments and bank transfers. We also made purchasing groceries and other necessities easier and safer by launching GLife, our ecommerce shop and mini-app proposition.
GCash also offers a full suite of digital financial services, including savings, credit, investments, and insurance. We strive to make financial services affordable, easy to access and easy to understand. During the pandemic, we launched relevant offers such as COVID-19 and dengue insurance, giving our users some peace of mind during turbulent times.
We strive to offer Filipinos a sense of security that the pandemic may have ripped away – a sense of financial security for themselves, their families, and their businesses.
Providing access to financial products and services is vital since 2/3 of the Filipino population do not even have a bank account. Now, 1 out of 5 banked Filipino adults are able to save and grow their earnings through GSave. In addition, 77% of all UITFs in the Philippines are now investing through GInvest. At one point, 1/3 of new life and non-VUL insurance policies in the country came from GInsure. These all show that we have made some progress in our push for financial inclusion.
Helping start-ups and microentrepreneurs
The pandemic also made it necessary for many businesses to pivot to the digital space. We saw many people who could not leave their homes, start their own small online businesses. There are now over 5 million social sellers and merchants on GCash.
Beyond offering a cashless payment solution, we launched GLoans, to help out entrepreneurs with their need for capital. We also started offering GCash Pro BizStarter99, which supports their business operations by enabling more efficient collections and collection tracking, with an increased wallet limit for customer payments, as well as 5X cashback on bank transfers and free insurance coverage.
Ultimately, at GCash, we strive to offer Filipinos a sense of security that the pandemic may have ripped away – a sense of financial security for themselves, their families, and their businesses.
Our studies show that only around 26% of Filipinos have access to a physical bank. There is still so much more we can do in terms of pushing for financial inclusion.
Achieving unicorn status
Two years later, the GCash user base has more than tripled in size, with more than 66 million users that we aim to help every day in the new normal. That number is equivalent to more than 80% of the adult Filipino population now enjoying the benefits of having a GCash account. We have made strides to tap the unbanked market, and offer them access to financial services through GCash.
As we have become a part of Filipinos' everyday lives, we are proud to make history as the country’s first unicorn, and a double unicorn at that — valued at over $2 billion.
What made GCash successful is that we sought to be a lifeline to Filipinos when the world closed down. In the new normal, we are moving forward with the country, as everything opens up again.
Moving forward with purpose
Amid all the company’s wins, there is still so much more that we can do in terms of pushing for financial inclusion. Our studies show that only around 26% of Filipinos have access to a physical bank. At GCash, we continuously strive to innovate based on the needs of Filipinos.
In line with our vision, we will continue to make financial services more accessible, especially lending and investments. We recently added the GGives feature on the app as a “buy now, shop later” option with affordable installment plans for up to 12 months.
We also aim to reach more areas beyond Metro Manila that have limited access to banks. We continue to collaborate with associations like the Tricycle Operators and Drivers' Association (TODA) and engage sari-sari stores to serve as GCash Pera Outlets and GCash Padala centers so customers can claim and send money through their neighborhood vendors.
We are working to expand the GCash app for all Filipinos, including the youth and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). We continuously add more remittance options so our OFWs can easily send financial support to their loved ones back home in real-time.
Amidst the biggest problem that this generation has ever taken on, digitalization has helped us adapt and thrive as a nation. This has helped us not only to get through the past two years, but also to prepare for the future.
We will continue to do our best to help Filipinos thrive in the digital future, through everyday innovations, whether big or small. In a world of constant, unpredictable change, GCash will continue to support Filipinos.