THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) has approved the use of e-wallet GCash abroad with international SIM cards, the company said in a statement on Thursday.
G-Xchange, Inc., which offers GCash and is a subsidiary of Globe Fintech Innovations, Inc. (Mynt), said the approval of the beta launch of GCash Overseas will make it the first and only e-wallet in the Philippines to have this capability.
This will allow Filipinos in Japan, Australia, and Italy to sign up for GCash without the need to use a Philippine SIM card.
“Under the beta launch, only the first 1,000 users from Japan, Australia, and Italy can access GCash with an international SIM card. Once they’re fully verified, Filipinos overseas regardless of their SIM card can begin signing up for GCash and support their families back home by sending money for free (GCash-to-GCash), paying for bills on time, and instantly buying them load credits with just a few taps on the app,” the company said.
“We continue to make a difference in Filipinos’ lives by making financial services easier and more accessible to our now 76 million-strong registered users. With around 10 million Filipinos living abroad, we want them to also be able to take advantage of GCash services even as they use international SIMs. As more people put their trust in GCash, we strive to remove more barriers and create a better experience for all,” Martha Sazon, GCash president and chief executive officer, was quoted as saying.
The beta mode launched on Thursday will run for a limited time, with the full rollout expected later this year.
GCash has been working to expand its services worldwide, through its partnership with global payments platform Alipay+.
The e-wallet can now be used to pay at select merchants in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Qatar, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy, among others.
GCash ended 2022 with 76 million registered users, 5.8 million merchants and social sellers, and 855 GLife merchant partners, it said earlier this month. It has also disbursed over P57 billion in loans since its launch across two million unique borrowers.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) sees financial technology platforms helping it reach its goal to have 50% of retail transactions done online and bring 70% of Filipino adults into the banking system by the end of this year.
The share of digital payments in the total volume of retail transactions jumped to 30.3% in 2021 from 20.1% a year earlier, latest BSP data showed. The value of payments done online stood at 44.1% of 2021’s total retail transactions, higher than the 26.8% share in 2020.