TECHNOLOGY

Jack Ma’s Ant Financial, Globe Telecom Launch E-Payment Service

Has the time come for cashless payments in the Philippines?

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BY Marishka M. Cabrera - 26 Oct 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Solidifying the recent joint venture of Ant Financial, Globe Telecom, and Ayala Corporation, Globe launched a new e-payment system that makes use of its existing mobile wallet, GCash. No less than Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, Alibaba’s founder and executive chairman, was present at the event held at Ayala-owned Glorietta mall.  

“The Filipinos are ready for a cashless society,” says Ernest Cu, Globe Telecom president and CEO. “We’ve all realized how difficult and inconvenient cash is.”

Cu says the partnership with Ant Financial’s Alipay brought the reverse QR, which enables merchants to receive cashless payment without a point of sale terminal or other expensive equipment. This means that merchants, including street vendors, only need a sticker with a QR code to accept payments through GCash. Customers will then have to open their GCash app, choose the Pay QR option, and scan the merchant’s QR code to begin the transaction.

“The convenient daily life of 520 million Alipay users are enjoying will soon be realized in the Philippines,” Ant Financial CEO Eric Jing says in a statement. He adds more people are getting the benefits of digital financial services in a cost-effective, efficient, and safe way because of technology.

Many Filipinos remain unbanked and lack sufficient credit information. According to Cu, the e-payment service ties in with Globe’s overall financial inclusion efforts.

Anthony Thomas, CEO of Mynt, the fintech arm of Globe, says data gathered through GCash can help them offer credit based on a merchant’s payment patterns. More often, people are rejected for loans because they cannot present a formal source of income.

In August, Alipay acquired a 45-percent stake in Globe Fintech Innovations, Inc. (Mynt), while Globe Venture held 45% and Ayala Corporation had 10%.

Globe says it plans to roll out the GCash payment system in other Ayala Malls in the coming weeks.