As the country’s digital landscape continues to flourish, the business and other industry sectors are jumping to join the innovation bandwagon. Developments in technology have allowed virtual payments possible in the country where “cash is king.”
Aware that digital transformation is now a global trend, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is pushing hard to promote paperless and cashless transactions, targeting to hit 20 percent of business payments in the country to be completed digitally through e-payments. But the BSP is also aware of the huge challenges it faced given the reality 70 percent of the Filipino adult population remain unbanked.
Stimulating digital payments is the BSP’s way to provide financial inclusion of every Filipinos. But there is hope.
“The time has come for mobile payment adoption in the Philippines,” Ooi Huey Tyng, Managing Director of GrabPay Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines said during the Seamless Philippines Conference Event. In the event, the BSP announced its partnership with Grab Philippines, as well as local and international financial institutions to allow digital payments more accessible and convenient.
Grab Philippines’ Grabpay mobile wallet is acknowledged by the BSP as one of the most frequently used online to offline mobile platforms in Southeast Asia which could support its online payment initiative.
The BSP also granted GrabPay an e-money license allowing the company to rapidly expand its mobile wallet feature by launching a super app interface called Grab superapp.
This superapp is seen to deliver expanded services to its users such as bills payment, food ordering service and shopping from Grab’s partner stores and merchants, Tyng said.
She said the superapp interface would be available by 8 October and will showcase options to top-up prepaid load from the Grab app and digital payments under its e-money license. In addition, the GrabPay mobile wallet built into the Grab app offers a low-entry barrier to secure cashless payment options for both consumers and merchants.
Tyng said the Philippines would be the fifth country to integrate this feature in the Grab app following Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia.
She explained the country has the highest percentage of unbanked population where the majority transact in cash, making it an attractive market to tap for e-payment transactions.
She added the Grab superapp could boost the central bank’s goal of financial inclusion by introducing cashless payments to its users which will encourage them to forego with cash transactions and go digital.
“Consumers will soon be able to benefit from a full-fledged, safe and convenient mobile wallet, without having to leave the convenience of the Grab app,” she said.