Finding a digital ally during the pandemic


In a situation as precarious as today, everyone tends to gravitate toward a sense of security and stability, especially financially.

For Andrew Bautista, all he needed was the assurance that he would be able to provide for his family. The 33-year-old father wears many hats–tricycle driver, delivery rider and now, with the help of GCredit, sari-sari store owner.

The pandemic has left every Filipino dangling over the cliff of uncertainty. With three children, Bautista sought the helping hand of GCredit, the credit platform of the country’s leading digital wallet, GCash.

When he gained access to GCredit, Bautista immediately sought the essentials.

“Ibinili ko ng gatas ng anak ko,” he said matter-of-factly.

The Pasig City resident recently started a small business, the quintessential sari-sari store, to help his family get through the lockdown that forced thousands of Filipinos in Metro Manila to stay at home.

“Malaking tulong talaga siya…Ngayong lockdown kasi, kelangan ng dobleng diskarte lalo pa’t hirap sa pamamasada, and nakakatakot lumabas,” Bautista said.

With the questions of a murky future remaining unanswered, Filipinos have found an ally in GCredit.

“Meron kang magagamit na pang-alalay…may matatakbuhan ka, kasi alam mong andiyan lang siya, steady lang, kumbaga meron kang katulong,” Bautista said.

Household staple

Boasting a 700-percent year-on-year growth in May alone, driven primarily by bank cash-ins and online payments, GCash has become a new household staple.

Now, over 20 million GCash app users obtained a credit score with GScore, even without prior credit history. Through increasing their GScore, users are able to gain access to GCredit, a surprisingly easy process credit facility in contrast to the usual requirement-heavy applications in traditional banks.GCredit, is able to provide eligible users with their own credit lines, extending their budgets during the quarantine.

GCredits acts just like a traditional credit card, without all the fuss and hassle of getting one. It makes credit accessible to all—helping users in far-flung areas as well—as many of the formal requirements in banks may not be available to many Filipinos.

Since it was first introduced in 2004, GCash has offered various digital solutions to the unbanked and underbanked. Staying true to its mission of financial inclusion, it introduced its digital credit facility, GCredit two years ago.

Seeing an unprecedented growth in the middle of a pandemic, the financial technology giant filled their role in the “new normal” with ease.

Last June, GCash disbursed P5 billion in loans through GCredit, making it more accessible to over 550,000 Filipino users.

For 37-year-old Arnie Martinez, her small sewing business, was, quite literally, hanging by a thread.

“Karamihan ng supplier ng garments ay sarado, dahil hindi siya kabilang sa ‘essentials,’ kaya ang impact sa kanila ay kailangan talaga maghigpit ng sinturon,” she recounted.

With the new coronavirus disease limiting the capacity of every Filipino, most have turned to the power of technology, with applications like GCash thrust into the spotlight.

Even under lockdown, the responsibility of bills and necessities continues to burden many Filipinos. Martinez turned to GCredit when it came to paying bills, especially with the quarantine making it more difficult for everyone to access cash.

“Dun sa mga pagkakataon na hindi dumadating yung inaasahan kong pera, pero may kelangan ng bayaran na dues, meron akong mapagkukunan,” she said.

With a stay-at-home order dangling over everyone’s heads, grocery runs have turned into an occasional practice. With lines snaking around our local groceries and everyone geared with their own personal protective equipment, buying the essentials has become a chore that entailed arduous planning.

With GCredit, users are able to breathe a sigh of relief. Because of quarantine, most Filipinos prefer to buy in bulk, and the digital credit facility has given users more purchasing power.

Users are able to buy more with the credit line, instead of being restricted with their budget, in order to minimize exposure to the deadly virus.

Over the past 12 months, the digital credit provider boasts a 115-percent increase in activated credit lines, entailing the growth of its user base.

Disbursements in the past 12 months also doubled, boasting a 214-percent increase and providing greater financial support to Filipinos.

Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. (Mynt), which operates GCash, is part of the portfolio companies of 917Ventures, the largest corporate incubator in the Philippines wholly-owned by Globe Telecom Inc.

GCash is available for download on the App Store and Google Play. For more information, kindly visit https://www.gcash.com/.


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Gabriel

Introvert, wanderer, blogger, foodie, a hip-hop music writer, and one of the co-founders of a tech start-up company called GigsManila.