The coronavirus pandemic highlighted the importance of keeping an emergency fund, studies show.
A recent consumer expectations survey by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) revealed that more Filipinos are now building their own savings accounts, with 73.9-percent of respondents setting aside money in their banks for unforeseen situations.
Aside from its impact on public health, COVID-19 is also proving to be a financial emergency. The BSP is bracing for a downturn for the national economy, as well as a 2.2-percent increase in the price of basic goods. Businesses are also taking a big hit from the lockdown, as massive layoffs are still expected to come, leaving Filipinos financially handicapped in the middle of a public health crisis.
Having reached more than two months of quarantine which last until May 31, the Philippines is one of the countries with the longest lockdowns in the world. In an effort to flatten the curve general community quarantine has been imposed in most parts of the country until June 15, while seriously affected areas remained under tighter quarantine protocols.
This has forced a lot of Filipinos to grow more mindful of their personal finances. According to a white paper released by AdSpark, Inc., a portfolio company under Globe Telecom’s 917Ventures, consumption of Personal Finances as a topic grew by 800 percent from January 2020 to end of March 2020 when most Filipinos were required to stay at home.
Mindful of these, GCash, the leading mobile wallet in the Philippines, is empowering Filipinos to efficiently manage their finance and save up for their futures.
GCash Save Money, a collaboration between GCash and CIMB Bank PH, provides an easier way for Filipinos to set up their own savings account or emergency fund. It is the first ever bank account that can be opened and maintained straight from the GCash app.
This spares verified GCash users the trouble of filling up multiple forms and lining up at the bank just to open up a bank account. GCash Save Money allows depositors to earn 3.1 percent per annum on balances, paid out monthly. This interest rate is the best in the industry, beating traditional banks that only offer up to 0.25 percent per year.
As an added bonus, GCash Save Money users who have average daily balances of P100,000 and above in the months of June or July 2020 are entitled to a 4-percent interest rate p.a. prorated for those months.
Users would also not have to worry about fees as well as there is no initial deposit and maintaining balance.
“Now more than ever, it’s important for us to practice financial literacy and make wise spending decisions in the middle of a pandemic. GCash Save Money shows us that it’s possible for all walks of life to set up their own emergency fund. Financial inclusivity is at the heart of this collaboration,” GCash Head of Data and Financial Services JF Darre said.
Any Filipino citizen above 18 years of age who owns a fully verified GCash account and a valid government ID can deposit under GCash Save Money.
GCash Save Money users can easily track their balance and transaction history through the “Save Money” button in the GCash app. They can also seamlessly move up to P100,000 per month between the deposit account and the e-wallet.
“GCash Save Money is also more secure than traditional cash handling and the Filipino habit of keeping cash in various places in their houses. Aside from being regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), GCash Save Money accounts are also insured by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) for up to P500,000,” Darre said.
As digital fund transfers increase in number as millions are in lockdown, financial technology is expected to play a big part in the new normal. Mobile wallets and e-deposit accounts are not just a matter of convenience in the era of social distancing, they have become necessities to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by making transactions go contactless instead.
“GCash Save Money is enabling more and more Filipinos to save as the days go by, especially now that they Filipinos are more mindful of their personal finances. We have seen this trend grow through our new customers and we are happy to empower them with a digital tool that allows them to financially secure themselves for the future,” Darre said.
So far, GCash has opened 2.2 million GCash Save Money accounts to date, further promoting financial inclusion in the country.
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/.