GCash, the country’s no. 1 mobile wallet and recently awarded by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilpinas as its Outstanding Partner for Digital Transformation, just took an unprecedented step toward giving Filipinos access to financial services.
With the launching of its Mastercard on Shelf, GCash made the once-elusive and exclusive Mastercard available to everyone—even those without bank accounts. The GCash Mastercard can be bought at Ministop, All Day, Lawson, and 7 Eleven stores for just P150.
“By making the GCash Mastercard available in convenience stores nationwide, we are democratizing access to yet another financial service that has been unreachable for the majority of Filipinos for decades,” said Fred Levy, Chief Commercial Officer for Transfers at Mynt, the company behind GCash.
“In the past, credit cards have been a status symbol reserved only for a small portion of the population. They allowed cardholders to access convenience and perks that many couldn’t even dream of. With the GCash Mastercard, we are breaking the barriers to these privileges and making the Mastercard convenience available to all,” Levy said.
The GCash Mastercard works alongside the GCash app. To activate it, the card must first be linked to a GCash account, with no minimum balance required! The GCash Mastercard can be used to pay in-store, shop online, or withdraw from any BancNet ATMs.
While many banks already offer debit cards, the reality is that 66% of Filipinos remain unbanked, mainly because they do not have the money or the documents required to open and maintain an account. Moreover, about 34% of municipalities in the Philippines still do not have physical banks, so cannot access their services.
With the GCash Mastercard, people no longer need to open bank accounts; they only need to register a GCash account. This should be easy, given that in the Philippines, 78 million people have mobile phones—44 million of which are smartphones—and 80 million people are online.
“With the GCash app, it is also easier for Mastercard owners to control their spending because their mobile wallet balance dictates how much they can spend,” Levy said. “We want to give people not just access to financial services but the tool to manage their wealth as well.”
In the event that the GCash Mastercard is lost or damaged, its users can just unlink the card from their GCash accounts and secure their money in a few clicks, eliminating the need to wait for customer service.