Providing access to the gatekeepers of the family’s finance: GCash empowers Filipino women to be included in the financial landscape


For Filipinos, mothers are considered to be their light of the homes. They provide direction, clarity in difficult situations, and they manage the everyday lives of the Filipino family.

Women also play as the gatekeepers of the finances of Filipino homes. Typical in the Philippines, the husbands give their salaries to the wives, who then distributes the total household earnings to the daily needs and occasional wants of each member of the family.

Given this, it comes at no surprise that women are much more included in the local financial landscape, according to data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Based on the latest central bank survey on financial inclusion, 38.9 percent of women in the Philippines have formal bank accounts, while only 30 percent of adult men hold savings accounts.

But while this may sound progressive, it should be noted that only 32 percent of Filipino adults have accounts to formal financial institutions. This means that almost seven out of 10 adults in the Philippines are still excluded from the financial landscape.

Globally, people who are excluded from the financial space often cite the lack of funds, high costs, access, and documentary requirements as reasons for not having an account at a formal financial institution.

This dearth in access, banking costs, and issues pertaining to identification are problems that are now being addressed through financial technology (fintech). Leveraging mobile technologies and applying them to finance, people now have a much simpler way to participate in the formal financial landscape.

As managers of the family’s wealth, women, in particular, should have greater access to finance and have more knowledge about how financial tools and instruments could help them balance their needs and their funds.

“We at GCash recognize this strong need of Filipinos — especially women, who handle the laborious task of managing household finances — to be included in the financial landscape. By employing data-driven and people-centric strategies, we are harnessing the power of mobile digital finance to provide financial access to more Filipinos, and allow them to reap the immense benefits of being included in the finance space,” GCash Chief Technology and Operations Officer Pebbles Sy-Manalang said.

Through GCash, individuals have access to a spectrum of financial services such as credit, savings, insurance, and even investments, all of which are previously untapped by the masses due to various constraints.

With a GCash account, Filipino mothers are now empowered with the ability to manage their families’ finances with ease.

“By using GCash, Filipino women can now save money with better-than-industry rates. They can also tap into a credit line for emergencies, have her family members insured, and even invest in money market funds for her family’s future,” Sy-Manalang added.

GCash also believes that it is important that Filipino mothers are also educated with ways to effectively manage their finances through financial technology, and that is why it provides useful information for each financial service in the app, as well as its various channels online and offline.

“We need to have financially-educated and decisive mothers, as they will also be the ones to impart those characteristics to their children. As we celebrate International Women’s Day this month, we hope to empower more women — especially Filipino mothers — to have greater access to finance,” Sy-Manalang said.


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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.