Paris, France (BBN) – The world is moving on from cash. Globally, the number of non-cash transactions reached 433.1 billion in 2015, a record growth of 11.2%. The US leads the way, followed by the Eurozone and China, according to Capgemini and BNP Paribas’ latest World Payments Report.
Another data crunch earlier this year ranked the world’s top 20 economies on their credentials as “cashless societies”, with Canada topping the list, closely followed by Sweden, the United Kingdom, France and the US, reports CNBC.com.
In the cashless world, governments are able to reduce costs, tackle corruption, boost tax revenues and even throttle cash-reliant black economies such as drug dealing; small businesses are able to grow customer base and income through innovative e-payment options, set up new revenue streams such as recurring payments and in doing so, increasing credibility.
For individuals, e-payments can offer convenient, easier, more secure options to buy what they want or need, as well as provide services such as money transfers through text message, even if they’re “unbanked”.
Asia’s inclusion in the cashless society rankings starts at sixth place thanks to China, but others in the region lag far behind. However, rapid change is afoot in 2017.
The Philippines – where e-payments account for just 9% of consumer spending – is the fastest growing smartphone market in Southeast Asia.
This opens innovative, in-hand e-payment solutions to a potential user base of millions.
Indeed, one recent study found that e-commerce in the country is growing by more than 30% year-on-year, with 62% of Filipinos sharing the view that carrying cash is unsafe and 57% preferring faster, more convenient transactions. So it’s little surprise that innovation locally in the market is now meeting this appetite.
In October, the Philippines’ already popular GCash mobile wallet from Globe Telecom, Ant Financial, and Ayala Corporation, was revamped to include a new “scan to pay” feature, allowing customers to pay for goods and services by using their smartphones to scan QR codes displayed by merchants. The service’s existing five million users – who mostly use it for cellular credit top-ups, bill payments and money transfers – are expected to double in the next 12 months, as it partners with more merchants, including street vendors to enable scan QR payments.
For consumers, such innovation eliminates the hassle and risk of carrying money, waiting for change, or misunderstandings over payments. But the service also pays close attention to customer security, allowing the mobile wallet amounts to be increased only after identity verification. For merchants, scan to pay eliminates the expensive machines normally required for processing mobile money transactions.
Ultimately, entire countries previously off the radar on e-payments are now able to take huge strides along the path to being cashless societies, thanks to financial technologies such as GCash that make payment transactions easier, more secure, and more convenient.
By using the power of collaborative thinking between companies and the effective combining of resources, innovation can be delivered that truly benefits everyone, from governments, merchants, right down to individuals. And that’s as powerful incentive as any to wave goodbye to papery denominations, pockets full of metal… and old habits that die hard.
GCash is an internationally-acclaimed micro payment service which transforms a mobile phone into a virtual wallet for secure, fast, and convenient payment transactions.
GCash is partnering with Ayala Malls across the Philippines to ensure this service is as accessible as possible. Through doing so, Globe Telecom hopes to speed up the digitalization of the country to actively use technology and make Filipino lives easier.