Fintech dev’t seen to boost Philippine competitiveness ranking
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - November 3, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s global competitiveness ranking, which saw a big drop this year, could get a significant boost with the development of the local financial technology (fintech) industry, the head of mobile wallet GCash said.

GCash president Anthony Thomas said building a cashless ecosystem that enables the development of the digital economy across different industries would play a key role in improving the Philippines’ ranking in the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

“Fintech presents a wealth of opportunities and benefits for the overall economy. Aside from reducing corruption and charges attached to maintaining a paper-based payment system, fintech also promotes greater financial inclusion and enables government agencies and businesses to process transactions seamlessly. All these benefits will play a key role in improving the country’s competitiveness ranking,” Thomas said.

The Philippines slipped eight places to rank 64th out of 141 countries in the WEF’s latest Global Competitiveness Report amid lower rankings in the information and communication technology adoption and macroeconomic stability pillars.

Thomas said introducing fintech into different services would help create a more seamless process for the delivery of goods and services, including government transactions.

“By adopting fintech solutions, government agencies and companies are creating more value for consumers, while providing them with better and more seamless processes that ultimately lead to better productivity and, as a byproduct, economic growth,” he said.

McKinsey Global Institute reported that digital finance has the potential to increase the gross domestic products of emerging economies — like the Philippines — by as much as six percent by 2025.

Currently, GCash has the widest reach of partners in the country that range from government institutions, local government units, non-profit organizations, and business establishments to enable users with better access to payments and financial services.

“The use of fintech for the development of the country is immense. There are many more use cases that we are planning to launch very soon, and using our platform to drive economic growth both in the macro and micro level is a role that we want to sustain in the long run,” he said.

GCash, which is operated by Globe Fintech Innovations Inc., has 20 million registered users, overtaking the total number of credit card holders, and over 63,000 partner merchants nationwide to make financial transactions easier for Filipinos.

GCash enables Filipinos to pay for their transactions with government offices such as the National Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippine Statistics Office, the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the Social Security System, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Maritime Industry Authority, Pag-ibig, and the local government of Quezon City.

ANTHONY THOMAS WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
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