MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Philippine mobile wallet GCash has partnered with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the local government of Tagbilaran City for the rollout of the Paleng-QR Ph program in the Bohol capital.
The Paleng-QR Ph program, jointly developed by BSP and DILG, aims to build the digital payments ecosystem in the country by promoting cashless QR payments in public markets and local transportation, particularly tricycles.
“Under this partnership, our merchants at the Dao Public Market and the rest of the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Tagbilaran City are enjoined to display their GCash QR code at their stores with the statement ‘We accept GCash here’. This way, we are empowering our small vendors to adopt cashless transactions in our efforts to boost digitalization in how they do business,” said Martha Sazon, Chief Executive Officer of GCash.
The launch gathered key officials from GCash, BSP, DILG, Tagbilaran local government unit (LGU), and market stakeholders.
Capitalizing on the QR Ph initiative, the program, which was launched in June 2022, seeks the policy championship and enjoins LGUs to push for the acceptance of digital payments among market vendors, community shopkeepers, and tricycle operators and drivers (TODA) in all cities and municipalities in the country.
Onboarding of vendors, MSMEs
With the program’s entry to Bohol, Martha noted that they have so far onboarded a total of 5 public markets, 133 market vendors in Dao, and 155 TODAs to allow payment through GCash.
Currently, there are about 138 active GCash Pera Outlets where GCash users can cash in and out.
GCash QR codes deployed as of January 10 are all operational and widely used by locals and tourists. GCash to GCash transactions continue to remain free of charge ensuring convenience to its patrons.
“We fully support the Paleng-QR initiative of the government because we believe that in order for Filipinos to really adopt cashless transactions, the natural place to introduce this is where they usually spend their money – the wet markets or palengkes. We aim to enable more Filipinos to thrive in this digital era,” Martha explained.
Expressing her optimism on the program’s rollout in Tagbilaran, City Mayor Jane Yap pointed out that this is an important breakthrough in the City’s financial inclusion efforts.
“We welcome this milestone partnership with GCash, especially since we, at the City Government, have been supporting the City’s efforts towards digitalization. This is an important step to achieving that goal. With this collaboration, we are optimistic about the economic benefits that it will bring especially to our Boholano vendors,” Mayor Yap said.
By using the GCash app, merchants can quickly receive and transfer money securely and conveniently with just a few taps on their smartphones, saving them time and effort. In the same way, it is also convenient for customers who use digital and cashless payments.
“We have definitely made progress in this program. We are on the right track in making financial services easier to access and understand through our GCash app. With this long-term partnership, we aim to create a brighter, more financially-inclusive future for Filipinos,” added Martha.
Currently, GCash has over 71 million users nationwide, giving Filipinos easy access to savings, loans, investments, and insurance.