Jack Ma, Chinese tech help PH slay cash as king of payments
MANILA – Black and white signs have begun to pop up beside thousands of cash registers in the Philippines, enticing users to scan them with their smartphones to pay for anything from burgers to bikinis.
With help from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Financial, Mynt CEO Anthony Thomas is among those leading the fight to dethrone cash as king of payments in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
Mynt’s GCash, which is on 7 million Globe Telecom smartphones, can be used in 16,000 payment terminals. It is but a fraction of the 640 million users of Ant Financial’s Alipay and 600 million on rival Tencent’s WeChat Pay in China.
Filipinos can be converted to mobile payments if they are convinced that their smartphones can double as a gateway to financial transactions, Thomas told ABS-CBN News.
“That’s how we create a virtuous flow where more money now sits electronically because it’s just safer, more convenient, cheaper and faster,” said the Indian-born former Citibank executive.
“Today, it’s cash that’s predominantly accepted at merchants. It’s not credit cards, it’s not debit cards, it’s very cash driven. So this, we believe will open it up because of the way we are creating fulfillment. That’s GCash QR codes,” he said.
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