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The Pros And Cons Of Cashless Transactions With Gcash

If you’re a follower of the financial industry, you may have heard rumblings about the meteoric rise of a mobile payments service operating in the Philippines called GCash.

Although the brand has been around for some time, it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic that its growth accelerated. In this guide, we take a look at what GCash is, what you can use it for and ultimately consider the pros and cons of conducting cashless transactions using the service.

Pros And Cons Of Cashless Transactions With Gcash

Let’s dive in.

What is GCash?

GCash was first launched all the way back in October 2004. At the time, it was used as an SMS-based money transfer service. As time has gone on, the company has embraced new technologies and in 2012, it launched its first mobile app.

GCash is now one of the leading digital payment platforms in the Philippines. It boasts a staggering 81 million active users and 2.5 million merchants and sellers. This sharp rise in growth has been fueled in part by the global pandemic, which forced people and shops to go cashless to minimize the spread of germs.

The rise also speaks volumes to the quality of the service offered. Users can use the likes of QR codes to make payments, and it can be used for gaming and the payment of bills too.

GCash has advanced to such a level that it now offers savings accounts and physical bank cards, not only for adults but for juniors between the age of 7 and 17 too with its GCash Jr product.

What can you use GCash for?

GCash offers users a good deal of flexibility with its range of services. As mentioned above, you can use GCash for things such as gaming purchases. You can also find dedicated GCash casinos, especially in the Philippines where it is so prominently used.

In addition, you can use your GCash account to make charitable donations, pay monthly bills and you can send money both domestically and internationally if you have an active mobile phone number that’s registered in the Philippines.

Nowadays, it’s also possible to withdraw physical money from your GCash account, as well as transfer funds to other digital platforms such as PayPal.

What are the pros of using GCash?

GCash has revolutionized the payments market in the Philippines, and it provides useful support to Filipinos traveling internationally.

With one handy app, you can pay bills, transfer money and make purchases, which can all be done completely cashless and cardless as users can make payments using the app, just like with Apple Pay or PayPal.

One of the biggest benefits of the app, which is a very new feature, is the ability to save, borrow and invest money. GCash offers different products to help people achieve this. For example, GLoan allows people to take out a cash loan of up to 50,000 PHP. If you have a high GScore, which is the equivalent of a credit score, you may get more favorable interest rates.

Similarly, you can take advantage of the GCredit service which works in a similar way to a standard credit card. It lets users borrow up to 30,000 PHP on a regular basis, such as each month.

GInvest is another popular feature of the app. It allows users to invest their funds into stocks, shares, bonds and mutual funds to help you grow your balance.

Overall, there are a lot of benefits that come with using GCash.

What are the cons?

While the service offered by GCash is popular and praised, particularly for its safe and secure systems, there have been some instances in its history that have caused ripples of concern among users. 

Most recently in May 2023, there were reports of outages with the app and messages that advised users that the app was being improved and that funds were safe.

However, around 300 individuals, including some high-profile Filipino personalities, reported money disappearing from their accounts as a result of unauthorized bank transfers.

GCash denied any hacking or illegal activity and restored the funds to people’s accounts. Their approach appeared to be one of trying to brush it aside, but the Filipino government wasn’t impressed. The governmental agency, The Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center launched an investigation along with the National Privacy Commission.

In response, GCash announced that it had blocked around 900,000 accounts that it suspected were involved with fraudulent payments. They also agreed to support the government’s investigations into what went on.

This, however, is the main negative report surrounding GCash, especially in recent years. During its rapid growth, there were reports of outages, but that’s since been resolved and the app remains stable and reliable.

It also bodes well to see GCash taking a proactive approach to fixing its recent issues, but users should be mindful of any suspicious-looking transfers on their account and should report anything out of the ordinary. With that said, issues like this can help companies improve their services for users too.

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