HELPFUL AMID PANDEMIC. A sari-sari store owner says offering digital financial services has been helpful since there would be lesser time to go to remittance centers. This helps people to avoid contracting Covid-19, she adds.  (Photo courtesy of April Mae Araracap

MANILA – Fintech startup Mynt wishes to empower more Filipinos, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and overseas workers, by leveraging how the GCash app could help them in their digital transactions, its executives said.

"We want to mobilize the economy, help (the MSMEs) grow, especially in the 'new normal'," Fe Olivia Mir, head of growth marketing, said in a recent webinar.

Sari-sari store owner April Mae Araracap has been accepting payments via GCash, and also offers cash in/out transactions in her store.

"It is a huge help for me, because aside from earning, there would be lesser time to go to remittance centers," she told the Philippine News Agency on Friday.

This has become a huge help during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, since people could avoid contracting the virus, Araracap continued.

Mynt chief executive officer Martha Sazon has acknowledged that the demand for digital payments and transactions has increased during the pandemic. There are over 40 million registered GCash accounts to date. As such, the firm has been working on expanding the capabilities of the app beyond being an e-wallet.

Further, Mynt targets to make the financial services app accessible in every cornerstone, Sazon added.

The firm sticks to its goal of "finance for all Filipinos", which Sazon said means enabling even the ordinary "Juans" to save, invest, and insure their money conveniently at affordable prices.

According to Araracap, she noticed that many people are now using GCash, and thought of including it in her business. "It does not require a huge capital, and I am just using a revolving fund," she said.

Sazon, meanwhile, emphasized that she wanted financial services to be within reach, wherein one does not need to go to the bank, as transactions can now be done through a few taps.

"Our OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) could send remittances to their families simply by using the app," she said.

Online seller, Monic Rancap, said she already had clients abroad who pay for their purchased bags via GCash.

"This app is really helpful to entrepreneurs like me who do online business. Big advantage of using it is the fast payment transfers, and there is no need to physically transact in a bank," Rancap told the PNA.

She also pointed out that using the app is convenient, as it supports almost all known banks in the country.

Fred Levy, Mynt's commercial officer, said they want to redefine the app's role among the MSMEs, and targets to launch new tools for them every quarter. MSMEs can have their own QR codes to avoid missend of payments.

Mynt is also eyeing to enable OFWs pay their bills back home, invest, and access other local services such as buying groceries for their families.

The firm is working on enabling the OFWs to access those services even without a local sim card. Currently, OFWs need to have a Philippine sim card to remit their money. "We will make international remittances as simple as possible," Levy said. (PNA