Standard Chartered launches Philippine mobile wallet
Standard Chartered has launched a mobile wallet in the Philippines through a partnership with Globe Telecom, in a deal that will tap into demand for mobile money in one of the world’s strongest remittances markets.
Last year, the Philippines received $25 billion in funds through remittances – payments sent from the estimated 11 million Filipino workers abroad to their families in the Philippines. These flows are lucrative, and banks have been keen to engage with remittance flows for several years. Standard Chartered says that the Straight2Bank Wallet service it is launching with Globe Telecom through its subsidiary G-Xchange will be one of the first of its kind in Asia.
The Philippines is a market where 70% of the population does not have a traditional bank account, so historically many transfers have had to be made in cash. Cash-based processing is limited by inefficiencies such as manual processing, potential for fraud and lack of accountability. According to Standard Chartered, the benefits of the mobile wallet include the ability to boost financial inclusion, as well as to save time and remove risks.
The new service enables clients such as development organisations, international organisations, non-bank financial institutions, agricultural companies and fast-moving consumer goods companies to make payments to both banked and unbanked individuals such as aid workers, trainers, policy holders, farmers and other beneficiaries.
“We are delighted to partner with GXI to offer an innovative financial solution that allows corporates to pay individuals through their mobile wallet,” said Joel De Vera, country head of transaction banking, Standard Chartered Philippines. “This means payment beneficiaries are not required to open bank accounts to receive payment. This is the bank’s way to support the government’s thrust of boosting financial inclusion. Individuals or payment beneficiaries can receive payment via ordinary phone. You do not even need a smartphone and internet, all you need is a cellular signal to receive payment.”
The launch of the Straight2Bank wallet in the Philippines will be followed by its rollout in Thailand in Q3 this year, and plans are in place to expand to other markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Standard Chartered, which has been working with Globe Telecom as its cash management bank for the last ten years, has just launched mobile payment services in Nigeria and added mobile collections capabilities in Kenya. The bank launched mobile payment services in Kenya in September 2013. In Nigeria, it partnered with eTranzact International to provide mobile payment services through the Straight2Bank mobile wallet.