Can the Philippines become a cashless society?
Technology on the palms of our hands is becoming the next big thing. Before, you have to wait outside when booking a cab, but today, you can sit patiently in the comfort of your house or office until your app tells you that the driver is arriving.
Before, you also have to go to the shopping malls to buy one item. But today, you can head to online shopping sites to make a purchase.
Before, you have to take some extra steps (literally) to order your favorite meal or cravings. Today, just some taps on your phone and you can get it delivered to your doorsteps right away.
These are just some of the before, and after stories of convenience, we are experiencing daily. The only question I have in mind is this: what is the future of this technology?
The Missing Link
From the beginning of the rise of the internet, there has always been a missing link between businesses exploiting the power of the world wide web and their customers trying to make a purchase – payments.
Most of the businesses today have websites that inform and educate their customers about their products, their company, and their activities. But not everyone is going to the “all-digital” route. After their customers making a decision, they still have to go to a physical store to pay their invoices.
Some of the businesses do CODs (cash on deliveries). However, merchants still have to wait for a couple of days before their logistics partner remits the payment. It’s a hassle, and in business, every second count.
Banks here in the Philippines are now making the move from the traditional cash payments to this new cashless system. Some banks like Octo by CIMBBank allows the opening of a savings account without having to go to their branches.
GCash, for another, enables you to have a digital wallet you can use for online and onsite transactions as it is powered by Mastercard. Landbank of the Philippines also has this Link Biz Portal that allows merchants to collect online payments from their customers.
The possibilities are endless and these steps are the beginning of this cashless society we’ve been aiming.
As end-users, it’s our responsibility to adapt to the solutions created by these providers. So, can Philippines become a cashless society? The answer is yes, but only time will tell when it will be widely used by the masses.