GCash expands to South Korea

By: Philstar
Source: philstar

GCash is a mobile wallet service by Globe Telecom.

MANILA, Philippines — E-wallet giant GCash has added another Asian country to its reach, this time expanding to South Korea to serve the financial needs of Filipinos living and working there.

GCash yesterday said it has tied up with Seoul-based broker E9pay to extend another remittance option for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in South Korea.

The partnership allows OFWs to send cash to the GCash accounts of their families and friends in the Philippines through E9pay at competitive rates.

Under this, E9pay will require only the receiver’s phone number for the funds to be transferred. Since the transaction is digital, the money would arrive within a few minutes or hours, faster than the usual remittance process that could take a day.

GCash International general manager Paul Albano said the collaboration with E9pay would benefit the more than 60,000 Filipinos in South Korea, as GCash continues to broaden its presence abroad.

Based on immigration data, the foreign population in South Korea reached 2.25 million in 2022, with Filipinos accounting for the sixth largest share.

E9pay CEO Jun Goo Hyok said he expects the Filipino population in South Korea to further grow once Seoul expands the employment permit system (EPS) as planned.

The system allows employers to hire foreign workers if no local is interested in a job, and South Korea plans to broaden the EPS to cover the manpower requirements in its factories.

In the future, GCash and E9pay want their partnership to go beyond remittances. They intend to offer financial services for the flow of funds between the Philippines and South Korea, covering transactions like hospital fees and tourist payments.

Awaiting complete data, South Korea has received around 308,000 tourists from the Philippines as of November 2023. The Philippines welcomed 5.45 million visitors in 2023, and South Korea accounted for over a fourth of this total at 1.44 million.

Last month, GCash received approval from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to push through with its plan to introduce its financial services to OFWs in Europe and the Middle East.

With BSP’s approval in hand, GCash is expanding to Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East and to Germany and Spain in Europe within the year.