PayMaya announces successful trials of mobile money interoperability in PH

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS, BARCELONA, 21 FEBRUARY 2016 – PayMaya Philippines, Inc. (formerly Smart eMoney, Inc.), the digital financial services arm of PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), announced that it has successfully conducted mobile money interoperability trials between its digital payments mobile app Paymaya with Globe’s GCash as part of an initiative of the GSMA in making mobile money services more inclusive and accessible to Filipinos. This is the first successful interoperability trial in Southeast Asia between two mobile money providers.

Moves toward local mobile money interoperability took a huge step today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, where mobile money operators from the Philippines and key officials from GSMA are gathering to step up plans for integrating mobile money systems in the country within the year.

GSMA’s initiative is also in line with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas-led vision for a National Payments Retail System in the country which PayMaya Philippines, as a non-bank financial institution, supports. Other stakeholders of the NPRS program include banks, remittance providers, microfinance and other financial institutions. PayMaya Philippines is the company behind pioneering mobile money service Smart Money, leading domestic remittance provider Smart Padala, and the more recently launched PayMaya app, which is now the number one financial payments app in Google Play.

โ€œThis is a step toward advancing the future our digital economy. Even before this initiative, we have pioneered a mobile payments solution that can be used by users from any telco provider by launching PayMaya, an over-the-top digital service. Interoperability, therefore, is but a natural progression in the ongoing evolution of financial technology services in the country,โ€ said Orlando B. Vea, President and CEO of PayMaya Philippines.

As the providers of the first and only telco-agnostic mobile wallet and payments service in the country, PayMaya also reiterated its full support behind mobile money interoperability in the country, which will soon allow users to receive and transfer funds from their PayMaya accounts to other mobile money users nationwide.

Growing mobile money usage

With interoperability in place, users of PayMaya in the country can soon send funds to users of other mobile money systems, including the likes of GCash, and vice-versa. This move is seen to boost the growth of mobile money usage in the country, and in turn expand the local digital commerce ecosystem.

โ€œWe welcome this milestone on the mobile money interoperability initiative between Smart/PayMaya and Globe G-Cash. This development comes on the heels of the launch of the National Retail Payment System (NRPS) Framework in December led by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and fully supported by the industry, which aims to create a “safe, efficient, reliable, and affordable electronic retail payment system that is interconnected and interoperable,โ€ said BSP Deputy Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr.

โ€œAs we have done with collaborations with the BSP in the past, we are fully committed to support this initiative led by the GSMA, cognizant of the benefits it will bring to millions of mobile money users around the country,โ€ said Benjie S. Fernandez, co-Chief Operating Officer of PayMaya Philippines.

In a speech delivered by BSP Amando Tetangco, Jr, he said that studies have shown that shifting from paper to electronic โ€“based payment system could generate an annual savings up to one percent of the countryโ€™s gross domestic product (GDP).

Leading the FinTech wave

Interoperability with other mobile money operators is just the latest in the intensified drive for financial inclusion in the country as led by PayMaya as well as Voyager Innovations, the digital innovations arm of PLDT and Smart. Aside from offering a safe and easy way to pay online through the PayMaya app and cards, Voyager has also launched groundbreaking and award-winning Financial Technology innovations for the growing digital consumers of today.

This includes the likes of Mobile Loan Saver in partnership with Landbank, which allows government employees to take out salary loans via SMS; and Lendr, a fully digital, multi-channel, telco- and bank-agnostic platform that financial institutions and credit providers can use to reach consumers planning to avail themselves of loans through a single online โ€œmarketplace.”

PayMaya is powered by Visa and is regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to ensure all user transactions are secure. For more information about PayMaya and how users can get their own PayMaya card, simply download the PayMaya app available on the App Store or the Play Store, or visit