In 2014, e-wallet GCash adopted a cloud-first policy that enabled it to create and provide tailor-fit products and services to Filipinos. Amazon Web Services (AWS) was tapped to become its partner and provide critical support, including training, architectural design, and cloud evangelism.
Today, the partnership continues as digital financial transactions are becoming the norm and when financial inclusion is at the forefront of financial technology providers’ mission.
While the number of Filipinos with access to banks and electronic money channels like GCash jumped to 41 million in 2021, the Philippines still has a long way to go. Only 2% of the country’s population have credit cards. Financial technology (fintech) enabled unbanked Filipinos to gain access to various financial services.
“GCash is a super app that digitizes everyday payments and money transfers and provides access to various financial services such as savings, investment, loans, insurance, and digital lifestyle services like food delivery, shopping and even gaming,” Pebbles Sy, chief technology and operations officer at GCash, during the virtual briefing with AWS. “During the pandemic, we became the lifeline to 60 million Filipinos, that means over 70% of the adult Filipino population now have GCash.”
GCash is a cloud-native applications meaning its entire infrastructure sits in the cloud. Its migration to the cloud takes away the heavy lifting associated with traditional IT and has allowed the company to increase agility and deliver scalable, reliable platforms while keeping the costs down.
“It also means that we can now devote more time and resources to deliver new products and services,” Sy said. “Our partnership has now evolved from strengthening our tech practice through education and certification programs. And ensuring that our core systems are well architected bridging us to a broader network of potential partners. This has expanded the ecosystem that we can tap into so many ways.”
“AWS enables customers to reduce the managerial overhead of operating technologies,” said Peter Murray, head of Financial Services for ASEAN at AWS. “Moving to an internet-based delivery service and ensuring that the customer, in this case GCash, is able to access the services on demand that they require in order to power and underpin their business as well as the product delivery roadmap.”
According to Murray, when developing new services, technology conversations with GCash are focused on the product and customer. The fintech firm emphasizes the need to provide a seamless customer experience.
“The flexible infrastructure that cloud technology and AWS is able to offer enables a culture of experimentation, enables a culture of building, enables a culture of working,” Murray said. “The flexibility and the scalability of the cloud technology has supported the business growth but also this relentless customer focus that the GCash teams have.”
Moving forward, the two companies are anticipating growth and evolution of digital financial services, which may require an even more flexible technologies. AWS sees that modernization of core and critical applications will be important building blocks in ensuring that more people are reached by digital financial services.