August 30 in the Philippines is also known as National Heroes Day. A day not only meant to celebrate the names in history books, but also the millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who sacrifice every day to provide for their families back home and create a bright future for themselves.
While working overseas may be a dream for many, it comes with its own set of challenges and sacrifices. OFWs have to deal with not being physically present for milestones of their loved ones or not being able to take full control of where the money they send goes to.
This is why one of the leading mobile wallets in the Philippines, GCash, has designed its features to be accessible to Filipinos overseas.
Those based in the Philippines have experienced the ease and convenience GCash has to offer, and those abroad can experience the same, too.
''I first realized I could use GCash abroad when my dad told me to download it to receive relief payments from our local government during the pandemic,'' explains Kamae Magsanoc, a marketing professional based in Sydney. ''While I did not have use for it myself, I was able to access [the payments] and send it back to my family where they could put it to good use. Since then, I have explored the app and was pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to use, not too dissimilar from our banking apps here in Australia,'' she says.
Filipinos abroad can download the app and register provided they have an active and roaming Philippine sim. According to Magsanoc, it was easy for her to sign up and verify her account. She has since used the app's Money Transfer feature on several occasions. ''Although I cannot be with my family right now, I was able to celebrate my recent promotion with them. I transferred some money and it went straight into their accounts.'' According to her, the fact that GCash has multiple remittance partners makes it easy to cash in.
Magsanoc also likes to use it to send presents to her family. ''I like to support small Filipino businesses. Most, if not all of them now accept GCash, so I can purchase from these small shops, send them to my family, and pay directly. For example, my parents recently celebrated their anniversary and I was able to send my mum flowers from their local florist. It is really convenient,'' she says.
Joseph Azrael Daluz, a relief assistant educator also based in Australia shares that he has been using the app for a few months now. ''I use it for transferring money to my family, relatives, friends, and people in need,'' he says. ''I prefer GCash since it is safe and more convenient. It needs fewer details compared to bank transfers. I just need three details - full name, address, and cellphone number, and I can do it through my mobile phone anytime I want to.''
According to him, the app has made it easy for him to manage his finances, even from overseas. ''I do not have to stress over asking for details to those I want to send money to for help. It is quick and easy and I can focus on more important things. There are a lot of people getting sick nowadays because of the health crisis and the consequences of being in a lockdown. GCash allows me to extend my help efficiently.''
Filipinos overseas also have access to GCash's bills payment feature, where they can pay for bills such as water and electricity. This can eliminate the worry of whether the money sent home is being used for the right purposes.
Buhay sa Cruise Ship Facebook Group founder Rinell Banda also recommends it to Filipinos overseas, especially seafarers. ''I have used several of the features myself, including Money Transfer, Bills Payment, and GInvest. I have made a few YouTube videos about it. If it is this easy and convenient to use even for Filipinos abroad, I would happily recommend it to OFWs,'' he says.
With millions of Filipinos working overseas, sending money and providing for their families back home is one of the things that require an easy and reliable service.
Celebrate OFWs as your hero this National Heroes Day by joining the GCash MoneyGram Saludo Sayo contest. From now until August 29, those in the Philippines can win P50,000 for their OFW family and friends when they claim for their GCash remittance through Moneygram. Post a photo of your nominated OFW on Facebook and share why they are your hero and use the hashtags #OFWBayaniKo and #GCashMoneyGramSaludoSayo. Three winners will be announced via Facebook on August 30, 2021, in time for National Heroes Day.
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