THE PHILIPPINE Stock Exchange (PSE) together with GCash and brokerage firm AB Capital Securities, Inc. on Tuesday launched a triad partnership that aims to allow stock market trading nationwide through the e-payment firm next year.
“We are targeting a soft launch by November and hopefully if things go well in the soft launch the nationwide launch will be in the beginning next year,” PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Monzon said in the partnership launch on Tuesday.
PSE has provided the technology for the trading, GCash will be hosting the trading in its application, and AB Capital will serve as the brokerage for the partnership.
Martha M. Sazon, GCash president and chief executive officer, said that the launch will be just like how the company previously launched its other services.
“The way we launch new services normally, we do beta launch or we do soft launch,” she added.
She said that through the soft launch, GCash will identify the room for improvements as it studies how it performed with the beta-testers.
“We show it to the market, we see how they react and we adjust our products and services and then launch nationwide,” Ms. Sazon said.
“Hopefully by early next year or by January we’ll have our nationwide launch,” Ms. Sazon added.
The partnership, which will be called GStocks, aims to democratize financial services for Filipinos.
“Ang tinatarget I guess dito ay ‘yong mga hindi pa nag-i-invest sa stock kasi it’s a mystery to them, mahirap magbukas ng account sa broker eh, ito ngayon may ‘GCash ako subukan ko nga mag-invest sa stocks’,” Mr. Monzon said on the sidelines of the partnership launch.
“The target market of this partnership are GCash subscribers who haven’t invested in stocks yet for it is still a mystery to them since it is hard to open an account with a broker but now they can invest by just having a GCash account.
Mr. Monzon said that the PSE is hoping that this endeavor “will really give Filipino[s] access to the capital markets.”
“At GCash we pursue a vision of ‘finance for all.’ We work for a Philippines where everyone has access to financial services,” Ms. Sazon said.
“Democratization of financial services is very important to us and we think that this is one step closer to that,” she added.
She said that for GCash, democratization comes through affordability and accessibility.
“With this partnership what we are providing is access,” Ms. Sazon added.
“We truly believe that this initiative is going to promote inclusive growth,” AB Capital Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Antonio Jose U. Periquet said.
He added that the wealth gap between those who have access to financial services and those who have not tends to widen.
“The aggregate growth in assets is not inclusive, so to speak,” Mr. Periquet said. “Ownership is not widespread and the growth of aggregate wealth in the nation’s companies is not inclusive.”
“[This initiative] is going to widen share ownership hopefully beyond what we would’ve imagined is possible,” he added.
Aside from the partnership, the PSE official also talked about the firm’s project in the fourth quarter, which is the release of its “data analytics factory” as well as its preparations for the said initiative.
“Our data analytics factory… we will be launching that in the fourth quarter. Tamang tama eh dahil kailangan ng mga GCash subscribers to learn about stocks (The timing is perfect since GCash subscribers need to learn about stocks),” Mr. Monzon said on the sidelines. — Justine Irish D. Tabile