Mobile phones, services and applications. PCs, PDAs, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Internet, gadgets, electronics, photography. A technology-life journal ... Relaxed prose, sometimes witty, sometimes funny, reflective and insightful. Short and sweet. Filipino.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Explorations: G-Cash Mines

I've been using my G-Cash extensively in the past many months. I'm using it as a regular G-Cash user and also as part of my studies. Through all these, I've found out a few more details about G-Cash and also struck some golden insights. Are the ideas gold or fools gold? Let me share them with you.

P10,000 limit / P40,000 limit

I've read and heard about these limits in the past, but had to experience it to remember it.

One time, I was preparing to bring P20,000 worth of G-Cash to Laguna. I found out that I couldn't load P20,000 worth of G-Cash in my G-Cash account. G-Cash accounts have a holding capacity of P10,000.

I asked the cashier, "hindi ba P40,000 ang limit?" They explained that the P40,000 was the daily transaction limit that one G-Cash account can accommodate. [These limitations are installed because of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA).]

Let's say for example I need to receive P40,000 via G-Cash from my mother in Baguio. She'll need to send the G-Cash to me in in four installments of P10,000 each. Each time she sends me P10,000, I'll need to cash-out (convert G-Cash to cash) the P10,000 that I have in my G-Cash account so that my G-Cash balance is back to zero. This gives enough space in my G-Cash account to receive my next P10,000 of G-Cash.

And, in all those transactions, it could mean we'll be spending P800 in transaction costs ....

Service charge: P10 or 1% of transaction amount

The minimum transaction cost is P10 when you Cash-in (convert Cash to G-Cash) or Cash-out (convert G-Cash to Cash) at Globe business centers. They had a promo last time I cashed-in: waived service charge.

But using the regular fees, that would mean my mom would spend P100 on transaction fees for every P10,000 she sends to me. Total of P400 in transaction fees for P40,000 sent. I, on the other hand, will spend a total of P400 cashing-out my P40,000 worth of G-Cash. (Transaction costs vary among G-Cash partner merchants).

That hurts my wallet. Considering that my mom could instead deposit the cash in my BPI account and be charged only P50 or less.

I think it's in Globe's interest to change the charging scheme for G-Cash transactions. They have to make it more consumer friendly. Imagine, I'm infusing cash into the G-Cash network and they're asking me to pay! What's worse, the more money I infuse into the G-Cash economy, the more I pay in transaction fees! Hmmm... looking for logic ....

My thoughts: Keep that P10 flat rate for any amount of Cash-in/cash-out transactions. Afterall, it takes as much time and resources to for Globe to entertain a P100 cash-in compared to a P10,000 cash-in. In fact, waive that P10 if the cash-in transaction is more than P5,000 and encourage people to use G-Cash.

More thoughts on transaction costs

I touted the G-Cash remittance service back in November (read about my Ronald example here) . But here's what I found out. There are remittance services that charge flat rates for any amount sent.

For example, over the counter deposits to ATM accounts from inter-regional Landbank branches cost P50 only.

On the other hand, if you use the remittance service model, the remittance service provider (in the article, Ronald and his sister are the remittance service providers), will incur 1% charges when they transact with Globe. That means Ronald will need to charge on a percentage rate too, like 5% of remittance amount, for example. It will be difficult to compete with Landbank with that pricing scheme.

That's another reason for Globe to junk the 1% service charge and stick to P10 for G-Cash transactions.

Ooops! I sent P100 to a dead SIM!

I was low on battery, had to load more G-Cash, had to off-load some of the G-Cash from my G-Cash account. (One option was to send P100 to my brother -- but, after 5 months, he hasn't figured out why he couldn't register his G-Cash account).

So I borrowed a service phone from Globe and off-loaded (transferred) some G-Cash from my G-Cash account to my brother's account. From memory, I keyed in my brother's cellphone. G-Cash asked me to confirm transfer of G-Cash to an unregistered G-Cash account. I confirmed.

Next day, I found out, I didn't transfer G-cash to my brother. I transferred G-Cash to my dead Globe number - a post-paid account that I terminated back in 2003.

Bummer. What would a dead SIM do with my G-Cash?

I wrote my friend at Globe about this. I wasn't raising hell or anything. Just wanted to let them know. She helped me get back that P100. Thanks, J! I also forwarded to J this episode about a displeased Smart customer.

Statement of account

I had to get a copy of my G-Cash Statement of Account. I did get it. But it wasn't a normal transaction for the Globe business center I was at. The staff needed to consult two other managers to confirm whether they're allowed to give me my Statement of Account. They gave me a piece of paper - a photocopy of print-outs of my transactions since November. Great!

I say it wasn't a normal transaction because the Globe lady needed to literally cut and paste tape the print-outs so that they come photocopied nicely on one page.

Which brings me to another service....

Transaction inquiries

G-Cash has a service where you can access information of your last transaction(s) via text.

But what I find valuable is transaction inquiries based on reference numbers of specific transactions.

Each G-Cash transaction (cash-in, cash-out, purchase, phone-to-phone transfer) has a reference number. The sender and receiver in a p2p transfer receive identical reference numbers.

For the purposes of clarifying information gaps or resolving disputes, I think it is important for customers to access transaction information based on the reference number.

Say I sent G-Cash to my brother. If my brother says "I didn't receive it" (maybe he just didn't receive the transaction alert), will he take my word that I sent it? If he checks his balance and finds P100 added, how will he know that it indeed came from me?

If there is a way to get transaction information via reference number (e.g. ref number 231455), I'll just tell him "Kuya, just text 'info txn 231455 [your m-PIN]' and send to 2882. That will give you the transaction details showing that you received P100 from me."

Having this kind of service will free-up some Globe time with less customers inquiring about their past transactions. Furthermore, it will help resolve the any disputes on sent/received G-Cash at the ground level.

International remittances/payments via + G-Cash

simple. Get as a partner of G-Cash in international remittances. Xoom has their userbase, has marketing, has a network. G-Cash can become an additional delivery system for Xoom in the Philippines.

Furthermore, it will allow technopreneurs to receive payments from international clients. That will be a big help for our technopreneur and for the economy. (Read mig's story about xoom)


These G-Cash experiences are mine. My G-Cash gold mine. So what's the conclusion? You tell me. Did I strike gold or fool's gold?

Read: G-Cash - My Accidental Friday G-mmick, G-Cash = Everybody's Remittance Service.
Search Technobiography: G-Cash



Post a Comment (comments posting disabled)

Technobiography has moved!
Please visit Technobiography's New Home
and update your bookmarks. Salamat!