I was at Canada last week. I heard through my cousin Yvonne that the nearby Oriental store was offering remittance via mobile phone (G-Cash and Smart Money!)

I decided to try out the service. This is part of my research and info dissemination about financial services for OFWs.

Some quick info:

• Sending money via Smart Money and G-Cash costs CAD$8 (around Php320) compared to regular door-to-door or bank deposit remittance which costs CAD$12-14 (around Php 480-564).

• On the Philippine side, there’s a cash-out service charge (it’s 1% of amount to cash-out G-Cash. Will find out how much it is for Smart Money).

• I asked about up-take of the mobile remittance service. The attendant, Lhen, said that in a month she gets zero to two remittances via mobile phone. This is in contrast to my estimate of at least one thousand remittances per month through Lhen’s little kiosk at the oriental store.

• Lhen tells of two situations where the mobile remittance wasn’t perfectG-Cash and Smart Padala flyers in Canada

o One time, a recipient in the Philippines was supposed to receive the entire amount. But, as the story goes, the telco’s outlet did not give the P60 butal. Lhen says the attendant “asked” for this P60 from the remittance recipient. I, on the other hand, am inclined to think that the P60 was the service charge of the telco when the recipient cashed-out the remittance.

o In a separate incident, the Smart Money outlet did not have enough money to fund the Smart Money remittance. The recipient was not given the remittance.

• I asked Lhen how they handled the above incidents. Did Smart or Globe have hotlines which patrons may call when they encounter problems? Lhen says she just had to call their Manila office and resolve it from there. Lhen ended up shelling out a few dollars to convert the remittance from mobile to door-to-door.

• Lhen recommended the mobile remittance for one patron because the recipient was at a remote location that wasn’t served by the remittance company. That would have been a good story to tell.

• But they had to revert to regular remittance pick-up after encountering some problems.

So what’s up with mobile remittances of G-Cash and Smart Money? Slow uptake despite cheaper rates.

Yvonne and her dad are both skeptical about the technology. Is it worth a few dollars savings to send your money through a service that hasn’t been proven to work as effectively as “Saul”, the trusted neighborhood remittance guy?

It will take more than just Robin Padilla or Gary Valenciano’s endorsements to convince people that this service works.

Making the service work flawlessly is a start. Giving impeccable customer support is another step forward.

ka edong
global tech-usiyosero

There’s more to tell. I tried out both Globe and Smart services. We will post a series about it on Pinoy.Tech.Blog. Abangan….

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