Visa e-purse scheme targets $10 billion Philippines cash market

Visa e-purse scheme targets $10 billion Philippines cash market

Visa is teaming up with the Philippines Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), Compaq and Singapore's Network For Electronic Transfers (Nets), to launch the Visa Cash electronic purse system in the Philippines.

The partners have signed a memorandum of understanding witnessed by representatives of local financial institutions and merchant retail corporations.

The financial institutions will be fulfilling the role of Visa Cash issuers, and among them will be Equitable Bank, Metro Bank, Union Bank, Banco De Oro, and First E-Bank. The merchant retail corporations, including Shoe Mart, 7-Eleven, Select and Mercury Drugs have agreed to open their stores to accept Visa Cash payments. In addition, the two major theme parks, Splash Island and Enchanted Kingdom, and the Ateno de Manila School, which has around 20,000 students, have also signalled their support for the initiative.

PLDT has the largest telecommunication network in the Philippines and issues over 14 million chip based prepaid phone cards each year. Nets, operator of the Singapore Visa Cash scheme, will provide the core systems and solutions for the Philippines enterprise whilst Compaq will be responsible for providing installation and system integration support.

The value of small cash transactions in the Philippines is estimated at over US$10 billion per annum (or around 500 billion Philippines pesos).

Initially Visa Cash will be introduced to facilitate payment throughout PLDT’s range of businesses (including pay phone, mobile phone, and Internet), and also at a wide range of merchant retail outlets. Over 10 million reloadable Visa Cash cards will be issued over a five year period, and at least 30,000 PLDT pay phones will be equipped to accept Visa Cash. The partnership also hopes to expand Visa Cash acceptance into road tolls, mass transit, parking, vending, and more.

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