05_Globe Telecom

Banking by phone

Call it "banking for the unbanked." The long-awaited "wireless wallet" is now at work on the streets of Manila. Globe Telecom, the Philippines's second-largest wireless carrier, has launched a text-messaging service dubbed G-cash, which lets low-income consumers use the prepaid cards in their cell phones to send and receive cash, pay bills, and make purchases at retail outlets. Globe, which handles roughly $100 million in G-Cash transactions a day, charges a 20-cent fee for any transaction below $20 and a 1% cut for any transaction at or above that. And the service's 1.3 million subscribers, many of whom lack bank accounts, can now "bank" by cell phone.

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