This post is about my personal experience with GCash and a few other pieces of information that you might find useful regarding opening an account with GCash. I have titled it GCash Philippines Review 2021 because, in just a few days from today (at the time of writing), we will be ushering in 2021. I can’t wait for 2020 to end and I’m so excited for the upcoming year.
Anyway, going back to the topic, I have had a GCash account for a couple of years now but I was not actively using it. Back then, I didn’t have any reason to use GCash because almost all of my financial transactions are done via online banking.
However, this year, I have been using GCash more compared to the previous years mainly because of two things. More and more customers from my online selling gig are opting to pay via GCash and a lot of merchants/shops/stores that I frequently use now are also using GCash.
Note to Readers: Please be advised that the information written here is valid as of the time of writing but may have been updated by the time you see/read this post. Please refer to GCash webpage to get the updated details. If the links are not working by the time you see the article, please go to the GCash’s homepage.
What is GCash?
GCash (in a very concise and simple explanation) is a mobile app that acts as a virtual wallet. It means that you can put some of your money in it and make financial transactions such as:
- Send/Transfer Money to Other GCash Holders or Banks
- Save Money via GSave (in partnership with CIMB)
- Receive Money
- Make Payments to various Billers
- Make Donations
- Buy Load
- Buy Insurance
And possibly, in the coming months, a few more other features as GCash is continuously innovating itself and expanding its available features.
My Experience with GCash
As I mentioned earlier, I have had GCash for a couple of years now but I have been only actively using it this year. All of my transactions only include receiving money, sending money, online shopping with Shopee, and, making payments.
MY GCash funds usually come from payments from online buyers and sometimes I do cash-ins via 7-11 if my GCash funds are not enough.
I have never done any cash-outs because I have never needed to. However, I have done multiple transfers to other online sellers (for the items I bought from them) and to my own bank accounts. So far, I have never encountered any issues yet with both cashing-in and making transfers.
I also make frequent transfers to Shopee pay because I find myself buying on Shopee for my business supplies and sometimes, even for my other inventories.
What I Love About GCash
The best thing about GCash is that I personally find it to be very easy to use. The app is fast and intuitive. The transfers that I have made are seamless and very fast as well and almost real-time for almost all of the transfers that I have done.
I also love the fact that they are continually expanding their reach and they are becoming widely used by a lot of merchants, shops, and sellers.
I think in the coming years, we will see GCash as the most widely used mobile wallet in the Philippines. I won’t be surprised if they will also soon have tie-ups with other similar service providers in the Southeast Asian region and other international markets in the coming years.
What I Don’t Like About GCash
GCash account is tied to the phone number you registered with GCash. This is what I don’t like about it but I understand that it is what it is (as of this time). The mobile number that you register with GCash is also sort of like your account number/username.
The issue I had was really my fault and not really GCash’s fault. My sim card was deactivated because I didn’t top it up for a few months because I didn’t find any need to. I was only using wi-fi all throughout those months and I have only been communicating with my friends and family using a variety of apps.
The sim card was deactivated and to my surprise, I couldn’t access anymore my GCash account. Luckily, there was no money in my GCash account during that time. I called the GCash customer service hotline to ask if there’s any way to retrieve the account, they said that I could register a new account using a new number because my sim card was already deactivated.
I called Globe as well to check if I could retrieve my number, unfortunately, since it was a prepaid sim card, I won’t be able to get the number back.
The good thing is registration is really fast and easy and I was able to open a new GCash account in just a few minutes.
How to Create a GCash Account
Creating an account with GCash is fast and easy. GCash is open to all networks thus you can use your sim even if it’s from Smart or other telcos.
Here’s a step by step process on how to create an account with GCash.
- Download the GCash app from the Google Playstore or from IOS
- Once it has been downloaded, open the app and type in your mobile number, and click ‘Next.’
- Type in all the needed information such as your name, mobile number, address, email address, and birthday. Afterward, click ‘Next’ to proceed to the next page.
- Review your information and then click ‘Next.’ Be sure to check the spelling, sometimes, we misspell some words especially when we’re in a hurry to complete the task. This is also the part wherein you have to input your referral code if you have any.
- Set your four-digit MPIN and click submit. Please be sure that this is something that you will always remember because your MPIN will serve as your password when logging in to the GCash app. Please also remember not to share your MPIN with anyone for your own GCash account security.
- You will then receive an SMS confirmation. Open the app and re-enter your mobile number and then proceed to the next steps.
- A 6-digit authentication code will be sent to you via SMS on the device authentication page. Enter the code to authenticate your mobile phone.
- Enter your 4-digit GCash MPIN and click ‘Log In’ to enter the GCash app.
That’s it! You’re done! You will be able to use some of the functions of GCash right after your registration. Please be aware though that the feature of an unverified account is limited to just a few features which include:
- Offline Cash-in
- Pay Bills
- Buy Load
- AMEX Virtual Pay
- Pay QR
You also have a smaller wallet size or limit when your account is unverified. I highly suggest that you verify your account to maximize the full-potential of GCash.
How to Verify your GCash Account
Verifying your account with GCash is very simple. But before you proceed with the verification process, make sure to have in hand a valid ID.
You can use any of the following ID’s to verify your GCash account.
- Driver’s License
- Social Security System (SSS) ID
- Voter’s ID
- Postal ID
- Philhealth ID (laminated)
- Alien Certification of Registration (ACR) / Immigrant Certificate of Registration
- Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) ID
- Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) ID
- Government Office and Government-Owned and Controlled Corporation (GOCC) ID (e.g., Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) ID)
Here’s a step by step process on how to verify an account with GCash.
- Open the GCash app and log in
- Tap the upper left menu icon. Tap Basic User under your name and number.
- Tap on ‘Verify now‘.
- Tap on ‘Get Fully Verified’ which you will see at the lower part of your screen
- On this page, you will be asked to upload a valid ID. Choose a valid ID that you have on hand. Take a photo of the ID. To avoid repeating this step, make sure that the photo is clear and that the text on the ID is readable.
- The next step is a selfie scan. Follow the instructions and position your face within the circle, then wait for the camera to scan your face. Blink when prompted.
- Fill up the form. Double-check if the information you typed in is correct and accurate.
- Again, make sure to review your information, then tick the box to agree with the Terms and Conditions. Tap Confirm.
- Once you tap ‘Confirm,’ your information will be submitted and will then be reviewed.
According to the app, it usually takes 30 minutes to review the information. In my experience, I got the confirmation that my account has been fully verified in just a few minutes.
Benefits of a Fully Verified GCash Account
If your GCash account is fully verified, you can access a plethora of features that are only available to fully-verified accounts. Some of the features that will be available to your GCash account once fully verified are:
- Your GCash wallet limit will be up to Php 100,000
- You will have full access to all GCash services
- ATM withdrawal up to Php 40,000 daily and Buy Load transactions (to Globe and other networks) up to Php 20,000 daily.
How to Increase your GCash Wallet Limit
If you feel that your wallet limit needs to be higher than P100,000 then I suggest that you also link your bank account. If you link a bank account with GCash then your wallet limit will increase to P500,000. You will also be able to put in or receive ₱500,000 in your wallet per month
As of the time of writing, your limits will be increased if you have any of the following bank accounts linked in GCash:
Please be advised that the following are not considered as linked bank accounts, and will not qualify you for an increase in wallet limits:
- GCash MasterCard
- American Express Virtual Pay card
Here’s a screenshot from the GCash website regarding wallet limits for verified accounts.
Is Our Money Safe with GCash?
This is always the primary concern of everyone including myself when it comes to trying out new financial products such as mobile wallets or digital bank accounts. Is our money safe with them?
With GCash, as long as you keep your mobile phone and MPIN secure at all times, then Yes. GCash has an added security feature wherein you can set it up to login using your biometrics credentials.
GCash is also a BSP-licensed e-money issuer and remittance agent, so you can be assured that they are a legit financial company.
If you use GCash to save your money via GSave, then your money will be also covered with PDIC (up to P500,000) since GSave is a savings account in partnership with CIMB.
How to Keep Your GCash Account Safe?
Again, once you sign up with GCash especially when you put your hard-earned money in it, you have to always keep it secure. Some of the things that you need to bear in mind are:
Keep your MPIN to Yourself
Do not share your MPIN with other people because when you do, they will be able to access your GCash account.
Please also note that even GCash representatives will NEVER ask for your MPIN. If you ever encounter fake GCash accounts asking for your MPIN, please report it to GCash support channels by calling GCash customer service at 2882 or by submitting a ticket via their website.
Be Careful in Making GCash Transactions in Public Places
If you’re making GCash transactions in public places, always check your surroundings. Be sure that no one is watching or observing you or your mobile phone screen especially when you’re typing in your MPIN.
Be Aware of Possible Fraud
There are multiple ways of how fraudulent people can dupe you. If you are buying online, then be sure that you only transact with legit sellers or sellers with high positive reviews from their customers. Be careful of phishing emails as well or anyone asking for your GCash account information including your MPIN.
Knowledge is Key
If you have some spare time, watch the news or read news articles relating to online scams to keep yourself updated with the modus of fraudsters. Over the years, banks and financial institutions have been updating the security features of their products and services. However, fraudsters are also becoming more and more technologically savvy and more creative in scamming people.
If you are well aware of how they do this, then this could help you avoid getting scammed.
I have a feeling that I will be using GCash and other mobile wallets/digital banks more and more in the coming months/years as we slowly embrace the cashless system in the Philippines. I will be writing in the next articles on how to make transactions such as sending and receiving money using GCash. In the meantime, check out my articles about other digital banks available in the Philippines.
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