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UN advocate lauds financial inclusion in the Philippines through digital ID

UN advocate lauds financial inclusion in the Philippines through digital ID

Financial inclusion is a critical objective for nations seeking to enhance economic development and resilience, particularly in regions where large segments of the population remain unbanked or underbanked. In the Philippines, the introduction of the PhilID digital ID system marks a stride towards achieving comprehensive financial inclusion. This system is part of a broader effort to provide secure and accessible financial services to all Filipinos, bolstered by the advocacy of international figures like Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, The Philippine Star reports.

Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), has been at the forefront of promoting financial inclusion worldwide. Her focus includes advancing foundational building blocks such as connectivity, digital identification, and digital payments.

Queen Máxima highlights the importance of digital identification as a cornerstone of financial inclusion. In her advocacy, she emphasizes that robust digital ID systems, like the PhilID, facilitate the secure and efficient provision of financial services. By enabling individuals to verify their identity easily and reliably, digital IDs open doors to banking, credit, insurance, and other financial products, fostering greater economic participation.

The Philippines government has integrated its digital identity system with its social protection programs to aid secure the issuance of benefits.

More than 86.7 million people have registered their biometrics with the country’s digital ID system as of May 3, with more than 50.8 million PhilID cards delivered.

Commendation of GCash

One of the standout successes in the Philippines’ financial inclusion efforts is GCash, a mobile wallet service that has evolved the way Filipinos conduct financial transactions. Malaya Business Insight reports that Queen Máxima has commended GCash for its role in promoting financial inclusion. GCash has effectively leveraged the PhilID system to expand its user base, enabling millions of Filipinos to perform digital transactions, save money, and access credit and insurance products.

The digital wallet is the most popular finance app in the Philippines, according to the report, and can be used to purchase airtime, pay bills with partner organizations, and send and receive money across the country. It can also be used for ecommerce purchases and online banking.

The advancement of digital ID systems is complemented by innovations in biometric identity verification. Advance.AI, for instance, is supplying risk management technology to Filipino fintech Skyro to provide a simple customer onboarding experience.

The integration of digital identification systems, mobile wallets like GCash, and biometric verification technologies plays a role in enhancing the financial health and resilience of Filipinos.

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