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Mobile Remittances from Canada to the Philippines

Smart Money and G-Cash in Canada (1st of 3 parts) I was in Canada and heard from my cousin that Smart Padala and G-Cash remittance services were available at a nearby convenience store. She showed me flyers of both services bearing the seal of what I suppose is an established remittance company: “œPhilippine Remittance Express.”

How can I resist? I tried out both remittance services and sent CAD25 each (25 Canadian Dollars is around Php1,000) to fellow PTBlogger Migs Paraz and my brother, Estong. Here’s what I found out in the process of sending a remittance from the Yuan Ming oriental store at Mississauga, Ontario, Canada (more details on eofw.edongskey.com) .

Quick figures:

“¢ CAD 8: cost to sender for mobile remittance (~Php320)
“¢ CAD 10-14: cost to sender for regular remittance (~Php400-Php564)
“¢ CAD 2-6: savings for sending via mobile remittance (~Php80-Php240)
“¢ 1% of remittance amount: cost to remittance recipients when they exchange the G-Cash to cash / Smart Padala to cash.
“¢ 1-4 days: door-to-door delivery time depending on receiving area
“¢ 1 banking day: credit to bank delivery time (Canada is around 12 hours behind Philippine timezone)
“¢ 1 minute: the supposed time needed to send a mobile remittance
“¢ 0 ““ 2 : number of mobile remittances (Smart Padala, G-Cash) per month at the remittance counter I used
“¢ > 1,000: my estimate of number of regular remittances by the same remittance counter per month. Regular remittance includes Door-to-door, Credit to Bank Account, Pick-up at BDO or EquiPCI Bank or Cebuana Lhuillier

The lady who took my remittance, Lhen, told me that most people still prefer the regular remittance despite the apparent cost savings from mobile remittances.

Lhen tells of two cases where their mobile remittance was below expectations. In one case, a recipient reported that the telecom outlet did not have cash to exchange for the mobile remittance. In another case, the recipient reported that the telecom’s attendant gave a remittance amount P60 short of the full amount.

On the other hand, Lhen recommended the mobile remittance for a client who was too far away from the bayan and was outside the coverage of regular remittance services. In the recipient’s place, there were no banks, no Cebuana Lhuilliers, no motorcycle deliveries but they had a cellphone signal. Ah, we’ve got mobile remittances wherever there’s a cellphone signal!

So much for stories, let’s get some experience.

I handed over the remittance amounts and the additional CAD16 for service charges to Lhen. She tucked away my money and said that the remittance will be sent by their head office. Okay. Sending the remittance was the easy part. Receiving the remittance was another story. Abangan dito sa PTB, we’ll tell you what we went through to receive and encash the remittance.

In the meantime, what do *you* figure from the above quick figures?
Would *you* send a remittance if you were in a Canada OFW’s shoes?

ka edong
the shoe must go on

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  • Jet Gardona

    G-Cash? I never even thought of buying a Globe SIM after a mountain load of complaints about technicalities in roaming procedures.I never thought of going to a Globe wireless center or whatever they call it after I had that experience with an employee who it seems did not know what she was saying about their services.
    I have been roaming with the sane Smart number for six years now and I have been using it on my Mobile Banking and Smart Money transactions ever since. I did have problems of course but they were not to the extent of losing money, time, patience, etc.
    My advice to both Globe and Smart: Please send some of your counter staffs on training.MOst of them don not seem to know how to answer inquiries that well.

  • Hi Jet, would be good to hear about your roaming experience.

    What kind of Mobile Banking or Smart Money transactions are you able to conduct while roaming?

    How much do these transactions cost you? (considering roaming outgoing SMS can cost up to P25 per send)

    I’ve always wondered about whether the Smart Money or Mobile Banking STK menu works even when outside the PHilippines.

    On another note,
    I’ve learned to lower my expectations and be more patient with telcos and their customer service representatives. Changes in their services are so fast-paced, I’m sure it’s not easy mastering ALL the services and ALL the possible questions from customers.

    I think it takes a good website/intranet to keep the CSRs (and customers) informed.

  • G-cash seems to be the buzzword now. For millions of people this is the best option available. I have shared some interesting facts on my blog on the issue of remittance. Do read it!

  • G-Cash remittance services were available at a nearby convenience store,i tried these before and i found that its very useful. Thanks for sharing.


  • Good! at least now there is an easy way to send a remitance to the Philippines. Thanks for posting about this. Nice post.


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