PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications is expanding its mobile financial services offerings by partnering with Telcoin Pte. Ltd., a leading provider of cryptocurrency for mobile network operators. The partnership will allow Smart, Sun Cellular, and TNT prepaid subscribers to purchase Telcoin (TEL) cryptocurrency and store it securely on their mobile device.
Under the partnership, Smart, Sun, and TNT subscribers will be able to purchase Telcoin without an exchange. In the near future, users will also be able to receive low-cost, high-speed international remittances with the Telcoin Wallet application.
Smart’s adoption of Telcoin aims to benefit unbanked and underbanked Filipinos and promote financial inclusion nationwide. According to the World Bank, only 1.2 billion people have access to traditional banking services, while GSMA data state that there are more than 5 billion mobile phone users. Telcoin aims to bridge this gap by bringing access to financial services to any mobile device.
“It is high time for us to adopt these new technologies. We believe that Filipinos stand to benefit the most from solutions like Telcoin, and the market is open to new and effective ideas. With our extensive use of phones, what better way to introduce these concepts than through prepaid mobile and apps,” said Paul Pajo, Smart product manager for digital payments.
“We are pleased to partner with Smart for this initiative. We’re bringing Telcoin to more mobile operators to enable more people to become part of the digital economy, as they work their way toward financial freedom,” said Claude Eguienta, Telcoin chief executive officer.
Telcoin is a cryptocurrency accepted and distributed by mobile network operators. It is a form of digital currency that may be used for various online transactions, such as international remittances, payments, and top-ups.
Cryptocurrency is seen as a boon for mobile money because it is largely unrestricted by a central regulatory body, such as banks. It does not mean, however, that the system is not safe and legal—cryptocurrencies are built upon blockchain technology, which has an immutable public ledger allowing for secure peer-to-peer transactions. Telcoin is a Fintrac-registered money services business in Canada.
With this partnership, Smart and Telcoin aim to collaborate toward a solution that will complement existing mobile money facilities and drive mainstream cryptocurrency adoption by offering real-world, daily-life use cases.