Less than a year into its Philippine operations, GoTyme Bank scored a twin win at the 18th Asian Banking and Finance (ABF) Retail Banking Awards recently held on July 25, 2023 at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. GoTyme Bank was named the Debit Card Initiative of the Year, for having the best rewards program for a debit card in the Philippines; and the Digital Wallet Initiative of the Year also for the country.
The ABF Retail Banking Awards program is an annual celebration and recognition of the outstanding achievements of retail banks and financial institutions in the Asia Pacific. It honors exceptional industry leaders who have introduced cutting-edge products, services, and solutions that made a positive impact on its customers.
Aaron Foo, GoTyme Bank chief strategy officer, received GoTyme’s first-ever international awards. “They are a testament to the thought, hard work and dedication we’ve put into designing and executing the products and services we offer our customers,” he says.
GoTyme Bank is a joint venture between the Gokongwei group of companies and the multi-country digital banking group Tyme Bank. One of the six digital banks licensed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, GoTyme was launched in October of last year.
Foo adds that the Robinsons retail ecosystem has given GoTyme presence in locations that are highly integrated into the daily lives of Filipinos. “In line with our mission of bringing next-level banking products and services, people will now be able to open a bank account where they shop, eat and relax," he says.
But what makes the GoTyme Bank Visa debit card unique? For starters, it has, hands down, the best rewards program in the country, living up to the promise of GoTyme’s recent “Nice Card, Nice Rewards” campaign that highlights the endless rewarding possibilities offered by the GoTyme Bank Visa debit card.
GoTyme Bank’s permanent Go Shop feature and debit card has just made shopping the most rewarding experience—literally. It makes guilty shopping a thing of the distant past by racking up Go Rewards points for shoppers who use their sleek and sexy GoTyme Bank Visa debit card.
The finest points ever
New research has suggested that a debit card is one way to promote greater financial inclusion among the unbanked. Five years’ worth of data from the Mexican social program Prospera showed that more than 1 million debit cards were distributed to participants over that period. Data also revealed that recipients got a better handle on their spending and saving decisions when benefits were delivered via a debit card rather than through direct deposit.
Elsewhere in the world, the case for debit cards is constantly being made even among consumers with credit cards. A 2021 survey by an online lending marketplace headquartered in North Carolina (LendingTree) of 1,011 U.S. consumers found that 48 percent of credit cardholders prefer debit to credit. Researchers found that many consumers reserved credit cards for big-ticket purchases or emergencies, and respondents said that they were better able to control their spending with debit cards but were prone to the temptation of overspending when using credit cards.
Postpandemic developments may well have contributed to this shift in spend and save patterns, as has a highly globalized economy marked by lightning-quick advancements in technology, business, and banking. These have driven consumers around the world to resort to more convenient methods of doing everyday transactions, notes Albert Tinio, GoTyme Bank co-CEO. “With Go Shop, you can earn, enjoy, and share special rewards with your family and loved ones anytime you want. Here at GoTyme Bank, we bring together the convenience of debit cards and the benefits of reward points into one sleek and stylish card.”
Unlike other cards that only offer niche rewards, GoTyme has made sure that GoTyme Bank Visa debit card users are rewarded for every swipe or tap of their debit card. In a country where rewards are mostly offered by credit cards, GoTyme Bank’s debit card is one of the very few that offers rewards for every purchase. Both local and international transactions will allow cardholders to earn Go Rewards points—making it one of the first-rate debit cards in the country.
With shopping being the reward unto itself, GoTyme helps put shoppers’ hard-earned money to good use: For example, with 3x Go Rewards points for every purchase from partner-merchants like Robinsons Supermarket, The Marketplace, True Value, and Toys R Us, each centavo becomes worth spending because shoppers will be getting a lot back. While a mom shops in Robinsons and earns 3x Go Rewards points, the dad can buy something from a non-Robinsons store where a Visa card is accepted and earn 1x reward point (non-partner stores give shoppers 1 reward point for every PhP600 spent). A millennial who flies to Hong Kong and shops, earns the same– not to forget the close to 4 percent rebate the traveler earns if the flight was on Cebu Pacific purchased with the GoTyme Bank debit card.
Before one knows it, all the Go Rewards points add up to a substantial amount as cardholders get anywhere from 1 percent to 4 percent rebate on their purchases. The points earned can be redeemed for merchandise at Robinsons retail shops, or at the touch of a button in the GoTyme app, for cash intantaneouly in the cardholder’s GoTyme Bank account.
Moreover, the GoTyme Bank Visa debit card is more than your ordinary debit card because on top of these perks, cardholders also enjoy the ease of a digital wallet as they deposit and withdraw cash through ATMs or over-the-counter at one of GoTyme’s many partner locations nationwide, and send and receive money from abroad through PayPal, Western Union, Remitly and MoneyGram.
More partners, wiser options
The list of GoTyme Bank’s partner-merchants also keeps growing, with Caltex being among the latest: Drivers that fill up with Caltex will have a more rewarding drive, while GoTyme Bank card holders can also enjoy up to 2x the points for every PhP300 when they gas up and pay using their GoTyme Bank Visa debit card.
Now comes the exciting part—how to enjoy these Go Rewards points? GoTyme Bank allows remarkable flexibility here: One can redeem their Go Rewards points as cash, which will be debited directly to their GoTyme Bank Everyday Account, straight on the app, or spend these Go Rewards points in any of the GoTyme Bank partner merchants.
To maximize their purchasing power, cardholders may choose to transfer the cash proceeds from their GoTyme Bank Everyday Account to their Go Save Account and earn 5 percent per annum interest with it, which they can then use in future to pay for bills or save for big purchases. Also, because the points earned will never expire, it becomes possible to accumulate the points earned and purchase the things one has long been dreaming about—perhaps a cool gadget, that smart appliance, or some luxury piece.
GoTyme Bank president and CEO Nate Clarke says, “Our debit card doesn’t just bring good looks, this card also delivers on rewards and travel. Usually debit cards don’t have rewards. At GoTyme Bank, that’s not the case. Our partnership with Go Rewards makes our Visa debit card the most rewarding in the market.”
This is the culmination of the strategic collaboration among GoTyme Bank, Philippine interbank ATM and online banking network BancNet, and Visa, one of the world’s leaders in digital payments, to address the need for convenient and accessible banking and digital payment solutions in the Philippines.
Visa’s worldwide reach and expertise in digital payments, synergizing with BancNet’s extensive nationwide coverage, together with GoTyme Bank and the Gokongwei group’s reputation, technology and understanding of the Philippine market, will offer quality banking to every Filipino consumer, and an exciting and rewarding digital payment and money movement experience.
Tinio says, “This partnership is designed to benefit all Filipinos by providing access to quality banking and making digital and cashless transactions as seamless, secure, and convenient as possible. Through this, we hope to encourage more Filipinos to embrace digital payments as the way forward toward a cashless society.”