Fexco, an independent fintech provider, has partnered with Electronic Network Cash Tellers Inc. to launch what the companies are hailing as the first-ever mobile cash withdrawal solution in the Philippines.

According to a press release, Fexco EasyDebit will utilize the Encash customer network to serve more than 75 million BancNet cardholders in the Philippines, a country significantly underserved by an ATM network.

Fexco EasyDebit uses a mobile point-of-sale device to allow customers to withdraw cash using their ATM card at local accredited merchants. Locations include payment and remittance centers, retailers, rural banks and cooperatives, the release said.

More than 95 percent of all transactions in the Philippines use cash. However, the nation counts fewer than 24 per cash machines per 100,000 adults, compared with more than 120 per 100,000 adults in the United States.

For many Filipinos, the nearest ATM might be a bus or ferry journey away, according to Fexco CEO Denis McCarthy.

“In the area of Negros Occidental, for example, in Central Philippines, it takes over four hours to travel to the nearest ATM, making access to cash extremely difficult for people there,” he said in the release. “EasyDebit will reduce reliance on ATMs and encourage financial inclusion, a core value of Fexco.”

To use the “plug-and-play” solution, merchants need only download the EasyDebit mobile app. According to the release, the solution is safe and secure because the user’s PIN is never saved to the mobile phone and the mPOS is PCI DSS and EMV Level 1- and Level 2-compliant.

“The Encash ATM and [retail teller machine] network promotes financial inclusion to underserved and unbanked Filipinos,” said Encash CEO Eric Severino. “With EasyDebit, Encash will be able to provide an additional, far-reaching alternative service to this existing network.”

Partnership expands cash access for Filipinos