For an e-wallet competing against aggressive digital banks, GCash is more than holding its own. The Alibaba-backed company has achieved impressive scale in a competitive, fast-growing market: 81 million active users and 2.5 million merchants and social sellers as of May, and without burning an unacceptable amount of cash. What’s more, according to the company’s leadership, it became EBITDA profitable three years ahead of schedule. The company is now preparing for an IPO. It is just a question of when.

What GCash wants to avoid is an underwhelming IPO like what Paytm experienced in India several years ago. The Indian fintech giant had kicked the can down the road for so long that it felt pressured to give investors their expected exit – and probably rushed things a bit.

That said, there are always to going to be factors that could be considered as suboptimal market conditions. GCash’s leadership said in November 2022 the company has “a lot of things that we need to do, especially from a regulatory standpoint” before it can go public, adding that the listing “is likely to occur when market conditions improve.” 

In March, Philippine Stock Exchange President and CEO Ramon Monzon said that he was optimistic that scheduled IPOS – 9 are targeted for this year, 3 to 4 of which are SMEs – would go through this year despite elevated inflation and higher interest rates. "There’s kind of direct correlation between inflation and interest rate and interest rate and the performance of the market," Monzon told the Philippines’ ABS-CBN News, adding that the exchange aimed to raise about P160 billion (US$2.81 billion) from IPOs this year.

Meanwhile, on October 6, GCash’s parent, mobile giant Globe Telecom, announced that it had  sold its majority 77% stake in e-commerce platform Electronic Commerce Payments Inc. (ECPay) to Mynt, the operator of GCash, for P2.31 billion. The transaction, according to Globe, is undergoing various reviews. In 2019, Globe acquired ECPay to widen its distribution network, as the platform gives merchant partners the capability to process bill payments and load top-ups, among other things.

The deal will likely be a win-win, allowing ECPay to tap into Mynt’s digital acumen, while GCash will gain a further differentiating factor in a crowded digital payments market.