Following the work of EduPay, enabling direct school payment in the Philippines from OFWs in Rome, PhilSmile was founded in 2014 as scaling-up program. EduPay was a social experimentation led by Professor Dean Yang of University of Michigan, funded by USAID with the support of David McKenzie from World Bank (Lead Economist in the Development Research Group), supported by Dr. Jose Paulo E. Campos (PAPSCU President and then Chairman of COCOPEA) and facilitated by Innovations for Poverty Action.
From a first focus on international tuition payment, enabling OFW parents to pay for their children’s education, the company has been expanded its services to domestic payment (through malls, pawnshops, convenience) and comprehensive school IT system, (including enrollment, cash management and grading system), as well as RFID student ID for access control, attendance tracking and cashless payment.
Though young, the company keeps on innovating, earning the trust from a growing number of partners. As of March 2016, PhilSmile has partnered with 30 schools (including University of the Visayas, University of South Eastern Philippines, University of San Jose Recoletos) representing 150,000 students. FAPE (Private Education Assistance Committee, Trustee of Fund for Assistance to Private Education) chooses PhilSmile to process the payment of their orientation fee this April 2016.
PhilSmile is also partner of
- USAID to promote electronic payment in the Philippines, as part of EPeso Initiative.
- CBCP-ECMI (Episcopal Commission for the pastoral care of Migrants and Itinerant people, the service arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, to strengthen linkages between OFW parents and their children left in the Philippines)
- Migrants Coordinating Group in Western Visayas (promoting welfare of OFW and their families through linkages to government, private sector and research institutions)