MSMEs told to adapt cashless transactions

Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - October 27, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Following the government’s supportive stance in pushing cashless payments, the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is urging micro small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) to implement cashless transactions as soon as possible.

“The government is now implementing strict rules on social distancing to avoid the spread of the virus. Customers are more inclined to do online transactions now and we want to teach our clients how to embrace this new reality. At present, digitalization also means survival and BPI is here to support our clients’ efforts, in the best way we can,” said BPI Chief Digital Officer Noel Santiago.

In its virtual event called Cashless Negosyo webinar series, BPI emphasized the importance of implementing cashless payment systems as soon as possible to help MSMEs cope with the effects of the lockdown and the changing consumer behaviors. Since the implementation of the ECQ on March 17 this year, BPI noticed a surge in the transactions done via online and mobile banking.

From 70 percent, the number of transactions done digitally have increased to 90 percent. Half of its eight million clients are also now registered to the bank’s digital platforms for their everyday banking needs.

“We aim to better enable businesses during these challenging times. Our digital solutions offer growth opportunities for businesses, with ways to participate in the emerging digitally-enabled marketplace, as well as for customers to enjoy safe ways to transact cashless, from wherever they may be,” said BPI Deputy Head of Marketing Mariana Zobel De Ayala. Around 85 percent of the participants of the first installment of the Cashless Negosyo webinar series said that they have already adapted to the “new reality” and have started downloading their QR codes, allowing them to boost their cashless, online transactions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We strongly encourage our clients to promote and adapt cashless payment methods. Businesses must now take their preparation to the next level, and as we go on our journey to the new normal, BPI wants to ensure safety and convenience, as well as innovation for both the business owners and customers,” Santiago added.

BPI noted that the need for cashless payments grow as e-commerce thrives.

According to Santiago, digital payments will help business owners ensure personal and employee safety, help them to abide by the government’s physical distancing rules, help them reach as many customers within a limited time, and allow them to offer their services online or via delivery.

The first BPI Cashless Negosyo webinar was attended by 700 clients in key provinces of South Luzon, including CALABARZON, where a number of business owners are located. Similar Cashless Negosyo webinars were also held for North Luzon and for Visayas-Mindanao clients and partners last September 2, 2020.

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