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Realizing the Potential of E-Commerce in Philippines

Category: Enterprise

Realizing the Potential of E-Commerce in Philippines

Realizing the Potential of E-Commerce in Philippines

Philippines has always been ahead of the curve in ASEAN when it comes to embracing mass market technologies. First it started with SMS, and then came Facebook penetration, which is really high (50% +) in Philippines, as per recent studies.

What’s the future for Philippines?

Well, all indicators point out that Philippines is ripe for an e-commerce boom. E-Commerce is projected to grow at a 10 year CAGR of 34% with e-commerce accounting for 4.7 % of total retail in the country*. The Asia Pacific nation has witnessed a large number of merchants taking to e-commerce to sell their goods locally and globally without really pumping in capital.  It is a classic case of e-commerce adoption by merchants.

The ingredients for a massive e-commerce boom are already in place in Philippines. It is not just SMS & Facebook penetration. Smartphone penetration in the country stands at 117%, which is among the highest in the world, according to IDC research. The rise of smartphones in the Pacific Island nation is a good ingredient for sustaining a strong and robust mobile commerce landscape. Mobiles will play a key role in e-commerce growth in Philippines, as not many can afford laptops.

As a testimony to the potential to mobile commerce, 60% of shoppers on Lazada, shop through the mobile^. Lazada is Philippine’s largest online marketplace.  While releasing an e-commerce roadmap for the country, last year, Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry has pointed out that the country’s 930k+ MSMEs are being urged to leverage e-commerce to tap the global marketplace and achieve business growth. The pacific island nation’s government has been pushing MSMEs to enter the global value chain & gain global market access via e-commerce.

This goes to show that Philippines is poised to make a huge mark in the global e-commerce landscape. As MSMEs from the country seek global market access through e-commerce, we at PayTabs are committed to Philippines by providing a truly global payments solution, which keeps international payment worries at bay for merchants in Philippines. Sign Up for a Free Demo to experience the true value of PayTabs.

*Data Source: Report by Google & Temasek 

^Data Source: ASEAN 2017: Prosperity for All Summit

Bahrain: An Early Adopter of Fintech

Bahrain: An Early Adopter of Fintech

As wisdom suggests, regulations are useful when it works. Regulations should enable the economy and not prove to be a hindrance for economic development. Any country which is serious about letting a new industry mushroom and grow, it must create an environment that helps startups and entrepreneurship. Whether it is Silicon Valley or Singapore, favorable business regulations made both these places global hubs for technology startups.

The key ingredients for creating a positive environment for entrepreneurs is building ecosystems and friendly regulatory frameworks which makes is easy to do business in a country/region.

Talking of environment, Bahrain has clearly taken a lead when it comes to pushing forth the case for Fintech Startups. In the month of March 2017, The Bahrain Economic Development Board(EDB) signed a deal with Singapore’s Fintech Consortium and UAE’s Trucial Investment Partners to develop a Fintech ecosystem and a regulatory framework.

The kingdom of Bahrain has already established regulatory incubators where Fintech startups can test their business models and their products without any violation of existing financial regulations.

Bahrain is clearly ahead of the curve, when it comes to jumping the Fintech bandwagon earlier than some of its neighbors in the GCC region. Financial services have traditionally been Bahrain’s forte and pride, with many international and local banks having their presence in the island kingdom. However, much of that traditional advantage has been lost to Dubai in recent times. Hence, focusing on Fintech provides the much-needed momentum to Bahrain’s financial services industry.

As a testimony to the ease of doing business in Bahrain, we take pride in the fact that we have our operational head office in Bahrain. Not to mention, the favorable regulations and government support has enabled us to scale our operations.

6 Factors Driving Indian E-Commerce

6 Factors Driving Indian E-Commerce

The Indian E-commerce scene has exploded in recent times, with many different segments being created by niche players, with the most nascent being Foodtech. India has come a long way with respect to e-commerce and the evolution has been really rapid, befitting the world’s fastest growing large economy.

The growth of e-commerce is tremendous in Indian context, considering that traditionally India has been a cash oriented economy with offline retail stores driving purchases by the consumer. Currently, India adds 6 million new consumers* to the e-commerce industry, every month. This scale of growth is unprecedented in any other market and goes to show the potential of the Indian e-commerce market.

The following key drivers of Indian e-commerce are almost unique to India, as some of these points are intrinsic to Indian consumer behavior:

  • Convenience & Trust: It took some time for e-commerce players to gain the trust of the consumer and shed the initial belief that products available at some of the largest online marketplaces were used products. This is because for a long time, the Indian e-commerce space was dominated by e-bay which used to sell used products in India, operating in a marketplace environment. However, as prominent players entered the market backed by a solid supply chain and great marketing & communications, the quintessential Indian consumer realized the convenience of e-commerce and developed a trust with the portal.

 

  • Price: A typical Indian buyer is very price conscious and bargains heavily. They are always looking out for deals. This perception is widely regarded as being true. Price has always been the trump card for Indian e-commerce players as most of the products that are available online are cheaper than the same products available offline.

 

  • Payment Options: With the advent of digital wallets and UPI (Unified Payments Interface), the payment options have grown over the years. Earlier on, most e-commerce players grew because of the success of the Cash on Delivery (COD) model, which was rather prevalent in India, due to a large amount of Cash being circulated in the economy. It is only in recent times, due to the demonetization drive, Indians have jumped on to the electronic payments bandwagon.

 

  • Digital India: The government of India’s Digital India initiative has been a key factor in enhancing internet penetration across the country, which has led to a whole host of services being digitally delivered. The invariable result of increase in internet penetration has been the fact that apart from accessing essential services digitally, the consumer has taken to online shopping and online payments, big time.

 

  • Domestic Consumption: Any world renowned economist will tell you that the India growth story has been driven by domestic demand and the high consumption of the ever aspirational Indian consumer. The obvious macroeconomic scenario had to play out in the e-commerce space as well.

 

  • Language: Most e-commerce portals in India are in English and that has played a big role in the growth of the industry, as India has the largest English speaking middle class population. Moreover, the regional language versions of popular sites have nonetheless played a critical role in the growth of large scale e-commerce portals.

Despite the growth of Indian e-commerce, much remains to be tapped in terms of SMEs (Small & Medium Enterprises) hopping onto the online space and selling internationally, as in exporters. PayTabs can help you make the online shift and help your business go global. Now, it is easy to receive online global payments. Explore now and Sign up for a free demo!

*Data Source: Wikipedia

Currencies Form the Core of Payments

Currencies Form the Core of Payments

It’s a no-brainer! Everybody out there knows that to buy or sell any product or service through any medium, one would need a transacting currency. The status quo on most transactions, whether online or offline, is the fact that you would need to pay in the currency of the country where you are buying the product from, even if it is online.

But, with the advent of global e-commerce, the status quo on currencies while transacting becomes a deterrent. It is largely due to the willingness of most payments solution providers not to deal with the cumbersome regulations in place in most countries which provide a hindrance for multi-currency payments being made online.

It is not as much as a regulation problem, as it is a regulatory acceptance problem. Most regulators, as in central banks haven’t yet figured out a way to regulate payments in foreign currencies made in multiple currencies through the digital medium. Barring the most accepted currency, i.e. the US Dollar, which is largely used as a de-facto foreign exchange currency across the world, regulators are mostly wary about international payments made in other currencies, especially online.

Having said that, most developed countries and a few forward looking emerging economies have updated their regulations to allow for payments in multiple currencies. However, contrary to popular belief, there aren’t many providers in the market, who possess a seamless global payments processor.

PayTabs has always been ahead of the curve in terms of innovation and one of our key differentiating factor is the fact that we accept 160+ currencies on our platform.

To learn more about our payments platform, click here. Moreover, if you are interested, you can sign up for a free demo as well.

We encourage you to comment on this post, by providing your insights and viewpoints.

The State of Global Payments: Part 2

The State of Global Payments: Part 2

In one of our earlier posts, we touched upon the upsurge in non-cash transactions across the world and how developing countries are driving the growth of online/digital payments. We looked at some hard numbers from Capgemini’s World Payments Report which justified the growth in non-cash transactions across the world.

In this piece, we will look at key trends that are key to driving global payments in 2017 and the future:

  1. Technology vis-à-vis International E-Commerce: It is indeed true that international transactions have increased in recent times but the subsequent pace of developing fast, secure, transparent and efficient solutions have not quite been there. Currently, there’s a need for more payments solution to cater to the growth in international e-commerce.

 

  1. Need for Agility and Pace: Whilst the growth in FinTech investments over the years, there is currently a tremendous hunger in the marketplace, for companies to deliver more instant gratification moments in terms of payments and flexibilities in payments solutions. Which means different types of payments solutions accepting multiple currencies.

 

  1. Enterprise Payments: As per the World Bank’s Cost of Sending Remittances report, checks are still prevalent in most organizations across the world, especially smaller organizations. As of 2015, 90% of small organizations across the world, used checks for making payments, primarily to freelancers and commission based sales force. Large banks and credit card technology companies still dominate the international payments space, which is plagued by complexities and very high fees. There’s a huge scope for new age payments solutions providers to solve some pressing international payments issue in the B2B space.

 

  1. The case of the Unbanked: According to a Citibank report in March 2016, there are still 2.8 billion unbanked and underbanked people in the world, especially in developing countries, where FinTech solutions have outpaced the penetration of legacy banking. The key to the growth of FinTech and Payments solutions has been because of the huge growth in mobile payments, aided by the tremendous penetration of mobile in developing countries.

 

  1. Banks and Technology need to be friends: Banks need to accept and recognize the fact that digital payments can do much more than automation. Digital and online payments solution providers shouldn’t view banks as their adversaries, rather recognize the value that they are adding to the global financial system, thereby cultivating opportunities for greater innovation and efficiency through collaboration.

 

  1. Transparency: There’s been a paradigm shift in the needs of the global payments market, in the context of more transparent pricing, flexibility in integrations and innovative customer service. It is an imperative for global payments solution providers to track all transactions in the entire payment process/cycle to ensure transparency.

 

Therefore, as you can probably gauge that despite growth in FinTech and digital payments, there remains a lot of opportunities/gaps in the marketplace that needs to be fulfilled/filled.

We would love to hear your viewpoints in the comments below and click here to experience a new economy payments solution that truly manages to fill existing gaps and adds tremendous value for your business.

Click here to read State of Global Payments: Part 1