The ongoing pandemic saw the exponential rise in the use of Electronic Commerce (eCommerce) platforms in the Philippines. And as eCommerce grew locally, the OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) are part of a segment often left out in the digital adoption of trading, since most of them do not have credit cards and are unable to shop or even pay online. Not to mention the number of Filipinos who remain unbanked, and prefer to pay on a cash-on-delivery (COD) basis or via payment centers — a luxury that is not an option for OFWs.
In 2017, a payment gateway created by PayRemit made it possible for migrant workers to shop online with the likes of Goldilocks and Cebu Pacific, and send payment via remittance. The following year, the company expanded its services and created a pilot shopping site for appliances and gadgets that OFWs could send to their loved ones in the Philippines, with Facebook as the platform.
Fast-forward to 2021, the PayRemit app showcases a well-stocked, curated marketplace that can deliver items to OFW families across Luzon and select areas in the Visayan and Mindanao regions.
“We had to respond to OFWs’ needs. They wanted an online platform for appliances and gadgets. So we built one. When we finally got the business model right, it became clear that we were making a huge difference in the lives of our customers, sales agents, and their families. The photos they share with us are testament to this,” according to Vincent Grey, PayRemit President & CEO.
The FinTech-eCommerce company made it possible for OFWs to buy online and pay in installments since 2019, giving Filipinos in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia the same benefits and experience credit card holders have just by using the PayRemit app.
For the non-techie OFWs, PayRemit went the extra mile through their concierge services, where customers can ask someone to help them throughout the entire eCommerce process. This is in addition to the PayRemit sales agents — fellow OFWs and satisfied customers — who may help our “kabayans” shop online.
What makes PayRemit unique is its capability to collect cash payments from OFWs — something that other eCommerce platforms cannot offer presently. Fulfillment of eCommerce transactions is done through PayRemit’s local suppliers like Abenson, Royal Star Appliances, and K Servico — all can deliver items locally at much lower costs.
PayRemit promised to launch more products and services to empower the lives of Filipino migrant workers and their families later this year.