PH urged to ride on QR technology

Published February 21, 2022, 11:09 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Philippines should ride on the use of QR technology to help local merchants reach more customers here and abroad, according to a leading global payments technology company.

Global Payments Bryan Tiongson

Bryan Tiongson, Global Payments country head of the Philippines (GPPH), said that other countries in the region are getting familiar already with the use of QR codes.

“While people from Asian countries are getting more familiar with the use of QR code payments, the Philippines should ride this trend and leverage the technology. This can help merchants in the Philippines reach more locals, as well as customers from neighboring Asian countries who have high purchasing power, especially as global tourism recovers,” said Tiongson.

Tiongson cited the high penetration of QR codes in China because of the use of popular super apps, which are welcomed by merchants as a payment solution because it has a low operating cost and spurs the use of mobile payments. QR technology has also grown substantially in India.

Meanwhile, other regional countries such as Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong have slowly introduced QR code-based mobile payment solutions, he noted.

As a leading global payments technology company, Tiongson said that GPPH intends to grow the number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in order to expand existing merchant’s base.

To grow its market share, GPPH also focuses on payment solutions which are software-driven and industry-specific. Beyond merely a cash register or money transfer, payment technology is embedded with business software solutions.

For 2022 and beyond, Tiongson said their strategy is to support the growth, including upselling to existing partners, leveraging our unique distribution channels and partnerships, focusing on the SME segment, driving online channels and launching new payment methods.

Growth drivers would be contactless payment that accelerated since the pandemic began. Tiongson also sees growth in omnichannel options as businesses need to invest in unified commerce technology to deliver an omnichannel experience.

Tiongson said they offer a range of solutions to serve this market, including POS and online gateways that support major card schemes. They also provide other supplementary payment services in order to satisfy increasing customer demand for diversified payment options.

Apart from expanding the SME sector, Global Payment’s wide geographic coverage provides an opportunity for companies which are ambitious in expanding business to other countries by providing an unified report system. This can reduce companies’ burden on finance administration and enable them to focus on growing their businesses with more marketing initiatives. The seamless payment flow provided by GP also helps companies to enhance customer experience.

In addition, Tiongson said GPPH provides vertical-specific solutions for retail and restaurant merchants, and these solutions are suitable for SMEs with minimal technological know-how.

For retailers, merchants of the physical store can expand by selling online without complex codes and programming, as well as uploading product shots with descriptions through a simple website building system.

For restaurants, GPPH partnered with a company called F&B POS that helps restaurants to penetrate into Takeaway sectors. They can build their own online store easily without programming knowledge. Having their own site enables them to enjoy a lower fee than other third party take-away platforms. Plug-and-play solutions allow merchants to upload menu and food shots. Customers can also easily settle payment online with multiple payment methods supported, including credit cards and e-wallets. This reduces the risk of missing payments via phone order.

While there has been stiff competition in the P2P (peer to peer) transfer and consumer mobile wallets is substantial, Tiongson said their focus is serving merchants.

He noted that the B2B (business to business) payment market is large, growing rapidly and multinational in scope. B2B payment flows are estimated to be more than four times the volume of consumer-to-business payments. So, the absolute size of the opportunity for our company is enormous.

Currently, B2B payments are under-digitized relative to consumer-to-business payments, but an estimated 50 percent of B2B payments are still made via check.

But the benefits to businesses of adopting digital payments like virtual cards are obvious: speed, security, convenience and rich data, he said.

The company is aggressively seeking additional IPP (installment payment) partnerships to better serve consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Z.

The company is also looking into P2M (Person to Merchant) by building partnerships with other financial institutions. Launch pilot in the second half of 2022.

“We will continue to leverage the products and solutions that are driving this positive trend while accelerating business growth in other areas, too,” he said.