2017 holiday season saw marked rise in e-buying

MORE and more young Filipinos are embracing the digital age, according to latest data from tech company Voyager Innovations Inc., which recorded an almost threefold increase in unique online and cashless transactions during the last two months of 2017.

While he did not disclose absolute figures, PayMaya Philippines Inc. COO Paolo Azzola said such an increase resulted from several sale events and promotional offers from digital-market places, such as Lazada, Zalora and Tackatack.

“While mall shopping is still the norm for most Filipinos, we saw a marked increase in online shopping among our mostly millennial user base during the 2017 holiday season,” he noted.  Azzola added that this observation “points to the growing number of Filipinos who are getting comfortable in digital commerce” as a viable option for holiday shopping.

“On top of the online promo offerings, convenience and the worsening traffic in major cities are probably compelling more individuals to do their shopping online,” Azzola explained.

Digital marketplaces launched online promos during the last two months of 2017, with PayMaya giving its account holders exclusive discounts on different platforms.

Lazada topped the list for the most transactions through the PayMaya platform. In terms of the kinds of items ordered online, power banks, external hard drives, bluetooth speakers and smart watches dominated the shopping list of consumers.

This, he said, shows that Filipinos—especially millennials—are embracing the digital lifestyle.

“Consumers are also given flexibility by online merchants in terms of payment options, making online shopping a more attractive option,” he added.

Adoption of digital payments and commerce has grown faster over the past two years, as prepaid e-wallets regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, such as PayMaya, have been introduced.  These digital wallets foster financial inclusion, as any mobile-phone user in the Philippines can create an account and use it for online transactions up to a certain amount limit.

Latest available data from Better than Cash Alliance as of 2013 show that around 99 percent of all payment transactions in the country are still done via cash. Electronic payments by businesses and individuals account for 1 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.

PayMaya aims to increase cashless transactions to 20 percent of the total volume of payment transactions by 2020.



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