The future of digital payments

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    By Hamilton Angluben

    First of two parts

    DIGITAL payment solutions are making strides in driving financial inclusion by providing unbanked Filipinos with opportunities to be part of an emerging cashless society. Digital payments, fuelled by fintech innovations as well as continuously increasing mobile and internet penetration, are transcending geographical limitations and other impediments that have long hindered better access to financial services and the conduct of cashless transactions.

    According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) 2018 Financial Inclusion Dashboard, the number of Filipinos with active e-money wallets has reached up to five million at 132.7 percent growth rate and 28 million Filipinos now have prepaid cards linked to e-money, recording a 12.5 percent growth rate. Meanwhile, figures from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Asia/Pacific Financial Insights highlighted that e-wallet transactions in the Philippines in 2018 was worth over USD 700 million—a figure estimated to grow up to USD 1.7 trillion by 2021.

    As digital payments offer alternative ways to do seamless and secure forms of electronic fund transfers and e-wallet disbursements, consumers across socioeconomic status are crossing over primarily attracted by the utility and convenience of going cash-free. The BSP’s goal to increase the adoption of digital payments from 1 percent in 2013 to 20 percent by 2020 is not too far away given that 2018 saw e-wallet users doubled in number compared to credit cardholders in the country.

    Critical in the accelerated growth of digital payments is BSP’s sandbox approach that sets the stage for fintech innovations to emerge and thrive, as well as its leadership in multi-stakeholder collaborations to sustain a digital finance ecosystem that is responsive to the needs of Filipinos. For us at Cashalo, we created a digital-credit payment infrastructure powered by next-gen technology leveraging the powers of AI/machine learning, and anti-fraud algorithms.

    Recently we introduced “Pay with Cashalo,” our cutting-edge e-commerce, digital credit payment solution that allows borrowers to purchase a product, ticket or items online from any one of our partner merchants and pay in installments without the need for credit card.

    This is a consumer-friendly payment alternative to cash and traditional credit.

    The first partnership introduced under this digital credit solution is “Fly Now and Pay Later,” the first-ever air ticket financing in the country made possible with Cebu Pacific. With this, borrowers can now book Cebu Pacific domestic flights worth a maximum of P7,000 then pay later in installments of three or six months. (Author is General Manager of Cashalo)