Pinoy shoppers getting hooked on mobile app that returns cash

A mobile app is steadily winning local e-commerce fans who like the novel idea of getting back a part of their hard-earned cash after shopping online.

Shopback Enhanced (19)

ShopBack, which is entering its second year in the Philippines, has also signed up more online shopping partners such as Lazada, Zalora and eBay. Lately, it has also hooked up with online service providers like Foodpanda, Booking.com, and online Korean beauty store Althea.

“We help Filipinos get the best deals and discounts on over 350+ stores, but we give you up to 30% cashback, which is really just ‘getting cash back,’” said Kristina Ay-ay, country head of ShopBack, who started in the e-commerce industry at the tender age of 27.

“When you shop on Lazada or Zalora via ShopBack, we give you a portion of your purchase back within 48 hours in your ShopBack account even if your mode of payment is cash on delivery to the store. This means extra, unlimited savings whenever you shop online.”

Not only can shoppers get huge discounts already present at their favorite online stores, the merchants give ShopBack a commission every time a shopper buys. ShopBack then shares a portion of its commission with the shopper – the cashback that will be deposited straight to their bank account, GCash or Paypal accounts.

“Our partner merchants reward us with a commission for referring you to shop on their site,” Ay-ay said of ShopBack’s nature as a marketing partner for online stores. “But instead of keeping the commission all to ourselves, we share them with you.”

This sharing system works, as proven by its traction in Singapore, where ShopBack started back in 2014, and later in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It is also launching in Thailand within the year, making it the leading cashback site player in the Southeast Asian market.

Started by six enterprising Singaporeans, whom Ay-ay bumped into while working for another online company in the Lion City, ShopBack has proven its viability in the Philippines with almost half a million subscribers already.

The next step, said Ay-ay, is to let more Filipinos know about the benefits of a cashback system. Soon, ShopBack will provide aggregated reviews and comparisons to help consumers make more informed decisions when they shop on the platform.

Unlike other rewards programs like points and credit card rebates, ShopBack shows its users – once they register through their Facebook account or an email address — a running total of their cashback in peso credits.

The amount, after a certain time, is then deposited electronically to their bank, GCash or Paypal account, for the shopper to withdraw from their account or use it again for their next online purchase.

While all shoppers like this system, Ay-ay said Pinoy millennials seem to love it most. It’s no mystery, since the youth make up over 60 percent of the Philippines’ 100-million-plus population, the median age of a Filipino Internet user is 24, and a third of Pinoys on the Web spend their time shopping online.

In short, millennials are setting the trends and shaping the future of PH online shopping – a future ShopBack hopes to be a bigger part of. “We want every Filipino to be able to save as much as they can when shopping online. That’s ShopBack’s promise.”

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