Pinoys still hesitant to plunge headlong into e-commerce

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

By Joel Pinaroc Awareness remains one of the major challenges for the mass adoption of e-commerce in the Philippines, according to industry experts. ureka Although e-commerce has been around for more than a decade in the Philippines, the typical e-commerce transaction still involves actual cash or checks, local players observed. In fact, a global study revealed that Filipinos make abut 2.5 billion payment transactions worth an estimated $7.4 billion every month, but only 1% of this entire figure is transacted electronically. The study said cyber security risks are to be blamed for the seemingly lukewarm growth of e-commerce when it comes to electronic payments. Genaro Lapez, EVP of UnionBank Philippines said, the findings present a ?big opportunity for reliable payment gateways to come into the picture and offer a more efficient, frictionless experience for business and consumers.? Lapez said e-commerce is ?not just buying online.? Lapez, who is also the chief advocate of the Ureka Forum, added that ?e-commerce does not only refer to the act of buying and selling in online marketplaces, because the simple manner of buying, for example, an electronic cellphone load or paying your bills online are already acts of e-commerce.? The executive noted that ?there?s really a need to advocate a more democratized ecosystem for online payment gateways to enable communities to start using technology and e-commerce as a leveer for sustained progress.? Lapez noted that the study on e-commerce in the Philippines, which was conducted by Google, showed that there are huge, untapped opportunities for e-commerce. The Ureka Forum advocates e-commerce use among Filipinos and promotes an ?e-commerce mass conversion movement.? For Robertson Chiang, DragonPay COO and CTO, the way Filipinos conduct electronic transactions is apparently still dictated by ?culture? or the way people are used to doing. DragonPay is a Philippines-based e-payment services firm which is also a member of Ureka Forum. Chiang said while it is true that the number of credit card holders may still have a huge impact on e-payments, FIlipinos still prefer to pay in cash. ?It is true that for cash on delivery (COD) transactions present minimal risks compared to credit card or other e-transactions,? Chiang said, which is why 80% of all e-commerce payments use COD. ?There is this cultural aspect that makes more FIlipinos more comfortable to pay in cash,? he said. Charmaine Valmonte, VP for UnionBank IT security risk department, said there are ways for Filipinos to reduce the risks when it comes to e-commerce. These will include protection of one?s passwords, protection of personal profiles, and protection of other data. The executive said to address trust issues, people can also avoid dubious URLs or always double check the websites. Lapez said the Ureka Forum aims to ?demystify? e-commerce by conducting regular dialogues with stakeholders. He stressed that e-commerce is not just software or hardware and that there are business opportunities even for individual entrepreneurs. He added that when one considers that 40% of the population of the Philippines are ?connected? but only 1% of all small to medium sized enterprise have a website ?which is not necessarily e-commerce capable,? it is both shocking and inspiring to continue to push for e-commerce. ]]>

Facebook Comments

Join Our Newsletter! Zero spam, unsubscribe anytime!

Latest Posts