As we recover from the pandemic, people’s shopping habits are slowly returning. With quarantine measures in place, online purchasing has increased and the use of payment gateways, digital payments including contactless payments have become more popular.
In October, online shopping in the Philippines shot up by 57%, a year-on-year upsurge more than doubles the average increase experienced by other countries in the ASEAN region. Filipinos spent 53% more time on shopping apps in the second quarter of 2020, clocking in 4.9 billion sessions in the platforms. Buyer confidence is on the rebound; according to the third quarter consumer survey of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for 2020, Filipinos are more positive about the next 12 months, an outlook anchored on the promise of a vaccine and the easing of quarantine restrictions.
In mid-November, Southeast Asian e-commerce firm Lazada reported regional record sales during Single’s Day, which closed $100 million within the first hour (from midnight to 1:00 am), a number attained thrice faster than the previous year. Single’s Day 2020 had already been hailed as the largest shopping event in history with over $74 billion in overall revenue, but the shopping season is far from over; other sale dates are in close queue, such as post Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Tech-driven consumer finance company Home Credit are among those innovating products to meet the increased demand for digital payments. Its credit card (which Home Credit offers to customers who avail of new gadget or appliance loans) feature new add-ons that serve the customer better for online payments and purchases. “Our credit card seamlessly interfaces with the company’s flagship platform, the My Home Credit App,” says Home Credit’s Chief Marketing Officer Sheila Paul. “The customer now has an app-enhanced credit card experience that features contactless QR payments, e-services for buying load and paying bills, and more. We’ll soon be launching an online payment gateway—adding another convenient option for consumers to make payments even outside shopping platforms like Lazada.”
“COVID-19 has accelerated the pace of digital technology and payments adoption. We believe this acceleration of change will continue and sustain, as more Filipinos shift into the new normal. Based on our data, one in four Visa cardholders who did not make any eCommerce transactions a year ago are buying online for the first time during the first half of this year. One third of new to eCommerce cardholders spent online on essential services, which includes purchase of pharmaceutical products and food & groceries,” said Dan Wolbert, Visa Country Manager for the Philippines & Guam.
“Our aim, as the leading payments technology company is to work with partners such as Home Credit to continue developing and launching innovative and relevant digital payment solutions that are seamless, secure, and convenient, and help local businesses recover and thrive,” added Dan.
“Apart from providing Filipinos with useful digital tools, we made sure our credit card is serving its purpose in making people’s financial loads lighter, especially during the pandemic,” adds Paul. Home Credit currently provides a 1% rebate for every purchase, and cardholders can make repayments interest-free up to 45 days from the due date. Home Credit, and all credit card institutions have also lowered its interest rates to help in the country’s economic stimulus. Home Credit is the first non-bank to offer credit card services in the Philippines.
Hope has definitely been added to carts at this point. People vigorously engaging economies could only mean there’s strong optimism for a post-COVID world—and that there’s no reason not to buy into it now.