Payment gateways and digital wallets are the doors to Philippine growth. They help consumers and producers in the Philippines and the rest of the world conduct trade through e-commerce. Yet of the more than 911,000 Filipino MSMEs conducting business, many have not yet discovered the opportunities that these financial services offer.
Understanding What They Are
Before an online sale occurs, there is a payment gateway that facilitates the transaction. The service authorizes the transaction of funds between the merchant and the customer, ensuring that both ends are trustworthy and secure. In the Philippines, three popular options are PayPal, AsiaPay, and DragonPay.
Also called e-wallets or mobile wallets; digital wallets, such as GCash, Smart Money, and PayMaya, empower Filipinos with a more accessible alternative because it operates on the mobile ‘prepaid’ principle instead of credit. They can be used to pay for a host of transactions on the Internet and in physical stores.
But while convenient, many consumers and MSME entrepreneurs are wary of them. New technologies tend to be regarded as unreliable, which is the wrong word to associate with money. While the infrastructure problems that limit e-commerce is beyond the article’s scope, it’s possible to touch on people’s lack of awareness.
Possible Angles of Promotion
At a glance, the consumer’s slow adoption of these technologies can be traced to security concerns and the perceived complexity compared to good old, reliable cash. Both need to be addressed. Confidence in security must be raised with messages that highlight improvements within the tech as well as outside of it, such as the various digital protections and the Data Privacy Act. To counter the perceived complexity, show the ease of e-commerce with secure purchases at the tap of a button.
However, sending these messages to the consumers alone isn’t enough; MSMEs also need to adopt the technology. Like consumers, they also have security concerns that need to be addressed with messages that assure secure fund transfers. But more importantly, entrepreneurs need to be persuaded to open their eyes to the possibilities of e-commerce. The market is wide. It’s not limited to Filipino Millennials but buyers from all over the world who are growing more tech savvy by the minute.
Once the target buyer personas and the messages have been set, the next problem is which media to use. The most obvious and most effective choice is social media. 67 million Filipinos, more than half the total population, are on social networks, especially Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Most of them are Millennials who are the most likely to engage in e-commerce and teach other generations about the internet.
Online videos are preferred because they regularly have high engagement rates. People love watching them. A series of informational vignettes can reach a lot of Millennials and persuade them to trust payment gateways and digital wallets.
MSMEs can be reached in the same way. However, LinkedIn is preferable for professionals instead of Facebook. Additionally, MSME conventions are a great way to network and to present the technologies and the opportunities. Lastly, specialized publications and business pages are a tried and true method to reach them.
As more people and businesses learn about payment gateways and digital wallets, the easier it will be for them to gain widespread acceptance and markets. These will require sustained investment in public relations but the company that pioneers the PR blitz will be identified as a pioneer and the go-to brand in this developing sector.
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