Filipinos are now utilizing digital payments more than ever. Last month, the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported that digital payments made up 20.1% of all transactions in 2020, more than double the figure from two years ago of 10%. This strong momentum is creating opportunities particularly for enterprising Filipinos who engage in e-commerce.
To help micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country capitalize on this growing trend, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), the region’s digital trailblazer and the country’s foremost bank for MSMEs, has launched a groundbreaking feature that will make e-payments easier and secure not only for customers but also for MSMEs—the new UPAY for MSME.
This was unveiled at the Bank’s 12th E-TalkTales media event, wherein UnionBank Vice President and MSME Segment Head Jaypee Soliman, and UnionBank Merchant Acquiring and Payment Gateway Head Gerry Austria led discussions on the critical role of digitizing payments in the country’s fast-evolving market.
Soliman began the discussions by talking about the state of digital payments in the country, citing the significant growth in the number of Filipinos who utilize these payment solutions. This is an indication that Filipinos are now more open to the idea of becoming a cash-lite society.
“This shows how the consumers are now transacting digitally. They are ready. They are there. The number of Filipinos having e-wallets and bank accounts continue to grow. But the question is, are the MSMEs ready to accept digital payments?”
This is where UPAY comes in. UPAY is a groundbreaking digital payments solution designed to make acceptance of multiple payment options accessible to MSMEs. It offers a fully integrated, single platform payment collection complete with other features that can make inbound payments easier for entrepreneurs, including the option to generate payment links with multiple collection channels, and the option to generate InstaPay QRPH for digital and physical channels.
“UPAY for MSMEs is a payment gateway that is embedded in our MSME Business Banking App. Businesses of all sizes and types now have the power to generate payment links, request payments, send it to their customers and provide multiple payment options, all these reconciled and credited to a single UnionBank account,” Soliman said.
What makes UPAY convenient for accepting payments is that customers can choose their preferred payment channel either via Unionbank Online, InstaPay, other digital wallets, credit/debit cards, and even over-the-counter through UnionBank’s expansive network of partner channels nationwide.
“When we conceptualized UPAY for MSMEs, we wanted to do away with all the different hassles that the merchant is experiencing to set up his payments, one of which is having to connect to a point-of-sale system, having to have different devices, having to have to download different apps,” Austria said.
“Second, it’s the efficiency in doing business. You don’t need to be in your physical store to actually have a customer pay you. You can actually be vacationing somewhere else and someone wants to buy a product which they saw through your post on Instagram or Facebook. You can actually just create a payment link and send it to that customer, so it’s very convenient for both the merchant and the customer,” Austria added.
Through the new feature, UnionBank wants to level the playing field for MSMEs by making the feature accessible to them, which was previously only available to the bigger merchants as part of enterprise platforms that are too technologically demanding and expensive for smaller players.