Online payment is becoming a necessity, says BPI

… brand ahead of others, creating great value and opportunity for businesses when it comes to sales, reputation, and customer experience,” she said.

Bank of Philippines Islands (BPI), the country’s leading commercial bank, said more businesses need to digitalize on increasing demand for cashless and cash lite transactions.

BPI Transaction Services Head Ana Sison noted that many traditional businesses are ill-prepared to adjust to the “new normal” and to cater to their clients, partners, and suppliers.

“Setting up online payment system is becoming more of a necessity in business operations these days in order to enhance cash management, improve customer-centric functionalities, and refine app and website-integrated payment systems.

This is evidenced by the sharp increase in the usage of PESONet and PayBPI via BizLink, BPI’s cash management platform. Unique active users increased by 146 percent from February to August 2020.

“There are certain advantages in having a digital payment system that put a brand ahead of others, creating great value and opportunity for businesses when it comes to sales, reputation, and customer experience,” she said.

For her part, BPI Head of Corporate Banking John-C Syquia added that BPI has already been giving many business clients secure integrated payment system for their apps and websites to boost their branding and customer experience, in addition to BizLink.

“Businesses that have online sales channels with an integrated payment system have certain advantages as it allows them to recover sales lost from physical stores,” said Syquia. “These companies are able to mitigate the impact of no or limited in-store activity; some are actually experiencing a boom during these times when everyone is encouraged to minimize physical contact with others.”

Aside from streamlining the process of selling of goods and services among the four major market segments — business to business, business to consumer, consumer to consumer, consumer to business — Syquia said, based on a report by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), having an integrated payment system can reduce operational costs, minimize pilferage risks, expand payment modes, and maximize fund flows. It also helps bring in more sales, as company branded in-app wallets and rewards systems have been shown to contribute to customer loyalty.

Optimize cash Management

Digitalizing and transforming certain functions, processes, and activities into digital assets have also proven to help businesses ramp up and optimize cash management.

It is for this reason that BPI has been helping its corporate clients to boost their operational capabilities and bridge their payments for suppliers and employees’ salaries through its BizLink, a one-stop shop online platform for digital collections, account management, and disbursement.

“Many companies have adjusted their work arrangements to curb the spread of the disease, and many have taken advantage of digital solutions and assets to accelerate their financial reporting, enhance cash management, and innovate customer-centric functionalities,” Ms. Sison said. “Companies now have the opportunity to replace their cash and check collection systems with a more digital process. Companies need solutions that would let them work remotely and still be able to process their payments and collections.”

Since BPI embarked on a digital transformation journey a few years ago, banking was made more accessible to many Filipinos and digital banking has become part of everyday life for many of its clients.

“In this new normal, we understand that many businesses operate using traditional payment systems. But a digital shift will enable businesses to have a sustained level of recovery as more customers would appreciate an omni-channel experience during these uncertain times,” said Syquia. “With this omni-channel experience, they can start their transaction on one channel and finish it off on another while providing the same level of quality, safety, and convenience for them.”