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SME Featured Southeast Asia

PH’s NextPay bags US$125K funding for scaling operations among local MSMEs

Manila, Philippines – NextPay, a Philippine-based fintech startup, has secured a US$125K investment funding from startup accelerator Y Combinator, which will be used to expand NextPay’s services further and address the growing problem of financially-underserved businesses in the Philippines. 

Through the investment, NextPay founders aim to leverage their previous experience working in ‘unicorn’ companies to expand their line of digital banking services. Their plans include new digital solutions for payments, credit, and personal cash management.

“Our goal is to empower smaller businesses with a spectrum of banking services that were previously unavailable to them because of the steep requirements and high fees that are typically aimed at larger, more developed companies that can afford them. This funding round from Y Combinator allows us to scale even faster to bring digital financial services closer to MSMEs,” said Don Pansacola, CEO and co-founder at NextPay.

The platform allows small businesses to have the same financial capabilities as large banks, which gives growing companies access to affordable financial services such as digital invoicing, cash management, and batch payments to any bank or e-wallet in the Philippines.

Furthermore, the startup has positioned itself to enable more businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers to centralize all their financial requirements through one easy-to-use, affordable, and inclusive platform. 

“We plan to introduce more payment acceptance methods, virtual credit cards, and other digital solutions that enable businesses to manage their cash flow and alleviate the bottlenecks of the Philippine financial landscape. We will also partner with human resource and accounting software companies to further streamline the financial operations of a growing company,” Pansacola added.

According to Aldrich Tan, co-founder and chief experience officer at NextPay, the platform aims to give a wider opportunity among small businesses through accessible digital financial services.

“Through our platform, MSMEs can conduct their transactions seamlessly and allow business owners to free up resources and focus on their operations. This optimization and focus are vital in supporting and strengthening the country’s efforts towards economic recovery,” Tan stated.

Since its launch in 2020, NextPay has processed over US$2.5M (₱120M) in digital transactions for more than 100 businesses. Customers of NextPay can enjoy reduced processing times from as much as 3 days to just 30 minutes. 

“NextPay wants to help the Philippines bounce back. We want to enable growing enterprises to maximize their capital, reach more customers, and generate more jobs and opportunities. This then stimulates economic transactions and creates demand for stronger partnerships. It’s a domino effect, but it starts from having a digital platform like NextPay who empowers MSMEs to thrive and do more,” Pansacola concluded.

NextPay is the fifth Filipino startup to have received funding from Y Combinator, with companies including job searching platform Kalibrr, payment platform PayMongo, edtech Avion School, and laboratory software company Dashlabs.ai.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

ShopeePay appeals to unbanked users with new TouchPay tie-up

Manila, Philippines As more Filipinos adopt cashless payment methods, ShopeePay, Shopee’s in-app digital wallet, has partnered with local automated payment services provider, TouchPay, to add more options for shoppers to top up their e-wallets. 

With over 600 locations in the Philippines, ShopeePay users can add to their balance through TouchPay’s automated payment machines (APM). 

The partnership with TouchPay aims to strengthen Shopee’s digital payments ecosystem to meet the rising digital adoption, where through TouchPay, those that remain unbanked and uncarded can top up their mobile wallets using cash.

To top up ShopeePay via TouchPay, users only need to go to any TouchPay APM, following the selection of TouchPay as their payment method. After paying with cash, users will then receive a receipt for confirmation with the top-up amount to be credited to ShopeePay within 24 hours.

TouchPay machines can be found in known establishments such as Ayala Malls, SMDC, and Watsons, as well as Mercury Drug branches, among others.

Martin Yu, the director of Shopee Philippines, said, “ShopeePay is excited for this opportunity to better serve our users. As users increasingly embrace digital payments, ShopeePay aims to enable consumers to transact more conveniently with us. We are committed to excellent service and will continue to provide the best online shopping experience to our customers this 2021.”

Other available ShopeePay top-up channels are GCash, 7-Eleven CliQQ, and ECPay, as well as Bayad Center, and LBC Bills Payment, among others. Shopee users with bank accounts are also able to top up using online banking and over-the-counter.

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SME Featured Southeast Asia

JazzyPay, e-payment for SMEs in PH, adds UnionBank as payment partner

Manila, Philippines – As contactless payments have emerged as an essential solution for businesses during the pandemic, online payment platform for SMEs in the Philippines, JazzyPay, has partnered with one of the leading commercial banks in the country, UnionBank, enabling its onboarded businesses to reach a wider audience and thus to attract new users.

JazzyPay enables various businesses to accept cashless payments across credit and debit cards, e-wallets, and online baking, as well as over-the-counter cash deposits. The platform now has a total of 27 payment methods including UnionBank.

Through the partnership, JazzyPay customers can settle their payments using their UnionBank accounts, while UnionBank Online users can now pay for local and essential businesses registered with JazzyPay.

Aside from being a unified online payment platform, JazzyPay will also enable businesses to send online invoices to their customers without having to use third-party invoicing services. 

According to Edwin Bautista, the president and chief executive officer of UnionBank, transactions done through the bank’s mobile app rose from 40,000 in January 2020 to nearly 1 million by December 2020. As a part of its ‘Tech up, Pilipinas’ advocacy, UnionBank also recently launched its mobile banking app for SMEs, becoming the first SME-focused banking app in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Kathleen Acosta, the co-founder and chief operating officer of JazzyPay, believes that UnionBank’s constant efforts in providing excellent financial services especially to SMEs have been evident through their recent projects. 

“As a payment platform that aims to empower more local businesses in the Philippines, JazzyPay is honored to be able to partner with an innovative company that shares the same vision of growth for SMEs and underserved businesses,” said Acosta.

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Platforms Featured East Asia

HSBC’s PayMe to drive digital payment adoption in HK via partnership with Global Payments

Hong Kong – HSBC’s mobile payment platform PayMe has announced today a strategic partnership with payment technology and software services provider Global Payments Inc., in an aim to expand the merchant coverage of PayMe, making payments simpler for both businesses and consumers in Hong Kong. 

The partnership will allow merchants to connect with PayMe users by simply adding PayMe for Business in their Electronic Cash Registers (ECR) system. A QR code will then be generated automatically at checkout. 

For consumers, they will only have to scan the QR code with their PayMe app and authenticate the payment. 

The PayMe app will be supported by Global Payments’ leading data analytics platform. Through this, merchants can now access real-time PayMe transaction reports digitally via the Global Payments Merchant Portal and process instant refunds with a few clicks, which will enable merchants to enhance operational efficiency in cash management and reconciliation, as well as further simplify customer experiences. 

Kerry Wong, head of HSBC’s PayMe, commented that they are thrilled to forge a new strategic partnership with Global Payments, which plays an important part in the merchant expansion plan of PayMe for Business. 

“This also provides a convenient payment collection solution to Hong Kong businesses as they adapt to the accelerating trend of digital transformation. We will continue our commitment to make payments simpler for merchants and consumers in both online and offline scenarios,” said Wong. 

Meanwhile, the President of Asia Pacific’s Global Payments, Konrad Chan, said, “We have always been at the forefront of payment technology innovation and are committed to providing our merchants with distinctive payment solutions to satisfy the evolving needs of consumers in Hong Kong.”

Starting today, PayMe is an available payment option at sandwich chain store Pret A Manger, Japanese café Panash Bakery & Café (applicable for dine-in at Café locations only), coffee shop Pause It, and pizza specialist Dough Bros. Pizza & Doughnuts branches across the city. More businesses using Global Payments’ payment services will be able to deploy PayMe for Business in the near future.