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Lazada teams up with GCash on payments

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By Zsarlene B. Chua, Reporter

SOUTHEAST ASIAN e-commerce site Lazada is now allowing its customers to pay for their purchases using GCash, in hopes of encouraging consumers to shift to cashless payments.

“Previously, Lazada was more focused on perfecting our cash-on-delivery (COD) but more recently we wanted to more deliberately focus on the switch to non-COD. Because while the delivery experience for COD is great, it’s far from perfect,” Ray Alimurung, Lazada Philippines CEO told BusinessWorld shortly after the launch event in Taguig City on Wednesday.

The partnership was two years in the making. Aside from the technical aspects of the GCash integration into the Lazada site and mobile app, Mr. Alimurung said it was also due to the fact that they consider the checkout page as “very, very prime real estate.”

“So we don’t want to just open it up to just anyone and I think the partnership with GCash is much deeper because of the investment of [Ant Financial] into Mynt. I think cementing that partnership led to this [aside] from the technical aspects of it,” he said.

Ant Financial, an affiliate company of Chinese multinational Alibaba and operates Alipay, made an investment into fintech company Mynt, which operates GCash, in 2017.

Mynt is now a partnership between Globe Telecom, Ayala Corporation and Ant Financial.

Aside from GCash, Lazada customers can also pay via cash-on-delivery, Paypal, credit/debit cards and BDO credit card installment.

Mr. Alimurung noted in previous years, COD was the payment of choice for 85% of purchases made in Lazada but more recently, it is at 78% and continuing to drop as more people prefer e-payments.

“Today, a lot of commerce are offline. It’s important to position ourselves well for what is going to be the future,” Anthony Thomas, Mynt President and CEO, told BusinessWorld during the event.

“This is the right time because both of us are looking for explosive growth and there’s really a need for a convenient shopping experience: for it to be secure, for it to be accessible to everyone,” he added.

GCash offers peer-to-peer money transfers, mobile load, bills payment, retail purchases (a feature they added last year) and now, e-commerce purchases.

Globe expects GCash to have over 20 million users in the next five to seven years.

“We are on track, in fact, we have grown the active user base three times since we closed the investment with [Ant Financial] a year ago,” Mr. Thomas said. “We’re just getting started on introducing the innovations now. We feel that we are on track to get to that. In fact, the target keeps getting closer — it’s not even five to seven years, we’re looking at within three to five years.”

He noted the growth is in line with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ projection that electronic payments in the country will exceed 20% of total payment transactions by 2020.