Photo shows PayMongo executives (L-R): Jaime Hing III, chief technology officer; Francis Plaza, chief executive officer; and Luis Sia, chief commercial officer.

While starting their own companies a few years ago, Francis Plaza, Luis Sia, Jaime Hing III, and Edwin Lacierda realized that payments have become one of the biggest bottlenecks of business. To solve this pain point, they collaborated to launch an online payments platform, PayMongo, in 2019.

Having grown their client base to over 9,000 to date, as well as their product suite beyond links that enable sellers to easily accept payments, PayMongo now aims to grow what it calls the Internet economy of emerging markets.

Mr. Plaza, the company’s CEO, shared in an interview that PayMongo’s founders started addressing the pain point by trying to figure out how to make payments easy for everyone, regardless of their expertise in technology.

In building the solutions, Mr. Plaza continued, PayMongo is grounded on the principle that while people have always found ways to make purchases, they need that ability to transfer value between buyers and merchants with little to no overhead in verifying trust.

“Payments isn’t necessarily just that particular time when payments are made. It is this entire life cycle from onboarding to [when] merchants receive their money,” the CEO further stressed.

PayMongo started out with its one-time payment links, wherein merchants can accept Visa, Mastercard, GCash, GrabPay, and over-the-counter payments via SMS, chat, or e-mail. The provider soon expanded its suite with customizable checkout pages, which allows merchants to collect payments online or in-store without any coding needed; application programming interface (API), where payment channels can be integrated into their website or app with just a few lines of code; and e-commerce plug-ins, for fast integration to merchants’ Shopify, Woocommerce, or Magento sites, among others.

“By signing up with us, they are able to meet the basic need that they have: The ability to make transactions on the large scale of the Internet without having the burden of verifying trust every single time,” Mr. Plaza said.

PayMongo is not limiting itself to providing these solutions, nonetheless. As the number of its customers increased due to the pandemic-driven uptick in digital, PayMongo observed that a huge gap exists between businesses using a digital platform to their actual readiness for embarking on digital.

“Our mission is to grow the Internet economy of emerging markets, which is composed of millions of small and medium businesses; and what better way to meet that mission than by helping them grow their businesses on the Internet as well. These will become among our biggest customers in the long run,” Mr. Plaza said.

PayMongo is bringing this boost to businesses through its Accelerator Program, which gives members two months of zero transaction fees from all their sales with PayMongo, plus marketing support and exclusive webinars and content from business experts.

As it empowers Filipino businesses through seamless payment solutions at its core, PayMongo has its sights on building a financial operating system for businesses in the country.

“We realized that by starting out as a payments company, we actually build that one currency that’s more valuable than any peso that goes to the platform, and that currency is trust,” Mr. Plaza explained. “And as businesses trust us more and more, we are in a better position to provide them more financial services.”

The CEO also targets more small and medium businesses to adopt their platform. “[There’s] still a lot of untapped market. One way or another, our goal is for all of these businesses, whatever size, shape, or form, to have some presence on the internet,” he said.


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