ONLINE PAYMENTS enabler PayMongo Philippines, Inc. announced on Tuesday a partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) aimed at increasing micro, small, and medium enterprises’ (MSMEs) access to financial services.

The partnership aims to help MSMEs digitize their businesses through digital payment solutions, PayMongo said in an e-mailed statement.

Under the partnership, PayMongo and DTI intend to enable MSMEs to accept online payments, manage their finances online, and reach a wider market of online customers.

“In order to extend the partnership’s reach, DTI and PayMongo will disseminate educational content and facilitate demonstrations and webinars through the department’s regional offices,” the online payments company said.

The company said the initiative is aligned with Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual’s first strategic priority to upgrade, upskill, and upsize MSMEs through digitalization and digital transformation.

“DTI recognizes the need to encourage more MSMEs to digitalize their operations and bring their businesses online. Expanding the use of e-commerce will provide MSMEs bigger markets, thereby increasing their sales and revenues,” said DTI-Regional Operations Group Undersecretary Blesila A. Lantayona.

Mr. Pascual has said the digitalization effort will begin with his own agency, the DTI.

“One of my priorities is to promote digital transformation of the DTI and all our functions as well as (the transformation of) MSMEs and other enterprises,” he said in a recent television interview.

He said one of the consequences of digitalization is enhancing consumer protection by providing “information on suggested retail prices (SRPs) of any commodity.”

“That is the way to approach it. Provide the consumers with the information to serve as the basis for their decision so that there will be no retailer or seller who takes advantage of their lack of knowledge,” he added. — Arjay L. Balinbin