No fishy business: Wet market goes high-tech
A wet market in Valenzuela City is going cashless.
The PLDT Group launched on Friday the QR payment solution of PayMaya in the New Marulas Public Market in Valenzuela City, Metro Manila. This means PayMaya users can pay for their purchases of rice, vegetables and fresh meat using their mobile phones. PayMaya is equipping at least 200 vendors in the New Marulas Public Market with this platform.
The launch is yet another step for the company to increase its presence in the QR payments space and attract more customers. PayMaya is targeting to reach about 20 million users by 2020 following the entry of new investors that included China’s Tencent in PayMaya’s developer, Voyager Innovations.
Paolo Azzola, chief operating officer and managing director at PayMaya Philippines, said they were on track to meet the target. He noted, however, that the company and even its rivals were only beginning to scratch the surface of digital payments.
“Every rollout of new technology takes time, we are now at 1 percent of rollout,” Azzola told reporters on the sidelines of the event as he explained the size of the potential market. Also launched on Friday was the Valenzuela Ako Card ID or VCard ID, which will double as a reloadable PayMaya card.
PayMaya QR has been rolled out across fast food chains, drug stores, bus operators and large retailers such as the SM Store. The decision to enter public markets was due to the fact that the business opportunity was large, but also because of the support from the local government, Azzola said.
He said each segment of their QR rollout would be approached taking into account internet connectivity and the potential for people to use the platform.
“You cannot just put QRs everywhere and expect them to be used,” Azzola explained. “You really need to make sure it’s a smartphone area with connectivity and people who actually want to adopt this technology,” he said.
He noted other public markets were being lined up for the launch of QR payments. —MIGUEL R. CAMUS
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