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One of the small business dilemmas when the pandemic started in 2020 was how to transition from physical to online transactions? Life must go on, we have bills to pay but how can someone pay in a lockdown set up or the ever changing regulations that greatly affect business operations.
Filipinos have one of the highest internet penetration rates in the region, as well as being the most active on social media. More than 73 million Filipinos have access to the internet, and 99 percent of them are active on some type of social media. The average Filipino spends nine hours and 45 minutes each day online, with three hours and 53 minutes spent browsing.
Despite their strong internet connectivity, Filipinos have been slow to adopt e-commerce. Prior to the epidemic, only 2% of Filipino internet users purchased goods or services online, compared to 10% of Thais, 9% of Hong Kong and Taiwanese, 6% of Vietnamese, 5% of Singaporeans and Indonesians, and 4% of Malaysians. This can be considered as one of the biggest changes that is affecting our economy: online payments.
We need to be safe hence we need to learn to adapt to the technology of digital banking. From transferring funds, paying for utilities and online subscription like Netflix, linking our bills to our credit cards, ordering food online and of course the top on our list is online shopping.
Online banking has indeed made things easier for us, especially Filipinos who are otherwise known as late adopters. But it is important to look into these points when doing business transactions online. One is always keep in mind your username and passwords. A lot of banks advised that it is beneficial if you change it regularly for safety reasons so make sure that you do not forget it. Another is to take advantage of free transaction fees like that of Instapay. It may just be a mere 15-25 pesos charge but once accumulated can actually be a significant amount. Take screenshots of successful transactions for monitoring and back up in case you might want to verify your weekly and/or monthly payments. This is on a personal level of maintaining one’s finances.
If you are a business owner, dealing with suppliers has become less burdensome as well. Issuing checks, attaching purchase orders and vouchers can require a lot of manpower as well as paper. Now, all you need to do is to check emails regularly as communications have shifted online as well.
As banks are offering more transactions online, it is also best for business owners to consider an online accounting system which can be linked to their existing bank solutions. This is efficient in terms of the use of resources and manpower. Moreover, always take into consideration the data privacy act which also helps guard the information we share online.
Trust, the foundation of all businesses should still be present even in online businesses. It is the responsibility of both the user and provider to be honest and sincere because that is the only way that the online transactions can replace the manual ones.