Businesses looking to optimize their costs and cope with the changes in consumer behavior brought about by COVID-19 can take the first step by digitalizing payments for partners and suppliers.
Citing a 2019 report by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, BPI Corporate Banking Head John-C Syquia said businesses can save 4-8% of their annual spend just by digitalizing payments.
“Studies have shown that integrated payment systems can reduce operational costs, minimize pilferage risks, expand payment modes, and maximize fund flows. It also helps bring in more sales, as company branded in-app wallets and rewards systems have been shown to contribute to customer loyalty and stickiness,” he said.
This first step of digitalizing payments is part of a more comprehensive digital transformation that includes an enhanced cash management platform, customer-centric functionalities, and app- and website-integrated payment systems.
Syquia said BPI has already been giving many business clients a secure integrated payment system for their apps and websites to boost their branding and customer experience. This is in addition to BizLink, BPI’s online corporate platform, which provides companies with a one-stop shop for digital collections, account management, and disbursements.
“Brands that have online sales channels with an integrated payment system have certain advantages as it allows them to recover sales lost from physical stores,” said Syquia. “These brands are experiencing a boom during these times when everyone is encouraged to stay at home and minimize physical contact with others.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates the pace towards a cashless or cash-lite society, Ana Sison, BPI’s Head of Transaction Services, encourages companies to pursue digitalization through cloud-based solutions, automation, and data analytics to build scale into their operations.
“Companies now have the opportunity to replace their cash and check collection systems with a more digital process. Companies need solutions that would let them work remotely and still be able to process their payments and collections,” she said.
Sison noted that BizLink users can enjoy seamless, real-time transfers for transactions within the BPI ecosystem, which counts over 8 million individual and corporate clients, as well as other useful features that make transacting and account management more convenient and efficient.
“We’ve looked at the most common transactions among our corporate clients and offer them under the Basic BizLink Bundle. This allows them to manage their account portfolio, view their transaction history, transfer to enrolled accounts, pay bills, and pay government agencies such as the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Social Security System,” said Sison.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact virtually every aspect of our lives, and executive management teams of many businesses are dealing with very practical concerns brought about by the situation. We can be their partner in taking their business to a new level and not only survive but thrive in the new normal. Our digital solutions give them the competitive advantage in these challenging times,” said Syquia.