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Ayala, Jack Ma firm launches purchase-by-scan system

Oct 30. 2017
(FILES) This file picture taken on March 23, 2017 shows China's Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma gestures while talking to mediapersons in Kuala Lumpur. / AFP PHOTO
(FILES) This file picture taken on March 23, 2017 shows China's Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma gestures while talking to mediapersons in Kuala Lumpur. / AFP PHOTO
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By Inquirer/ANN

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The Ayala Group’s Globe Telecom and Ant Financial Services Group, owned by Chinese tycoon and Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, rolled out a new cashless option that allows consumers to buy goods and services by scanning QR codes in establishments using their mobile phones.

The platform using Globe’s GCash mobile wallet app is similar to that of Ant Financial’s Alipay, a digital payments service ubiquitous in China. 

Globe said on Wednesday that the “scan to pay” feature of GCash was initially launched in the Glorietta shopping mall in Makati City.

Globe said the feature would soon be rolled out in other Ayala-owned malls, such as Greenbelt, TriNoma, Market! Market!, Alabang Town Center, Ayala Center Cebu, Bonifacio High Street, and Ayala Malls The 30th.

“Now that more people are using data on their smartphones, the time is ripe to enable digital payments using the smartphone and let this go mainstream,” Globe CEO Ernest Cu said Wednesday.

“Our challenge today is to make digital payments the preferred choice among our customers instead of cash or credit cards,” he added. Globe’s partnership with Ant Financial, a major third-party payment service provider in 70 overseas markets, was only recently forged. Alipay Singapore Holding Pte. has acquired 45 percent of Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. After the deal, Alipay owned 45 percent of Globe Fintech, Globe held the other 45 percent and Globe’s owner, Ayala Corp., had 10 percent.

Cu said their partnership was already “bearing fruit.”

“In this country, only 5 percent of the population have credit cards, leaving almost everybody to carry cash all the time to pay for something,” Cu said. “We found the right partner and the right time to really scale up the business and change the way we use financial services.”

Eric Jing, chief executive officer of Ant Financial, said the introduction of the scan to pay technology will lower costs, increase efficiency and improve safety.

“The convenient daily life of 520 million Alipay users are enjoying and will soon be realized in the Philippines,” he said.

As noted, consumers can pay for products and services by scanning QR codes displayed by merchants and stores. Business owners only need to display these codes, which will be in the form of a sticker, removing the need for any expensive equipment.

“Customers pay the exact amount, removing the need for coins or change,” Globe said.

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