MANILA - PayMaya expanded its e-commerce ambitions as it launched its own virtual mall on Thursday, entering a turf currently dominated by Lazada and Shopee.
The PLDT-backed fintech firm updated its app with a new “mall” button, which allows users to buy goods online from some of the biggest restaurant, clothing, grocery, and home improvement brands.
“The PayMaya Mall is also our way of helping local businesses bounce back from the effects of the pandemic because there’s no extra cost for merchants to be included in the PayMaya Mall,” said Mark Jason Dee, head of growth, marketing and partnerships for PayMaya.
Dee however said PayMaya doesn’t intend to compete with e-commerce sites and market places.
He said the virtual mall is meant to let users experience the PayMaya app “in a different way” and expose the company’s merchant-partners to the app’s 28 million users.
Dee said merchants who want to be included in the PayMaya Mall only need to use the fintech firm’s enterprise solutions.
“PayMaya is not just a virtual wallet as the company also has its enterprise business powering hundreds of thousands of merchants nationwide,” Dee said.
The company got the idea for the virtual mall after the surge in online shopping and e-commerce last year as brick-and-mortar shops remained closed because of the pandemic, said Heidi Garayblas, PayMaya head of wallet partnerships and usage marketing.
“Imagine in 2020 alone PayMaya helped process over 95 billion worth of online shopping transactions on behalf of our partner-merchants and our users all over the country,” said Garayblas.
Unlike other shopping sites however, PayMaya doesn’t run its own fulfillment center. The virtual mall connects to the website of the partner-merchant who handles the inventory and delivery of products.