MANILA - Cashless payments using mobile phones are gaining traction in the Philippines as more consumers realize the convenience of digital payments over carrying cash or cards, the head of the country's largest telecommunications company said Tuesday.
Globe Telecom has grown the number of merchants offering its scan-to-pay service with Chinese billionaire Jack Ma's Alipay to 15,000 from just 1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017, said its president and CEO, Ernest Cu.
Mobile payments will be a "very valuable business" once Globe achieves scale, Cu told reporters.
Chinese tourists can pay for goods and services in the Philippines using their Alipay accounts by scanning Globe Telecom QR codes with their mobile devices.
Cu said Filipinos would soon be able to do the same when they visit China, using their Globe devices.
"I have no doubt it will because we Filipinos love technology and I think anyone who uses the QR code will admit it's much more convenient than using a credit card or cash," Cu said when asked about growth prospects for scan-to-pay services.
For merchants, Cu said cashless payments make transactions faster.
"We're not forecasting revenue yet. Right now, we're still building up the base. All these things take time. You build the user base," he said.