Viber enters e-commerce space by connecting food customers to MSMEs

February 19, 2021 - 5:15 PM
Youth using smartphones
Stock photo of people using smarthphones. (Pixabay/Dean Moriarty)

Micro, small and medium enterprises that launched last year as the coronavirus pandemic hit several businesses in the country mostly operate online to reach more customers amid the government restrictions on public movement.

In view of these developments, the demand for cashless transactions also rose.

Fred Levy, chief commercial officer of GCash, said the e-wallet service now has 33 million users, with a significant growth recorded since the pandemic.

Last week, messaging app Rakuten Viber announced its partnership with Gcash and Globe myBusiness to allow digital payments for those who transact through its directory of food sellers, FoodPH.

Through FoodPH launched in December, Viber users can search for the type of food they want to order based on their location.

Aside from making customer discovery convenient, the messaging app moved beyond calls and messages to allow sellers to receive payments from buyers via Gcash-enabled QR code. It aims to make transactions seamless within the messaging app’s ecosystem.

“The new features help both merchants and the customers especially now that MSMEs offer another payment gateway to customers,” David Tse, senior director of Rakuten Viber said during a press conference last February 11.

“It encourages customers to support local businesses and order their food from MSMEs,” he also said in a statement.

Tse added that Viber’s partnership was forged in time for last weekend’s Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day when most Filipinos also celebrated with ordered food in the comforts of their homes.

Levy said Viber wants to create more options for their users by shifting transactions of MSMEs from offline to online. “And in a nutshell maintain a livelihood,” he added.