With a population of 101 million and an internet penetration growth rate over the last 5 years at 530%, the Philippines has one of the fastest growth anywhere in the world, transforming into a connected, affluent and aspirational country, full of possibilities.
In line with Payoneer’s participation in Seamless Philippines 2017, we spoke to Miguel Warren about their views towards this exciting market and how they empower businesses and professionals in the country; connecting them globally by facilitating seamless, cross-border payments.
D: Hi Miguel! Tell us a bit about your role and what that involves on a daily basis
M: Certainly. My role involves working with our customers and channel partners in the region to help them grow their international business. My team provide assistance and onboarding support to small businesses who typically struggle to send and receive cross border payments. We are also focused on building local communities of online entrepreneurs who help others go global.
D: What one trend in your industry has your attention and excited and why?
M: It’s amazing to see how easy it has become for businesses of all shapes and sizes to reach a global customer base. As the world becomes more connected, and billions of people in developing countries get online, sellers and retailers can now trade in new markets with new consumers. A huge factor in driving this cross border trade is the rise of global marketplace platforms, which provide infrastructure, logistics, and customer acquisition capabilities. These capabilities once took years, and tons of capital, to build.
Today, a small business like Kinderfluff, based in Cebu, can scale globally and sell specialty pillows to consumers in the US through Amazon. Even local retailers like Plains and Prints, who operate many retail stores in the Philippines and around South East Asia, sell on Amazon to augment their overall ecommerce efforts.
We are excited because Payoneer can help these sorts of businesses easily receive payments from global marketplaces, and significantly reduce the cost of cross border payments.
D: How has the industry changed since you first got involved in it?
M: My background is in what I like to call ‘traditional’ financial technology (fintech). I spent many years working with financial institutions and mobile payment operators on new technologies that would help improve the customer experience, provide more convenient digital channels, and modernize legacy technical infrastructures. But I always felt that so much more could be done, and I wasn’t seeing my clients adopt and implement these new technologies as fast as their customers seemed to want them to. I was carefully monitoring the rise of fintech companies like Payoneer, as I well understood that it had huge implications for traditional financial institutions, particularly in the area of cross border payments. When I was approached to join them in early 2016, I jumped at the chance.
Payoneer has seen tremendous global growth over the last few years, including triple digit growth in payment volumes to the Philippines over the last year alone. I am excited to be a part of this amazing company as we continue to empower emerging businesses and help them go global.
D: Give us a sneak peek into what you’ll be showcasing at Seamless Philippines 2017?
M: For Seamless Philippines 2017, we’ll be show-casing the Payoneer cross border B2B payments platform. Sellers, merchants and professionals can utilize this platform to easily receive payments from global marketplaces as well as from direct international clients. We’ll also show how easy it is to access the funds that have been received into the Payoneer account. Drop by our booth and you may get a chance to win drones!
D: What one trend in the Philippines market are you most excited about and why?
M: I am very excited about the rise of online outsourcing in the Philippines. Typically called “Freelancing”, this is a huge global opportunity that the World Bank Group forecasts to reach $20B in revenues by 2020. The Philippines is one of the top 5 online outsourcing countries globally, and some estimate that there are more than one million freelancers in the country. The Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) has put in place programs to support this movement, particular in the rural areas of the country, to help get more people online and open up more employment opportunities outside of the metro areas. Payoneer looks forward to working with all the different stakeholders in this initiative, as we believe that the payments piece of the puzzle is something which we can help solve. We are also keen to support the efforts of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to encourage more small businesses to get online and learn about how ecommerce can open up a global market for their products.
About Miguel Warren:
Miguel is Payoneer’s Regional Head for South East Asia, Bangladesh, Pakistan & Sri Lanka. Payoneer is a leading cross-border payments company for small businesses and professionals worldwide. Founded in 2005 and based in New York, the company is venture-backed, profitable and ranked in the top 100 of Inc. 5000’s Financial Services companies.
Miguel graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Management Engineering from the Ateneo De Manila University. He has been involved in financial technology (fintech) since 2003 with global solution providers such as FIS, SunGard and GFG Group (now Wirecard). Miguel has worked with banks, mobile payment operators and payment schemes (Visa, Mastercard, UnionPay) across South East Asia to deliver card, mobile and cross border payment solutions for consumer and business-to-business (B2B) payments.
We thank Miguel for his forthcoming views on e-payments and look forward to welcoming him at Seamless Philippines 2017, 27th to 28th September at the SMX Convention Centre in Manila. CLICK HERE to find out how you can be part of this exclusive opportunity.