From PayMaya website

PayMaya targets double digit user growth this year as it targets millennials

PayMaya Philippines Inc., formerly Smart e-Money, Inc., is targeting double-digit growth in users this year, as it further expands its presence both here and overseas.

PayMaya Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Orlando B. Vea said the payment gateway hit its target of a million users and around P200 billion worth of transactions processed as of end 2016.

“That’s done [last year]. The one million [users], that’s only PayMaya, but our total users including Smart Money is six million as of last year,” Mr. Vea told BusinessWorld in a recent interview. “We will grow significantly… I cannot tell the exact numbers but we will grow significantly, at least double [digit] but it could be more.”

For this year, Mr. Vea said PayMaya expects “significant” growth as it taps the millennial market, which so far accounts for over 60% of PayMaya users.

PayMaya last week launched its new campaign “Millennials Beyond the Selfie,” as it reaches out to 15- to 34-year-old consumers in the Philippines.

“This is about building a whole ecosystem, but on the users, we’ll grow significantly… [We] think the market is ripe, it’s waiting out there. We just need to unlock the potential. And one area there is, is the millennial [market] which I think is the great unserved market,” Mr. Vea added.

In particular, the PayMaya executive said the millennial market is a key driver for its business, already accounting for bulk of its transactions and “more than 68%” of its users.

PayMaya — a digital platform that allows businesses to receive payments from all cards anytime — said in a separate statement on Thursday that globally, millennials are an “emerging market force” especially in the digital economy.

In the Philippines, around 35% of the country’s population belong to the millennial generation.

“In the next decade, millennials will be the largest living generation — and their numbers and lifestyle will drive society’s socioeconomic and cultural development,” the company added.

PayMaya executives said late last year that for the Voyager group, the targets are “extremely ambitious” over the next three years with 2016 as a build year and 2017 as a scale year.

“We’re continuously broadening the base for both suppliers of credit and users of credit so it will grow,” Mr. Vea said.

PayMaya is adding more government and private partners for its services, which would include payment acceptance, usage occasion, remittance and billing. Usage is “growing already on a per user basis” and “will keep growing because there will be more occasions to use it,” the company said.

Current billers of the digital payment feature include are Manila Electric Co., Globe Telecom, Inc., Laguna AAAWater Corp., PLDT, Inc., Smart Communications, Inc. (both Smart Bro and Postpaid), and Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc., which is commercially known as Sun Cellular. Users can also now use PayMaya for other services provided in Bayad Centers and for National Statistics Office transactions.

Meanwhile, PayMaya is also eyeing to expand its presence in up to four countries this year, Mr. Vea said.

“We have at least two countries, possibly four. There are two where we already have our initial presence,” Mr. Vea added, noting that countries in the Southeast Asia are “different but you can find similarities.”

He did not yet disclose which countries.

PayMaya is part of Voyager Innovations, Inc., which is the digital innovations arm of PLDT. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.

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