With micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines comprising over 90% of the country’s establishments, there is an opportunity to introduce smart technology and allow small businessmen to tap into the e-commerce market, said Rommel Santos, CEO of Malaysia-based Smart Asset Managers (SAM).
SAM is in the Philippines to roll out its Dinar Dirham Koin (DDK), a blockchain community platform that aims to empower MSMEs in the region using the emerging technology.
“The MSMEs are vital in building an inclusive and dynamic economy for the people,” Ramos told Cryptovest as he called on small businessmen to explore new opportunities and to be innovative in looking for new ways by boldly opening new ventures.
He added, “We are aware of the crucial role MSME play in creating a better future for the people, and we will assist you and provide you with guidance to achieve this task."
According to Ramos, SAM is answering the call of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to encourage digital payments and transactions in the country’s retail segment. The plan is to use blockchain and digital payments to uplift the lives of the majority of Filipinos and the unbanked and underserved sectors by providing them financial services as well as access to financial institutions.
Through digitization, the government and SAM hope to raise the competitiveness of the retail sector.
He explained SAM’s DDK offers a wide range of sophisticated features from secured payment, direct or peer-to-peer transactions that eliminates delays in the approval or transaction process. Through blockchain technology, MSMEs could cut operational cost because they can do away with third-party transactions.
More importantly, he explained DDK allows users to transact with micropayments, "meaning we can send or receive payment from .0001 DDKoin with minimal transaction fees.” This makes it ideal for retail transactions in the Philippines, he added.
The success of blockchain adoption among MSMEs hinges largely on the rapid acceptance of the QR Code standard to further boost the development of the country’s payments and settlements system.
The QR code will pave the way for an effective retail payment system that could transform the Philippine economy as it brings business transactions and the savings generated through a shift from paper-based to digital instruments.
"You can just imagine a micro-entrepreneur who is used to transacting in cash involving only the equivalent of a few centavos to a few dollars but is now doing business electronically and cashless. That is disrupting their lives. It will give them access to financial institutions and credit facilities not normally available to them. That is the essence of financial inclusion,” Ramos said.
Early this month, Congressman Seth Frederick “Bullet” Jalosjos, of the first district of Zamboanga del Norte, announced that the southern region of Mindanao in the Philippines would be the first area in the country to be powered by crypto and blockchain technology.