Wireless services leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), through its leading mobile money service Smart e-Money, Inc. (SMI) and in partnership with Zalora Philippines, the fashion brand of Rocket Internet, has launched a breakthrough electronic and mobile payments platform for the unbanked and uncarded that will allow users in emerging markets to participate in the digital economy.

MePay, the new payments platform that only requires any Philippine mobile number upon sign-up, will now allow for secure and convenient online shopping with Zalora even for customers without a credit card. Initially, MePay users can top-up their accounts through direct transfers from Smart Money accounts or through any of the 30,000 Smart Money Padala centers nationwide.

Initially available in the Philippines, MePay will soon provide a robust and effective payments platform for emerging markets like the Philippines, especially those countries with low banking and credit card penetration.

“The Philippines has one of the highest growth rates for e-Commerce in the Southeast Asian region but credit card ownership is still at just around 4% of the entire population—a long-time hurdle which MePay intends to address. Since many Filipinos do not have a bank account or have yet to own a credit card, e-Commerce has not flourished in the country as much as everybody expected,” said Benjie S. Fernandez, Chief Operating Officer at SMI.

“With MePay, we are expanding the space for e-Commerce around the world by enabling secure and convenient online payments through a service that’s easy to use and access. In the next few months, you will see more features added to MePay,” he added.

MePay can now be used with online lifestyle portal Zalora (www.zalora.com.ph), a Rocket Internet company operating in the Philippines, as part of the series of collaborations with the global Internet firm following PLDT’s strategic investment in the company back in August. During this launch “sneak peek” of MePay, Zalora is offering 25% off for shoppers if they checkout using MePay during the Christmas Season.

“ZALORA is more than thrilled to team up with with the country’s leading telecommunications network through MePay. As ZALORA is constantly looking for ways to improve our customer experience and offer the highest level of service quality to our portfolio of payment options, we are excited to be the first to partner with MePay to extend this innovative service to end users,” added Paulo Campos, Managing Director, ZALORA Phlippines.

MePay-Zalora (1)
Zalora and Smart e-Money, Inc. (SMI) executives join together to launch a breakthrough innovation in Philippine online and mobile payments. In photo are (from left) Zalora executives Constantin Robertz, Paulo Campos, and Martin Cu (fourth from left), as well as SMI executives Paolo Azola (third from left), Benjie Fernandez, and Lawrence Ferrer

Next-level e-Commerce

An established leader in innovation, Smart has paved the way for mobile money with the launch of Smart Money in December 2000, a first-in-the-world service that has made payments and remittances easier and hassle-free for consumers.

“Today, with the launch of MePay, we are kicking it a notch higher and taking e-Commerce to the next level by opening up the platform to merchants, big or small, so they can easily accept electronic and mobile payments from their customers,” Fernandez said.

For the launch, MePay users can initially link their Smart Money funds to their accounts, or “top up” their MePay wallets through the expansive network of more than 30,000 Smart Money Padala Centers nationwide, more than the branch networks of all banks and pawnshops combined.

“We are aggressively rolling out the MePay platform across more online merchants in the Philippines, as well as activating the ability to add more fund sources in the months to come,” Fernandez added.

MePay-Zalora (2)
Smart e-Money, Inc. (SMI) and Zalora executives answer questions from the media during the official launch of MePay, the latest innovation in Philippine online and mobile payments. In photo are (from left) SMI executives Paolo Azola, Kenneth Palacios, Benjie Fernandez, and Edmon Joson (rightmost), as well as Zalora Philippines Marketing Director Martin Cu.

To set up a MePay account, users only need to go to www.MePay.ph, enter any Philippine-based mobile number, and fill up the short registration form. A verification code will be sent to their mobile number to activate the account, after which they can immediately begin using their MePay accounts for online shopping.

And because it’s mobile-linked, MePay users are assured that every transaction is safe and secure because they will receive an SMS notification each time they do something with their account, such as when topping up or when using it to pay at e-Commerce sites.

For more information on how to get your own MePay account, simply visit www.MePay.ph.