PLDT unit to forge strategic partnerships in Q1 2018

Chrisee Dela Paz
PLDT unit to forge strategic partnerships in Q1 2018
Voyager Innovations chairman Manuel Pangilinan says the upcoming partnership deals 'will excite the market'

MANILA, Philippines – PLDT Incorporated unit Voyager Innovations Incorporated is set to sign strategic partnership deals with at least two foreign firms in the first quarter of 2018.

“It’s going to be strategic and financial. The agreement could be signed within the first quarter of this year. I’ll stick my neck out for it,” Manuel Pangilinan, chairman of Voyager, told reporters on the sidelines of The Outstanding Young Men press briefing in Makati City on Wednesday, January 10.

Voyager is a digital innovation firm wholly owned by PLDT. It is involved in fintech through PayMaya, e-commerce, and digital marketing. (READ: Globe, PLDT battle it out in cashless payments)

In November 2017, Pangilinan said Voyager may have a Chinese partner. Also last year, its rival’s fintech arm, Globe Fintech Innovations Incorporated (Mynt). announced a partnership with Jack Ma’s Ant Financial.

“It (Voyager’s new partnership) will excite the market,” Pangilinan said. (READ: Telcos turn to Makati to beta test all-in-one digital card, app)

In late 2017, another Chinese internet giant, Tencent, launched its WeChat cashless payment service through a partnership with Asia United Bank. 

In December 2017, Pangilinan also said PLDT, which he chairs, expects to book over P50 billion in capital expenditures for 2018, to boost its fixed-line and wireless internet network.

The adoption of digital payments and commerce has grown faster over the past two years, following the introduction of prepaid e-wallets regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) such as PayMaya.

Data from the Better than Cash Alliance as of 2013 showed that 99% of all payment transactions in the Philippines are still done via cash. Electronic payments by businesses and individuals accounted for 1% and 0.3%, respectively.

The National Retail Payment System initiative led by the BSP and supported by banks and e-money issuers like PayMaya aims to increase cashless transactions to 20% of the total volume of payment transactions by 2020. –

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