December 28, 2016, 10:00 PM By Myrna M. Velasco
Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is in talks with a Japanese billing company for a partnership deal that will potentially reinforce the domestic utility firm’s services and operations on its own billing systems.
According to Meralco Senior Vice President Alfredo S. Panlilio, the company is “initially eyeing minority equity” in Meralco’s corporate vehicle handling its “Bayad Center” or its bills payment system.
He did not name the Japanese firm pending ongoing negotiations. However, it was hinted by other company sources that it is Densan Co. Ltd., which is a leading integrated payment solution provider in Japan.
Panlilio said the company has an electronic commerce (e-commerce) solution where Meralco could benefit from, especially in improving services to its customers.
“We had a meeting, but it was more of a top level for now. We’ll create teams to drill down on certain initiatives like e-commerce, they also have that technology in Japan,” he stressed.
Technology sharing and billing system processes are the ones explored for synergy that had initially been discussed by the two companies.
Densan, it was noted, has wide know-how in data processing, systems integration and software development that has been underpinning its information technology-based suite of payment solutions.
For this targeted tie-up, Panlilio noted that “the longer-term vision is, after our partnership here, maybe we can bring it to Asia… we can also bring it to Africa.”
He said the prospective Japanese partner would still have to go back to its board to secure approval before advancing into firmer partnership deal with the Philippine power utility company.