By Lenie Lectura - March 5, 2017
MANILA Electric Co. (Meralco) and Japan’s leading integrated payment-solution provider Densan Co. Ltd. are in discussions for the latter’s acquiring an initial 5-percent stake in the utility firm’s bills-payment business.
“Densan is a Japanese company that has strong relations with convenience stores. They provide channel and opportunities for payment fulfillment services, so we’ve been talking to them. They are interested in taking a stake in Bayad Center. It’s small. They are interested in that order or more, but we’d like to see below 10 percent, and initially just 5 percent,” Meralco President Oscar Reyes said.
Densan, said Reyes, wanted “much higher” than acquiring a 5-percent stake in Bayan Center, but Meralco wants to sell only 5 percent for now.
Meralco Senior Vice President Alfredo Panlilio earlier said both firms “could agree on something by the first quarter of next year.”
The Japanese firm’s possible investment in Bayan Center will mostly boost the technology of mobile-phone payment.
“I was telling them, can you share with us technologies that we can use the mobile phone as payment? We had a meeting, but it was more of top level. We’ll create teams to drill down on certain initiatives like e-commerce. The long-term vision, I think, is hopefully we can bring it out to Asia, other Asian countries,” Panliliio said.
Bayad Center offers and accepts three major services. These are remittance payout, business- center services and bills payment. It pioneered the concept of providing convenience when it comes to bills collection.