Published May 19, 2017, 10:00 PM By Myrna M. Velasco
Power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has finally firmed up on May 12 this year its business tie-up with Japanese firm Densan Company Ltd. (DSK) for the latter’s minority equity take in Bayad Center Inc., the billing and payment collection arm of Meralco.
It was gathered from sources privy to the successfully concluded negotiations that there would still be subsequent signing of partnership agreements in Tokyo.
Meralco officials previously indicated that DSK opted to initially corner 5.0-percent minority stake in Meralco’s outsourced entity Bayad Center that has been handling customer payment services.
The deal was initially pitched in the latter part of December last year, entailing then that the entire talks between prospective partners lasted more than five months.
DSK has well-entrenched payment processes and networks in Japan – and has even tagged into the payment system of convenience stores.
Its experience at its home country as well as strong information technology (IT) platform could add value to Meralco’s payment services – especially at this time when customers are on continuous hunt for convenience and efficiencies on settling bills and other payment errands.
According to Meralco, the partnership can “leverage on each party’s competencies and strength, with DSK providing the information technology expertise to enable Bayad Center to tap more convenience stores as payments fulfillment outlets.”
Meralco reiterated that “DSK has strong presence and track record with convenience stores in Japan as a payment platform or channel.”
According to the utility firm, its Bayad Center catered to more than 83 million transactions last year and served more than 200 billers.
Its payment network has also expanded recently to cover the deployment of 245 automated payment machines and 473 retail machines for sari-sari stores, online payment services, spot billing and ambulant tellering within Bayad Center and the biller offices.