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We're All Shopping Online. Here's an E-Commerce Credit Card That’ll You Make Do It Even More

Digital-first companies UnionBank and Lazada team up to make online shopping worthwhile.  
IMAGE Lazada/ Freepik
ILLUSTRATOR Bianca Papa
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The Worst Year Ever has forced people to do things differently. We wear masks. We don’t wear shoes. We work via screens. We are more distrustful of strangers who may be potential carriers of a deadly virus. We are also doing most of our shopping by tapping on our smartphone or making the clicker on our mouse sing

Clickity-click-click-click. 

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We are shopping online more than ever. 

With a pandemic setting fire to the world, it is not the best of times, but it is the right time for digital-first companies, Union Bank and Lazada, to upgrade the online shopping experience with an e-commerce credit card, the first in the country. On a Zoom presentation held last week, Edwin R. Bautista, president and CEO of UnionBank, mentioned how e-commerce growth in the Philippines is among the fastest in Southeast Asia. 

Hard numbers ahead: According to a 2019 analysis by Global Data, the Philippines' e-commerce transactions grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.4 percent from 2015 and 2019. Further, the country's e-commerce market is set to grow at a CAGR of 15.7 percent, reaching P368.3 billion in 2023

While the uptrend was recorded before the world changed, the arrow continues to travel in the right direction as, in the past few months of the pandemic, Filipinos have embraced the idea of buying things online even more. Neil Trinidad, chief marketing officer of Lazada, shared how there has been a “massive acceleration across the platform,” noting how you’re spending more time shopping online, buying double than what you used to, and using online transactions twice as much.

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We’re buying more food and groceries from online vendors.

Trinidad detailed how Lazada recorded growth in all its categories, from electronics to beauty and everything in between. Notably, hygiene grew tenfold and grocery, a category that did not exist before the pandemic, grew fifteenfold. On Lazada Fresh, the grocery arm of the network, you can order almost anything you'd find in your community market—fresh tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, lean ground pork, chicken leg chunks—and sellers will deliver it to your doorstep on the same day.  

Antonio Sebastian Corro, card business head of UnionBank, echoed the same thought, mentioning how there has been “dramatic growth in e-commerce,” specifically in food, clothing, and “a lot of food delivery from the supermarket.” 

He added: “It’s very important to be safe and the best way to do that is to stay home and online.” And that’s where cashless payment comes in. 

The UnionBank Lazada credit card is for seamless and rewarding online shopping.

Okay, enough about the whys. Here’s the good part: The UnionBank Lazada credit card, a project done entirely during the pandemic (proof that the crisis leads to innovation), is another option for cashless, online transactions. The partners, which also include Mastercard, tout the “greater financial flexibility” of the virtual plastic. Translation: lots of rewards.

While you may already have one, two, three, or even four credit cards in rotation, do you have one that earns six Lazada Wallet credits every time you spend P200 at Lazada? This, they say, is “the highest-earning rate among other credit cards in the market.” On top of that, you get one Lazada credit every time you charge P200 outside the e-commerce platform. 

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It is also described as seamless (one of the words thrown around during the Zoom presentation) and that just means the card has minimal to no obstacles—the pesky little things that irritate. For example, there are no conversions here as one credit is one peso. No need to do mental gymnastics when figuring out if you have enough credits to finally buy an air fryer or a robo vacuum, the future purchases of Corro and Trinidad, respectively.

More things to love: You get P5,000 Lazada Wallet credits as a welcome gift, P50 for shipping every month, and up to P250 discount vouchers during the big Lazada sales, the birthday sale, the mid-year sale, and the 9.9, 11.11., and 12.12 sales.

The other term ascribed to the new card is frictionless. As Trinidad points out, applying for the card is easy and, more important, safe as it can be fully done online. Once approved, you get your virtual credit card, which is accessed through the UnionBank Online app, right away. Oh, a physical card will be sent to you, too, but you know you won’t be using plastic anymore, right?

lzd.co/UBLazadaCard

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Clifford Olanday
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