In the age of digitalization of financial transactions, sari-sari stores are challenged in keeping up with this trend. Leading community-based digital transaction provider Posible is committed to making digital financial services available to micro, small and medium enterprises.
With the Posible business device, more kantopreneurs (kanto-entrepreneurs) are evolving into all-in-one digital hubs in their communities.
Around the busy streets of Manila, a family’s sari-sari store of 12 years made its name considering its competition against bigger establishments in its neighborhood.
Located behind a mall in Malate, RJames Store started out like any typical sari-sari store. Vicky manages her family business by selling snacks, canned goods and other basic necessities. She recalled its humble beginnings. “Back then, only one man could fit in the space. We expanded the store thrice,” she said.
RJames store also offers e-loading and e-money padala. Vicky noticed that the demand for e-money padala remarkably grew through the years.
“E-money padala is our top transaction. For example, it is really a hit during payday. Our transactions reach P100,000 within a week,” she said.
In 2016, Vicky saw the need to upscale her business from being a regular sari-sari store and her family decided to offer more services in their community. With a P45,000 investment, through Posible she expanded their business to include bills payment, select government fees payment, banking and financing services, bus ticketing, e-money padala, insurance, mobile loading and online gaming credits, among others.
For its wider array of services, fast transactions and convenient location, RJames Store has gained more popularity in the neighborhood. Amid the competition from bigger stores and malls, RJames Store recorded a 65-percent increase in sales.
Vicky considers being a Posible retailer as a huge factor to this success. “For instance, while you pay your bills, you would also buy some snacks,” she said.
Sari-sari stores have always been a staple among Filipino communities. According to the Philippine Association of Stores and Carinderia Owners, there are 1.3 million sari-sari stores nationwide. Despite the increasing number of malls and convenience stores, they are still the most frequented retail place by 94 percent of Filipinos, based on a Nielsen study in 2015.
From being a traditional sari-sari store, RJames Store has become the neighborhood’s one-stop shop for their digital financial transactions. There are other options available, but convenience has always been the challenge.
“Why would I want to go to the mall to pay my bills? The queue there is quite long. I thought of trying Posible because it’s really an all-in-one choice for payment transactions,” said Vicky.
With its 24/7 operations and convenient location, the sari-sari store can compete against bigger convenience stores and even a mall.
“Even the mall is not yet open, they can finally pay their water bill to avoid disconnection,” she said.
The 2018 Nielsen Quest for Convenience stated convenience is the top priority of Filipino consumers. Through fintech, Posible continues to make more products/services available in the community by empowering MSMEs.
“We are pleased to see that our kantopreneurs are being enabled to offer services more than the traditional products in the community. With our innovations, we are seeing MSMEs upscale their businesses and make financial transactions even more convenient for Filipinos,” said Posible CEO JG Puzon.
Posible now has more than 5,000 empowered retailers nationwide, making digital financial services accessible to over 500,000 unique customers.