Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


MSME digital shift hampered by poor internet, distrust of fintech

SLOW INTERNET connections and lack of trust in financial technology (fintech) services are hindering the transition to digital technology of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the competition regulator said.

Speaking at a webinar organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Wednesday, Philippine Competition Commission Chairman Arsenio M. Balisacan said that the digital shift accelerated by the pandemic has lowered prices of goods, increased market access especially for MSMEs and allowed greater labor flexibility.

However, he said the digital space remains dominated by big corporations and smaller companies are having a difficult time expanding mainly due to poor internet services.

“Developing economies including the Philippines face challenges in making the digital shift more inclusive. MSMEs and the poor suffer unequal access to the digital platform due primarily to poor connectivity, and unstable, slow and expensive internet connections,” according to Mr. Balisacan, the government’s former chief economic planner.

Lack of awareness and trust in digital services such as fintech, funding constraints and skill mismatches are also hampering inclusive growth.

Stay-at-home orders and fears of contracting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) accelerated the shift to digital last year, allowing firms to reach their suppliers, clients and customers without the need to move around.

Mr. Balisacan noted that workers in the services sector engaged mainly in face-to-face transactions, and those in low-skilled jobs unsuited for work-from-home setups are at a disadvantage if current conditions do not improve.

“What you see is an exacerbation of existing inequalities. Without these proactive whole-of-government approaches for the online platform to fully harness digitalization as a catalyst for inclusive recovery, you will see the persistence of that inequality,” he said.

“I would note the importance of competition policy in ensuring a more inclusive digital economy,” he added.

Yasuyuki Sawada, chief economist and director general of the ADB’s economic research department, said that as the shift to digital accelerates, governments, the private sector, multilateral development banks and other agencies should cooperate in assessing their approaches to long-standing issues like infrastructure, affordability of technology and cybersecurity.

“There is going to be a permanent impact from digitalization and there are a lot of positive aspects because online platforms can enhance the functioning of the market. There’s huge potential to make (growth) more inclusive,” he said at the webinar. — Beatrice M. Laforga

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!



By Keisha B. Ta-asan, Reporter THE NATIONAL Government’s (NG) outstanding debt hit a record-high P13.75 trillion as of end-February as domestic borrowings increased, the...


STATE SPENDING on infrastructure rose by 13.4% in 2022, as the government ramped up public works and transportation-related projects. According to the Department of...


BUSINESSES NOW have a more optimistic economic outlook this year, amid a return to pre-pandemic normalcy and increased consumer demand, a survey by the...


SEVERAL former government officials are opposing the plan to merge Landbank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), saying...


MONDE NISSIN CORP. suffered a net loss of P13.03 billion in 2022, a reversal of its P3.12-billion net income a year earlier, due to...


MGEN RENEWABLE Energy, Inc. (MGreen) is keen to expand its 68-megawatt-alternating current (MWac) solar plant project with Vena Energy in Ilocos Norte. “This is...

You May Also Like


Browsing history makes referring to sites and pages you’ve visited in the past seamless. It’ll help you recall what page you checked out on...


The minute that any question pops into your head, you can simply ask Google. No longer do we have to pour over books and...


Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...


Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the global population. Therefore, it is a problem that many people suffer or have suffered throughout...

Disclaimer:, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.