Stirring businesses with digital advantage

One of the major challenges faced by businesses at the start of the pandemic was the disruption in cash flow. It lasted for months due to lockdowns and social distancing regulations.


“We have seen how devastating it could be. It’s not just a matter of losing sales or income. It was also not being able to fulfill financial obligations to suppliers and employees. In most of these cases, the business owners were very dependent on manual and face-to-face transactions. As a result, their business operations slowed or temporarily shut down because the flows of payments among providers, suppliers, and customers were disrupted,” said Carlo Nazareno, Senior Vice President and Head of Cash Management Services of BDO Unibank.


Soon, however, many were able to recover and took with them a very valuable lesson. In this day and age, it’s not only cash that is king, it’s also digital. Those who were able to pull thru the rubbles of the pandemic were the ones who took advantage of going online.


The digital advantage


Terence Yu, owner of Butuan Golden Key Corporation (BGKC), had begun switching to digital solutions for his company’s financial transactions even before the pandemic but kept some processes manually. His company supplies feeds, flour, and other bakery ingredients in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte. Seeing how the pandemic is adversely affecting his business and putting his employees at risk, he further invested in digital services.


He moved his company’s payroll processing online and via ATM and also availed of Business Online Banking and Bills Payment facility—cash management services (CMS) that were provided by his bank, BDO.


“Before, we needed to send a messenger, an authorized employee to the bank every day. This was necessary for different transactions: paying our suppliers by depositing to their accounts, processing payroll, paying our utilities and other bills, iba-ibang mga bagay (for different things). Now, with online banking and other digital services, hindi na kailangan magpunta ng employees namin sa bank araw-araw (Our employees don’t need to go to the bank every day). This saves us time and money and protects our employees’ health,” said Yu.


Yu also availed of a BDO CMS solution wherein his business can deposit post-dated checks digitally and as a result generate reports on all PDC transactions quickly and conveniently.


“Dahil maraming transactions are already digital, yung mga tao natin, mas productive. Mas marami silang magagawang trabaho. Hindi nauubos ‘yung time and energy in so many manual transactions.  (Because many transactions are already digital, our people have become more productive. They are able to accomplish a lot of work and spend less time and energy on manual transactions.)  The online transactions provided by CMS save us time and money and help our profitability,” he said.


Leading with CMS


According to Nazareno, the pandemic showed that there is no more going back to business as it was before 2020. This was especially true for BDO, which is now ready to support clients’ digital requirements. Embracing digital technology gave the bank an effective readiness to face the pandemic’s challenges. The bank was ready and able to help its clients shift from face-to-face, branch-based banking, to online transactions, including using CMS.


One BDO client, Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation (MSEUF) in Lucena, Quezon faced a challenge after the pandemic struck: social distancing rules prevented parents and students from paying tuition in cash directly to the school’s cashier.


BDO’s CMS assisted the university in two ways: first, it arranged for tuition payments to be accepted at any BDO branch in the province; second, BDO helped facilitate tuition payments through digital platforms. Parents now could pay the University through BDO online channels, Mobile Banking or Online Banking.


“BDO’s cash management system was a game-changer that helped their businesses survive and thrive during the pandemic. It enabled them to have the crucial access to funds and allowed them to move cash to suppliers and utilities, as well as receive payments from customers despite lockdowns and other disruptions,” said Nazareno.


Even after the pandemic ends, it’s more likely that businesses and their clients will want to expand the reach and maximize the uses of digital cash management services.


“BDO CMS services can be combined and packaged to suit the needs of practically any type of business. Whether we’re servicing a large corporation or an SME, we can combine and adjust a package of CMS services that will solve their pain points, help their business grow, and fit their budget,” Nazareno added.


The CMS advantage. Terence Yu, owner of Butuan Golden Key Corporation (BGKC), further invested in digital services to protect his business against the adverse effects of the pandemic.


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