Latest CashCashPinoy News
Apr 11, 2015
by Cathy Rose A. Garcia, ABS-CBNnews.com Posted at 04/11/2015 12:07 PM CashCashPinoy chief executive officer and founder Frederic Levy MANILA - If you have any doubt that e-commerce is alive and well in the Philippines, you need only to open your laptop or even smartphone to find numerous websites selling almost anything and everything you need or want. One of the more popular websites is CashCashPinoy, a private shopping club selling branded bags, cosmetics, cameras, phones, restaurant vouchers and even tour packages -- all at heavily discounted rates. Among the deals you'll find are Longchamp bags for as low as P1,999, Cherry mobile phones for P599, and even a tour package to Europe for P33,000. Some disgruntled customers have even questioned these deals, saying it's "too good to be true," and expressed doubt about the authenticity of some branded products. CashCashPinoy founder and CEO Frederic Levy said all these deals are legitimate, and all the products sold on the site are authentic. CashCashPinoy even has a "100% authenticity guarantee," which means you can return the product and get your cash back, if you think a product, say a branded bag, is fake, no questions asked. "Authenticity is critical for us, especially when it is about fashion accessories. We guarantee every item that we sold. If you have any doubt about it, we don't ask any document or affidavit or whatever, you just say you want to be refunded and we refund you. We are the only ones to do it in the country," Levy told ABS-CBNnews.com. He said there's no reason why the company would risk losing its customers by selling fakes. "When you propose this guarantee, 'refund in cash without question,' you need to make sure that what you're proposing is authentic," he said, noting the authenticity refund clause represents less than 0.1 percent of its sales a month. For a private shopping club like CashCashPinoy, Levy said the member is king. "Our goal is to have the biggest number of quality members and to make sure they not only buy one time, but they keep coming back. CashCash has a repurchase rate of 64 percent... If you want your member to come back, there is no magic way to do that. You need to make sure they have the best user experience, from A to Z. From the deal itself to the potential after-sale," he said. To ensure its members are satisfied, CashCashPinoy controls every step of the process, from sourcing of the merchant to after-sales service. How it started CashCashPinoy started in 2010, when e-commerce in the Philippines was still in its early stages. Levy, a French national married to a Filipina, moved to the Philippines and saw an opportunity for a new challenge as an entrepreneur. "Usually when you are excited by the entrepreneurial journey, most of the time, you have the American or Asian dream. When you study the Asian market, it appears that Philippines has a huge potential, a huge opportunity for digital businesses. It was a no-brainer for me," he said. In 2010, they decided to jump into e-commerce and launched the CashCashPinoy website, and a year later, they opened the company. The company has attracted investors, both foreign and local. "One of the issues we encountered in the past was to first convince people to invest in the Philippines before convincing them to invest in digital. A lot of people, especially outside of Southeast Asia, don't really know about Philippines... In the past, we had to convince them why there was so much opportunity here. Now, we can feel things have changed in the past year," Levy said. Last October 2014, a Singaporean private equity firm invested $2-million in CashCashPinoy. It was the company's first investment in the Philippines. "You can see things are changing, people can start to see the massive advantages that the Philippines has in e-commerce," he said. Bullish on e-commerce in PH With a growing number of Filipinos going online, Levy is bullish about the growth of e-commerce in the Philippines. "We have 100 million in the Philippines, and everyone can speak English. It is the official language of digital. ... In terms of infrastructure, there are still a lot of issues to fix, like logistics issues. Philippines also has advantages in terms of online payments. Philippines is probably the most advanced country in Southeast Asia when it comes to online payments," he said. On CashCashPinoy, there are dozens of options when it comes to payments - credit card, debit card, over-the-counter, payment centers, cash-on-delivery, and even bitcoins. Levy also noted the growth in the Philippine economy, boosting consumer spending, which is good for the website. "(The Philippines) is one of the strongest economies in the region, very stable. Plus the emergence of the middle class, the huge development of mobile phones. Today, 60 percent of the users are experiencing CashCash on a mobile device," he said. "When you put all things together, it gives you good excitement on how the Philippines can explode in terms of digital business. " CashCashPinoy currently has 1.5 million members, and it is targeting to double this to 3 million by the end of the year. "Internet users in the Philippines are 46 million... Usually we are talking about ABC, which are 15 to 17 million internet users. So we are only talking to less than 10 percent today," Levy said. With many websites competing in the e-commerce space, Levy said this is a good thing because it would only encourage more Filipinos to buy online. "For me, if Lazada convinces people it's good to buy online and it's not risky, one way or another, (consumer) will go to CashCash one day because he will look for opportunities... Whatever is good for e-commerce is good for CashCash," he said.