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“The Shift to Digital: E-Commerce in The New Normal” Webinar

Written in: Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia
Published on: Sept 11, 2020

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia, in partnership with The Legal 500, hosted a webinar entitled “The Shift To Digital: E-Commerce In The New Normal” on 11 September 2020 focusing on how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to online commerce, significantly changing the business landscape.

It was the third time Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia collaborated with The Legal 500. The first was in a roundtable discussion in 2018 on the changing role of in-house counsel, while the second was at the Legal 500 GC Summit 2019 where it presented a panel on Energy Security in Southeast Asia.

Edwin Lacierda, former Presidential Spokesperson and now the co-founder and COO of Paymongo, a payments processing platform, Cyril Alfred (Chicco) Castro, Head of Government Affairs of Lazada, the largest e-commerce operator in Southeast Asia, and Susan Villanueva, Senior Partner of Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia, spoke at the webinar. Patricia Bunye, also a Senior Partner of Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia, moderated.

Online payments processing is one of the biggest hurdles of the e-commerce industry. Edwin narrated the beginnings of Paymongo and how its founders identified the different pain points in the payment process of online transactions, bringing forth the idea of establishing a payments processing platform which would make online payments fast and simple. Paymongo is the first Philippine fintech company funded by Y Combinator, the American seed money startup accelerator that helped launch Stripe, Airbnb, and Dropbox. By facilitating online payments, Paymongo hopes that more micro, small, and medium enterprises will be encouraged to take the leap to going digital.

Notwithstanding the shift to digital, the e-commerce industry is still faced with the challenge of lack of customer trust. According to Chicco, by empowering customers to assess seller quality through performance metrics visible on each product page, Lazada is able to promote trust in e-commerce. Lazada’s Intellectual Protection Policy Platform where intellectual property rights violations may be reported, assisted by an AI system that detects both buyer and seller fraud, put the minds of both buyers and sellers at ease while they engage in online transactions.

Finally, Susan provided a road map of the legal issues which businesses may face as they switch to digital. Approaches to issues involving trademark and copyright protection, data privacy, consumer protection, and contract drafting were presented in order to equip businesses with a legal toolkit as they navigate the e-commerce landscape.

Digital transformation has become inevitable in the midst of the new normal. Quick adaptation to this change is essential in order to survive. Through the webinar, businesses are encouraged to make the shift not only because it is inevitable, but especially because the shift has never been easier with the various digital tools at their disposal. As Susan quoted Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.”

A recording of the webinar is available here.



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