Heightened spending ahead

RETAILERS in Cebu are anticipating heightened consumer spending this holiday season.

Philippine Retailers Association (PRA)-Cebu president Robert Go said retailers are now stocking up on goods to get ready for higher consumer spending this Christmas.

“As always, we expect double sales value than ordinary months,” said Go in an interview yesterday.

“For grocery, Noche Buena items always run out so preparations in warehouses are full-blast,” he added.

Retailers are also hyping up sales promotions this season, when consumers have extra money to spend.

Aside from the expected high sales in brick and mortar stores, e-commerce is also expected to log record-high sales.

Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, though, warns Filipino consumers to be cautious when doing transactions online.

Kaspersky said that while digital payments and online banking are gaining traction in the Philippines, awareness of online security should be addressed.

Research done by Kaspersky during the second half of 2016 revealed that a great majority of Filipinos use the internet for online shopping (90 percent), for accessing online payment systems and digital wallets (89 percent), and for online banking (74 percent).

These findings were reinforced by a recent study from PayPal that the Philippines is on its way to achieving a cashless economy, as 25 percent of the surveyed Filipinos are now choosing to transact through the internet.

But Kaspersky Lab Southeast Asia’s general manager Sylvia Ng highlighted Filipinos’ lack of concern towards their online security and the real threats of cyberattacks.

Ng said they found out that more than half or 52 percent of Filipinos are still unconcerned about their online security.

“Filipinos still do not believe that they can become targets of cybercrime, which is completely false,” said Ng.

“Before Filipinos dive headfirst into the convenience of digital financial transactions, they should remember that cybercriminals are almost always after money...It is a must to be aware of the risks and to possess the proper protections,” she added.

Kaspersky surveyed 17,337 internet users from 28 countries around the world, including 491 from the Philippines. (KOC)
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