FFE Magazine

FRANCHISING SERIES: Starting a Bayad Centre or Bills Payment franchise

Every month, all households in the country have to settle a very important task to be able to run smoothly: bills payment. Bills for electricity, water, phone lines, internet, cable connections, insurance and credit cards come one after the other, but this is just a natural result of maintaining a household.

 

Unfortunately for some, the nearest payment centre is a long walk, jeep or car ride away. This means precious time is often wasted on the journey. This is why the need for more bayad centres cannot be stressed enough – especially now that the Philippine real estate is in a period of growth. As housing developments expand outside of city centres, there is always room for a new and more localized bayad center in the neighbourhood.

 

It’s a good thing that bayad centre franchises make payments faster and more accessible. This possibility is also good news to budding entrepreneurs who want to have a constant stream of profit for their family.

 

Advantages

 

Bayad centres pay on a per transaction basis – this means that profit or payback is fast. In a good location with many households and a solid clientele, bayad centres can get back their investments after or less than two years.

 

 

Bayad centres basically work as outsource payment collectors for big companies or merchants. Depending on the franchise you are getting, your business will be partnering with multiple merchants. Since this means there is no business exclusivity, you can profit from many people who subscribe to the partner merchants.

 

 

For the same reason that bayad centres are convenient for both households and companies, a franchisee will not have problems generating a smooth flow of customers.

 

 

Aside from bills payment, many bayad centre franchise package nowadays also include services like e-loading telecommunications networks, money transfer and airline ticket and hotel booking.

 

 

Other possibilities include photocopying, printing and lamination services. This means that a franchisee can expand the bayad centre to provide more services, becoming more profitable.

 

 

Basically as long as you’re in or near a residential area and there are only a handful of bills payment facilities in your neighbourhood, then a bayad centre franchise is a good investment opportunity.

 

Basic costs

 

Basic franchise costs are variable depending on the franchisor you are dealing with. The minimum bayad centre franchise fee starts at Php50,000 for a ONE YEAR term. There are other franchisors that offer a franchise for as low as Php35,000. FIVE YEAR contracts for franchise branches can start at Php168,000.

 

However, full franchises (which means the franchisor includes secondary services like ticketing, travel and tours, e-loading, money transfer and others) may begin at Php150,000 for a ONE YEAR contract. This does not yet include start-up costs and other expenses (see below), which can easily hike up the total cost to Php1m.

 

 

Franchise package

 

The contents of a starter franchise package vary per franchisor. Here are some of the basics included in the contract:

 

  • Bills payment facility (the number of merchants depends on the franchisor)
  • Training system for operations and managing
  • Technical support
  • Marketing materials
  • Tarpaulins and signs
  • Uniforms

 

Notice that not a lot of franchisors provide the essentials like computers, printers and internet connection in their package. This means that before the franchisee applies for a franchise, he or she must have at least 1 working computer and printer and a good internet connection.

 

Any additional service may be subject to added fees. Some franchisors also offer a number of package options with all-in services. For example, ViaExpress offers 4 different packages with a unique combination of features and terms:

 

                Starter Package A – Php45,000

Services: Ticketing, booking, loading stations

 

                Starter Package B – Php80,000

Services: Bills payment, ticketing, booking, loading stations, remittance

 

                Full Package C – Php200,000

Services: Bills payment, ticketing, booking, loading stations, remittance, bus charter, courier service

 

                Full Package D – Php398,000

Services: Bills payment, ticketing, booking, loading stations, remittance, bus charter, courier service

 

Additional perks: Security bond refundable upon retirement, free technology system (including computer, printer and mobile phone), only Php40,000 for additional branches

 

Just some of the merchants that a bayad centre may have include the following:

 

Utilities

  • Meralco
  • Davao Light (DLPC)
  • Visayan Electric Company (VECO)
  • Benguet Electric Coop (BENECO)
  • Maynilad Water Services, Inc.
  • Manila Water

 

Telecommunications

  • Bayantel
  • PLDT
  • Digitel Communications
  • Smart BRO
  • Globe Handyphone
  • Wi-Tribe
  • Sun Cellular

 

Cable

  • Sky Cable
  • Cignal TV
  • Destiny Cable

 

Government Agencies

  • SSS contributions
  • NSO certificate payments

 

Credit Cards

  • BDO
  • Metrobank
  • RCBC
  • Standard Chartered
  • Citibank

 

Ticket payment

  • PAL Express
  • Philippine Airlines

 

Universities

  • Ateneo de Manila
  • La Salle Greenhills

 

Loan payment

  • Citibank Savings Loan
  • PNB Life Insurance
  • PS Bank Loans

 

For your information, the merchant partners of franchisors vary. You may want to research on the existing franchisors for a full list of their merchants and local providers before partnering with them.

 

 

Franchise development process

 

Before availing of a franchise, get to know first if the franchisor will take care of the location and the gadgets needed to keep the franchise up and running.

 

Not all franchisors include location and gadgets like computers and internet connection in their start-up package, so entrepreneurs may have to search for their own location or purchase their own gadgets before securing an application form.

 

Once a contract has been signed, the entrepreneur can sit back and let the franchisor prepare and furnish the bayad centre according to industry standards. During this time, the franchisor may also start training the entrepreneur and his or her employees in the basics of operating and managing the bayad centre.

 

 

Start-up costs (other expenses)

 

To ensure that the franchise starts smoothly, a franchisee must purchase the necessary equipment needed to perform the bills payment process. A desktop computer, printer and internet connection are the most important equipment needed for a bayad centre.

 

The cost of a desktop computer depends on the brand and the system it uses. In the Philippines, a pre-built desktop computer (each part may come from different manufacturers) with monitor, keyboard, mouse and central processing unit starts at Php12,000. Meanwhile, A desktop computer with parts from the same manufacturer starts at Php14,000.

 

Internet connection is offered by a number of telecommunications companies in the Philippines. A DSL connection starts at Php995 a month. Initial connection and equipment usually come free. Those who want a faster connection should be ready to pay more.

 

Other crucial equipment for the franchise includes an air conditioning system and dependable security system. Air conditioning is needed because the bayad centre will be using computers that can easily overheat given the climate in the Philippines. Security systems, on the other hand, are optional but important as bayad centres may be targets of crime.

 

Profitability

As already mentioned, profiting from a bayad centre is quick because the income is on a per-bill basis. A bills payment facility can earn around Php3.50 to Php30 per transaction depending on the type of transaction made.

 

Ticketing facilities can earn up to Php500 per ticket to a local destination, while each international ticket sold can earn Php1,000 to Php2,000.

 

A loading station can earn up to 23% while a remittance service earns through a service charge or by getting a percentage of the amount sent or received. The return of investment highly depends on a number of factors, including:

 

 

  • Outlet location
  • Number of clients

 

  • Competition in the area

 

  • Pricing

 

  • Customer satisfaction

 

  • Marketing

 

 

In general, return of investment begins by the 2nd year of the business.

 

 

How to start a franchise

 

First of all you need to research and contact franchisors to get their rates, features and other information regarding their application. Take note to ask if they will be in charge of searching for a location and of providing computers and other gadgets.

 

Read up on reviews online to check if the company is reputable and if other entrepreneurs have experienced any difficulties with the franchisor before partnering with them.

 

Here are some basics of how to apply for a franchise:

 

  • Write a letter of intent expressing interest in obtaining a franchise from the franchisor
  • Contact the franchisor or show up in their office
  • Ask for an application form and requirements for the franchise
  • Fill out the application form and submit requirements
  • Settle the down payment
  • Wait for approval

 

The franchisor may also ask you to provide or render the following documents and other requirements:

 

  • Department of Trade and Industry or Securities and Exchange Commission business registration and permit to operat
  • Full payment
  • Signed contract
  • Attendance in training and seminars

Once you have fulfilled the requirements, you can hang your ‘open for business’ sign and finally run your bayad centre!

Points to consider

 

Bayad centres often attract more clients if they are located in an accessible business area near residential areas.

 

In addition, bayad centres with fast internet connection ensures that all transactions can be done quickly. This, a reasonable service charge and a safe facility will ensure that clients will keep patronising your local bayad centre over others.

 

 

Franchisors

 

The following are just some franchisors which offer a bills payment or bayad centre franchising package for any interested entrepreneur:

 

 

You can also check Sulit.com and BuyandSellPH.com for a list of bayad centre franchise locations for sale.

 

Buying a fully-furnished and existing bayad centre can be less stressful. However, find out why the entrepreneur is selling his or her location in the first place – the location may not be profitable.

 

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