The Philippines issues a national standard for e-commerce transactions

As more online businesses emerge amidst the Covid-19 outbreak, the demand for guidelines on online transactions also increases. The Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry’s takes seriously the drafting of policies to ensure that online retailers have the capabilities to facilitate online transactions and buyers or consumers to purchase in a safe and secure manner.

The Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS) issued a Philippine National Standard (PNS) 2155:2020: Guidelines for e-commerce transactions. The standard encourages organizations to create more consumer-friendly operations and customer-centric processes. It covers the entire e-commerce transaction process such as browsing, purchasing, payment, delivery, product tracking, and returns – as well as best customer support practices.

“The standard encourages greater clarity, transparency, accountability, responsiveness and accessibility in online transactions, thereby improving consumer confidence and trust to transact online and reduce conflicts and disputes”, Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo underscored.

Online retailers/e-marketplaces can use PNS 2155 as guide to develop e-commerce processes and policies and convey clear and comprehensive information and processes to consumers for easy access. PNS 2155 serves as a practical reference and spans all key processes of e-commerce transactions. These ranges from pre-purchase activities of browsing and selection, to purchasing and payment procedures, and post-purchase activities which include fulfilment, delivery, tracking of products, and returns, refunds, and exchange.

BPS Director Neil Catajay emphasizes that the guidelines will further help online businesses develop customer-centric business policies and processes, to enhance consumer confidence and trust. He underscores that established confidence and trust is a key driver for the growth of the e-industry.

Singapore’s Technical Reference on Guidelines for electronic commerce transactions (TR 76) served as reference for PNS 2155 with permission granted by Enterprise Singapore. The Standard serves as a good example of how PASC members can collaborate and share expertise and resources to promote standardisation in the region.

For more information on standards and standardization activities of BPS, please visit the DTI-BPS Portal.