Dreaming about cashless payments when shopping? While cash is still the preferred mode of payment in the Philippines, there’s still hope!
The journey to becoming a cashless society is still a way in the Philippines.
However, the collaboration of commercial banks and fin-tech companies are unlocking the opportunities for Filipinos to enjoy the convenience of paying over the counter via seamless payments from PayWave, EMV-enabled carts to G-cash and e-wallets like Coins.PH.
Technically, any debit or credit card is considered a cashless payment. You can have one of the best debit cards or apply for your first credit card that has PayWave features. Or you can register your G-cash wallet or Coins.
Below is a quick sheet to the differences and key benefits
|Debit and Prepaid Cards
|G-Cash, Coins.PH and Abra e-wallets
|Pay directly from the bank; need to reload or cash-in for prepaid debit cards
|Borrow money from the bank
|Pay directly from the e-wallet; need to cash-in from banks and other payment centres
|Anyone with a bank account; no need to open a bank account on some prepaid credit cards
|Must meet the minimum annual income requirement
|Lenient with requirements; register via mobile numbers; verification required for large transactions
|Accepted in any Mastercard or Visa-affiliated merchants and establishments
|Accepted as long as there’s a credit card network for Mastercard or Visa
|Online purchases, selected merchants and partners accepting G-cash, Bitcoin and other crypto payments
|P20,000 – P100,000; depending on the banks’ T&Cs
|Depends on the monthly credit limit
|Depends on the level of verification; each e-wallet has a different spending limit
|Fees & Charges
|Minimal, watch out for currency conversion fees; maintaining balance, and initial deposits
|Many fees aside from the amount due, annual fees, late payments, cash advance fees, etc.
|Network fees for Bitcoin; transaction fees when cashing in or out via local banks and payment centres
|Stress-free, money is automatically debited from your account
|Amount due every month or each billing cycle, interest incurred
|Stress-free, money is automatically debited from your account or e-wallet
|Limited promos and discounts
|Access and eligibility on promos, discounts, cash back and rebates, and more, depending on the credit card
|Lower transaction fees in remittances, QR code scan for Gcash payments via in-stores, cashbacks, and discounts, vouchers, and promos
The late introduction of EMV technology in the Philippines may have been a factor why debit and credit cards, and particularly, the adoption of electronic payments is slower than the other Asian countries. It’s important as EMV technology makes contactless payments secure.
By this time of writing, 85% of Filipinos are using debit cards and 15% are eligible to have credit cards.
Here’s a guide on how you can shift from cash to cashless, convenient way of paying merchants.
Cashback credit cards
Cashback credits from major banks in the Philippines like BPI, Citi, BDO, HSBC, Eastwest, and among others have Visa payWave features. It has a wave symbol on the card.
Instead of swiping the card in the merchant’s payment terminal, you simply tap the card and “voila!” In a few seconds, your transaction is complete.
If you’re eligible to be a principal credit card holder, you get to enjoy this seamless payment in merchant partners of your bank. Check the following cashback credit cards for cashless transactions in-stores.
|Minimum Annual Income Requirement
|HSBC Gold Visa Cash Back Credit Card
|Dining & Others
|Citi Cashback Card
|Utility Bills, Grocery, Miscellaneous
|Shell Citi® Card
|Fuel Rebates, Car Maintenance & Services
|Mercury Drug Citi® Card
|Health & Wellness
|EastWest EveryDay Titanium Mastercard
|Grocery, Fuel, Medicine and Others
Debit cards for cashless payments
Debit cards are ideal for managing your expenses and easier to get one since banks are lenient when it comes to requirements. One of the key differences from credit cards is the hassle-free payment method.
Your money is automatically debited from your bank account. You don’t have to borrow money from the bank via a credit card. And you’re less likely to get into temptations when you’re at Greenbelt 5 and you see that dazzling pair of shoes.
Most of the merchants and in-stores that accept credit cards also accept debit cards. However, not all debit cards are EMV-enabled and some don’t have the Visa payWave symbol.
Below are the debit cards that have a payWave symbol.
|Visa Debit Card via Basic Savings Account by EastWest Bank
|Daily withdrawal limit
|Debit Mastercard via Kaya Saving by BPI
|Daily withdrawal limit
Every customer-initiated debit transaction is charged P5.00
|Mastercard and Visa ATM Debit by BDO
|Daily withdrawal limit
Prepaid debit cards with easy applications
For the “un-bank,” there’s a prepaid debit card for you out there. Interestingly, you don’t have to go through the process of opening a bank account and have an initial deposit just like PayMaya. But most of these prepaid cards will require you to pay an application fee or an annual fee.
PayMaya is revolutionising electronic payments with a mobile app and a physical card. Plus, it’s a Visa payWave debit card, which you can use to pay merchants that accept Visa debit cards. You can link other cards for your transportation like Beep for top-ups, too.
BPI Amore Visa payWave is also a shopper’s must-have card because it doesn’t require any maintaining balance, but allows you to earn points when you use the card.
|Prepaid Debit Card
|PayMaya Visa payWave
|P200 (1 pc)
P545 (3 pcs)
P850 (5 pcs)
|Link the card to your PayMaya mobile app; easy top-ups for MRT, LRT, and Beep cards
|BPI Amore Visa payWave
|100% approved application; earn more points and AmoRewards for Ayala Cinema Malls
|EastWest Prepaid Card Visa payWave
|P150 (application fee)
P50 (PIN reg fee)
|Cashless payments when dining, shopping, and travelling, accepted in any Visa-affiliated merchant.
|EastWest Travel Money Card Visa payWave
|P500 (application fee)
|Supports 6 currencies, ideal for travelling overseas. Reloadable currencies
Gcash and Globe Rewards on mobile payments in the Philippines
Globe Telecom is also diversifying its services by tapping mobile payments through its G-cash e-wallet. Selected local establishments and merchants are already accepting G-cash where customers scan the QR code on the counter using their mobile phones. You can also pay your bills in-app.
The Rewards program of Globe also allows its subscribers to pay selected merchants to use their accumulated reward points, earn from paying their postpaid bill every month, or reloading prepaid numbers.
Using the Rewards app also shows the list of partners and merchants where you can redeem these points as cash. (1 reward point = P1).
You can use them at KFC, BENCH, Jamba Juice, Ayala Malls, and more. Your points can also be converted to SM Advantage Card points for your shopping spree or AirAsia BIG points to book your next flight.
You can also open a CIMB bank account using your Gcash app and earn up to 3% p.a with no lock-in period and no maximum cap of deposit. (valid for GSave account holders until December 31, 2019, only)
The CIMB GSave savings account is the first account that allows you to manage your money straight from your Gcash app. In short, everything is on mobile.
Last but not least, another cashless payment that you also need to know or perhaps have tried is Coins.PH cryptocurrency wallet
While the adoption of cryptocurrency wallets is still in its infancy in the Philippines, Bitcoin payments are accepted by some small restaurants (at their discretion). Some establishments in key cities like Makati, Pasig, Taguig are accepting Bitcoin, but rarely in malls.
Coins.PH doesn’t just function as a Bitcoin wallet, it also supports other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple, aside from fiat currency like the Peso.
Coins.PH allows you to pay bills, reload your prepaid cards, send money and receive remittances, and of course, for the certified gamers, buy game credits in the app.
You can pay your bills, premium contributions, insurances, and others:
- Electric Utilities
- Water Utilities
- Home Credit Loan
- Credit Card Bills
- Cable Provider
- SSS Contributions
- Other Merchants
What do you think of cashless payments? Which do you prefer based on your lifestyle?
If you’re going to use Visa payWave cards, always remember to tap responsibly.