PayMaya Mobile Wallet MoneySmart Philippines Review 2020

PayMaya Mobile Wallet MoneySmart Philippines Review 2020

Despite being on Enhanced Community Quarantine for almost two months now, we still have some semblance of normalcy in our lives.

We can still do a lot of things online, like catch up with friends and loved ones, work with colleagues, stream a new TV series, buy groceries, and pay bills.

Mobile wallets like PayMaya continue to provide services that allow us to do a lot of quick, convenient, cashless transactions.

In this MoneySmart review, let’s find out if PayMaya is worth downloading and registering an account for.

What is PayMaya?

PayMaya is a free e-wallet service that allows you to do safe and secure transactions online on your iOS, Android or Huawei devices without a credit card. .

It used to be known as Smart eMoney, the first e-wallet in the Philippines that you can link to a mobile phone. It’s regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

How to sign up for a PayMaya account

The PayMaya app is available for iOS, Android, and Huawei devices. After you install it, open the app and click on ‘Create Account’.

Enter the required information and then click on ‘Agree’. You will then receive an SMS that will verify your account.

Note that the mobile number you will register will be your official account number with PayMaya.

During account registration, look out for the invite code so you can get additional rewards!

Features of PayMaya

Upgrade your PayMaya Account

You can start using your basic PayMaya account as soon as it’s verified. But if you wish to withdraw from any ATM here and abroad, send money instantly, and spend as much as 100,000 PHP every month, you can upgrade your account.

Just supply the required information, take a photo of a valid government-issued ID (front and back), shoot a quick selfie video, and upload.

Information on the ID should match the information that you put in the form.

Approval will take around 72 hours. But usually you will get an update after only just a few minutes, especially if there are no issues with your ID or video.

Add Money

You can Add Money to your PayMaya wallet through fund transfers from your local bank account, through debit or credit cards, or through different PayMaya money partners.

Currently, some banks and money partners are closed or not offering this service because of the Enhanced Community Quarantine. It’s recommended that you Add Money using available digital channels (bank transfers via InstaPay and PesoNet or via debit/credit cards).

We checked the official PayMay Facebook page, and the following Add Money channels are available as of May 8, 2020, 2pm:

Add Money Channel  Operating Hours 
Robinsons Supermarket 9am to 7pm
Shopwise Hours vary, following curfew hours
SM Store Business Center Select stores only, following curfew hours
Gaisano Capital Hours vary, following curfew hours
Super8 (Pay&Go self-service kiosk) Hours vary
Lawson (Pay&Go self-service kiosk) Hours vary
Landers (Pay&Go self-service kiosk) Hours vary
Wellcome Hours vary, following curfew hours
Mercury Drug (Pay&Go self-service kiosk) Hours vary
Smart Padala Hours vary
7-Eleven Select stores only, following curfew hours
ExpressPay Hours vary
Digipay Hours vary
POSIBLE Hours vary
Palawan Pawnshop Until 3pm
Tambunting Pawnshop Hours vary, following curfew hours
RD Pawnshop Hours vary, following curfew hours
LBC (Ayannah) Hours vary

Send Money

Image screenshot from PayMaya website

PayMaya to PayMaya

It’s very easy to send money to friends and family through their PayMaya accounts. Just click on ‘Send Money’, the mobile number of the person you’ll send money to, and the amount you’ll be sending.

Click ‘Continue’ and review the details before hitting ‘Send’. A confirmation SMS will be sent.

PayMaya to Smart Padala

Instead of the mobile number, you need the 16-digit account number of the Smart Padala agent. Key in how much you will be sending and then review the transaction details before tapping ‘Send’.

To claim the money, the recipient should show 1 valid ID, and the mobile phone and reference number as proof of transaction.

There will be a transaction fee of 1.5% which will be shouldered by the sender.

Image screenshot from PayMaya website

PayMaya to Palawan Express

Just like sending to Smart Padala, key in the 16-digit account number of your Palawan Pawnshop agent in the account number or mobile number field.

These are the official Palawan Pawnshop account numbers:


Luzon: 5577 5194 0831 6108

Visayas: 5577 5194 0831 3105

Mindanao: 5577 5194 0831 0101


Key in the amount you’ll be sending, tap ‘Continue’, and then review the amount before sending. There’s a 1.5% transaction fee whenever you send money through this method, and recipients need to wait at least 2 hours after confirmation before claiming the remittance.

PayMaya to Bank

Image screenshot from PayMaya website

From the PayMaya homescreen, click ‘Bank Transfer’ and choose the bank you will send money to. Type in the recipient’s details and then tap ‘Continue’.

Review the information before hitting ‘Send’ and then wait for an SMS confirmation.

Pay Bills

To pay your bills with PayMaya, choose the biller and key in the information required. Confirm your payment details and wait for your confirmation from PayMaya through SMS.

Buy Prepaid Load and Mobile Data

You can also purchase cellphone load or mobile data by clicking on ‘More’ on the PayMaya homepage.

If you will be sending it to an iPhone, choose ‘Load’. Choose ‘Mobile’ if you will be sending to an Android device.

Select the load/data denomination or load/data package and then enter the mobile number.

You can also include a message before clicking on ‘Continue’. To complete the purchase, click on ‘Buy’.

Virtual and Physical Cards

To activate your virtual card, tap on ‘Online Payment Card’ and then key in the required information. There must be at least 100 PHP money in your PayMaya wallet. Just tap on ‘View Card’ to see your PayMaya virtual card.

If you have the physical PayMaya card, you can also link that by tapping on ‘My Cards’ and then ‘Link PayMaya Card’. Key in the required information, including a nominated PIN (6 digits). When you’re done with that, tap ‘Link Card’ and ‘Done’. That’s it!

Scan to Pay

Tap the ‘Scan to Pay’ icon and scan the QR code of the merchant. Key in the amount and tap ‘Send Payment’, or ‘Pay’ if you’re shopping in-store.

Show the confirmation message to the merchant as proof of payment.

What are the pros and cons of PayMaya?

Signing up for a PayMaya account is quick and easy. You can also upgrade your account just by submitting the required documents and uploading a selfie video.

There are many Add Money channels available to ensure you have funds in your PayMaya wallet.

It’s a great option if you don’t have a credit card or debit card for online or in-store purchases.

You can also withdraw funds from your PayPal account to your PayMaya.

Transferring funds, paying bills, sending load and mobile data can also be done in just a few taps.

But PayMaya users have also complained about missing funds, login errors, or delays in account upgrades.

It can also benefit from having a two-factor authentication when logging in to your account.

Final Thoughts

PayMaya is a convenient digital service that surely makes users’ lives easier.

But even if it has security features in place, it’s not a perfect app. With the Enhanced Community Quarantine still in place, a lot of people are using PayMaya for various transactions, which means down times are happening quite often.

We can’t wait for new features to be rolled out and functionalities to be improved.

Like any other website or mobile app that requires your sensitive information, it’s your responsibility to know the risks with every transaction and to protect your money and personal information.

Furthermore, don’t mindlessly spend just because you see that you have money in your e-wallet. Before you tap, think long and hard whether you really need to buy something. That money can go to more important things in the future.