Go Cashless With These E-Wallet Apps You Can Download Today!

Go Cashless With These E-Wallet Apps You Can Download Today!

Low banking and credit card penetration in the Philippines has been a factor hindering the growth of the country’s e-commerce sector in its earlier years. Not only that, while the rest of Philippines’ neighboring nations are going cashless, the Philippines, on the other hand, remains a cash-heavy society; Cash On Delivery is even the preferred payment method by most online shoppers to date.  

Although cash is indeed king, cashless technology has its own perks that may improve our financial practices. It’s also a convenient way to store our money, we can pay for purchases without having to carry around loose change or a bundle of cash. Since we Filipinos are also embracing online technology into our day-to-day lives, cashless technology will become a more prominent hurdle that we must adapt to eventually. Since the technology is already here, why not make use of it now?

With that being said, we round up the e-wallets in the Philippines that you can download and use today!

WeChat Pay and AliPay by AUB Paymate

WeChat and AliPay are two of China’s prominent e-wallets which cater to billions of users. It’s so efficient that people in China rely on these two apps (especially WeChat) to fulfill many of their daily tasks such as paying their bills, doing the groceries, or even hailing and paying for a cab. With that being said, China’s digital payment system is one that we could all glean from.

While these two apps may not function the way that they do in China, it will, however, make it easier for local business owners to accept payments from the Chinese tourists, which are expected to increase in the years to come according to the Department of Tourism.  

While these apps are now available in the Philippines, it isn’t widely used yet as other e-wallets as it reloading and all other essential functions are limited. At the moment, AUB Paymate is pushing the product for merchants to accommodate the anticipated tourism boom from China. [

How it works

A merchant using AUB Paymate can accept electronic payment through the following methods:

  1. Cashier scans customer’s QR Code
  2. Customer scans merchants transactional code
  3. Customer scans from the printed/fixed QR code display
Pros
  • It will be easier for Filipino merchants to complete the transactions with Chinese tourists (and vice-versa) as it eliminates the need to exchange Chinese currency to Peso.
  • Easy and real-time access to daily payments and transactions for merchants.

Cons

  • Service is currently only focused on serving Chinese tourists who use WeChat Pay or AliPay.

PayPal

This platform is a world-renowned online payment system because, in a way, it pioneered the cashless payment revolution.  It remains to be one of the most popular ways to send and receive money and make purchases online, in and out of the country.

How it works

To use Paypal for purchases, simply set up your PayPal account online or their app and fund it using your credit/debit card, or bank account.

Pros
  • Widely used across the world.
  • Payment method acknowledged by many international merchants online.
  • As a merchant, the process of receiving money as is easy
  • A secured platform that regulates the transactions done with the app strictly, to ensure that buyers and sellers protection.
Cons
  • Lacks more localized features such as bills payment, cash-pick up, prepaid top-up, and etc. Features which are more relevant to Filipinos’ day-to-day life.

Coins.PH

Coins.PH is a homegrown mobile e-wallet app that taps into the Blockchain technology. It’s the first and only app in the Philippines that let you buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Etherium, and store it in the app. In turn, you can use your cryptocurrencies to use the app as a financial tool for your bills, mobile phone prepaid top-up, money transfer, and etc. 

How it works

Coins.PH is the only cryptocurrency app that has a dedicated e-wallet for our local currency. The app at the same time supports BitCoin, and Ethereum Wallets, which can be exchanged to peso in real time.  You can open an account through their website or app and have your identity verified to make use of the complete features of the app, including daily and monthly withdrawal limits.  Withdrawing funds from Coins.ph is fairly easy and bank account isn’t necessary. 

Topping up:

There is a wide array of top-up options easily available in the Philippines. Topping up can be done through the following channels: 7-11 Kiosks, Globe GCash, Bank Transfer, Remittance Centers (M.Lhuiller, Cebuanna, and Palawan), E-Pay, SM Bills Payment Center, and others.  

Once your coins.ph wallet has funds, it can be used to purchase goods and services just like a regular credit/debit card. If you’re interested to invest in cryptocurrency, you can convert your money from Peso to Bitcoin/Ether or vice versa.

Pros
  • An e-wallet dedicated for ₱ and is capable of converting local currency to your chosen bitcoin currency (BTC and ETH only the moment). 
  • Financial transactions are a lot easier as the app supports bills payment, plane ticket payments, online shopping, and etc.
  • Enjoy rebates when you pay your bills or top up your mobile credits through the app.
  • Capable of reloading beep cards (phones which are NFC capable).
  • Investing in cryptocurrency is easier.
  • No bank account needed as users can top up their account through different channels like remittance centers and convenience stores.
  • Withdrawing money can be done through remittance centers and banks.
Cons
  • Higher fees outside of Metro Manila

GrabPay

Primarily, this platform is Grab’s method of allowing their customers and partner drivers to have a cash-free transaction.  At the moment, though, it is solely dedicated to Grab’s ride-hailing service. In other countries, however, GrabPay has already expanded its payment platform to their food delivery services and in-store purchases.

How it works

GrabPay offers a lot of reload options that go beyond the traditional credit and debit card payment method. You can do the following:

  1. Hand over cash to your GrabPay Driver and they’ll reload the credits into your account.  
  2. Top up or purchase GrabPay credits via 7-11 or their selected payment centers.
  3. Use your credit or debit card in the app.
Pros
  • Eliminates the need to carry some spare cash to pay for Grab rides.
  • Earn higher GrabRewards points when you use GrabPay Credits (which you can use to redeem free ride credits)
Cons
  • At the moment, GrabPay Credits can only be used for their Grab’s ride-sharing and delivery services.

PayMaya

PayMaya is the country’s first ever virtual prepaid card that can be used for all of your purchases requiring a debit or credit card, like online shopping, booking flights, and more.  PayMaya will determine whether you’d get Visa or Mastercard depending on your mobile network. A physical card will be provided to PayMaya users upon request and will be delivered straight to their address for just ₱150.

How it works

After downloading their app, register your personal info and create an account. Make sure that you have a working mobile phone number as it will be necessary for the verification.

Topping up

You can load your PayMaya wallet via Robinson Department stores, SM Centers, Smart Stores, 7-Eleven, RCBC Online Banking and others.

Pros
  • Supports both Visa and Mastercard
  • Anyone can sign up for an account with the use of a local mobile phone number. 
  • Also offers in-app payment processing like bills payment.
Cons
  • Topping up using Smart Money will incur a charge of 0.5% of the top up amount. 
  • PayMaya charges ₱15 for every ₱1000 load-up on any PayMaya load up centerp

Globe GCash

Globe GCash pioneered the digital payment revolution in the Philippines before it even became a thing. It eventually evolved into a full-fledged digital wallet that it is now, which comes with an app and a card (GCash Mastercard or Amex).

How it works

The GCash card works like a typical credit card, it can be used for purchases in-store and online. The smartphone app provides an additional function which caters to a form of payment trend today – QR codes. Users can pay for services, send or receive money by scanning QR codes using the app.

One unique feature of this digital payment service is that users can register using their Globe app or apply and get KYC’d (Know Your Customer) by visiting Globe outlets for the virtual Amex or Visa card.

Its strong integration with PayPal is also a welcomed feature for Filipino freelancers as it allows easier money transfer between the two payment platform.

Pros
  • You don’t need to be a Globe subscriber to sign up. All local mobile phone numbers are accepted.
  • For a more seamless process, users can link their PayPal and Facebook with their GCash
  • GCash supports American Express Virtual Pay
Cons
  • You have to visit a Globe outlet to apply for the card variant
  • GCash charges ₱20 for every ₱1,000 and any amount in excess that you cash out

With the obvious demand for more outlets and resources for electronic payment, there’s no other way to get around the inevitable but for our country’s payment system to adapt it. The question now is not whether the country is ready for a centralized cashless payment, but rather how well we Filipinos will adapt to it once it’s in full swing!

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