Believe it or not, only 14% of Filipinos have a bank account while less than 10% of the population have access to credit cards. But it is ironic that more than 60 million Filipinos today have a smartphone, a device we consider more important than our financial stability.

With cash still the main point of payment in the Philippines, it seems we are still tied up to it despite heavy push towards card payment systems like via debit or credit card transactions. Last 2014, e-payment companies like GCash and Smart Money or now called as Paymaya heavily pushed for mobile-based wallets, where you can store cash through your mobile number. Fast forward to 2018, these companies are on the rise to become the next big thing like with China having a 95% mobile payment system.

Last 2017, Jack Ma of Alibaba and the owner of Alipay invested in GCash to push for QR based payments. The goal is to eradicate the common hassle of cash payments and bring a better payment scheme for all. So, with a big investment for e-payment this 2018, here are some reason why you should take advantage of mobile payment companies.

1. No more Scams

With a mobile payment based on QR, you will simply scan and input the payment you need.  An SMS authentication for both buyer and seller will be able to receive for authenticity, so nothing is cheated and you can say goodbye to scams of people keep on changing bills just to confuse you.

2. Exact Amount – No more, No less

Tired of bringing coins and paper bills right? Yes, we are too and it’s something you can avoid if you just pay by scanning or even swiping via the physical ATM card via Visa or Mastercard. Plus, admit that you won’t have to hear the word “Maam / Sir may smaller bills po kayo?”.

3. Take advantage of the promos, GCash and Paymaya are all in need of increasing their customer base, this leads them to promotions non-stop like having rebates with QR payments, winning an iPhone X, discounted load and our favorite rebates in load.

Weekly these companies offer something tempting, like 10% rebate capped to Php100 or even a Php500 cash back! All these might look small, but it’s a big factor when you just pay via QR or simply maximize your money especially with their free load promotions.

4. Safer than cash

Bringing cash is a hassle especially if it’s a big amount. Personally, I carry just a small amount of cash and let my cards or QR payment do all the work. My wallet has never been lighter and now less busy.

Bringing smaller amounts of cash is safer, less prone to thieves looking at you. Not to mention cleaner, you carry cash everyday…A big germ magnet, something we can lessen since you integrate your money into your smartphone.

5. You can track your spending

Who doesn’t want an automatic ledger of all your expenses, something these companies can do as they display your recent transactions when needed. It’s really useful to track your expenses and might even do proper budgeting.

6. Pay your bills fast with even rebates

When it comes to paying bills, the only bill I don’t pay left is UnionBank but even Citi, Meralco, Insurances, PLDT, postpaid accounts are available for payment via mobile and they even offer up to Php100 rebate per biller. Something you don’t want to miss out if you have around 3 or more bills per month, imagine the savings you can get!

7. You can invest in cryptocurrency

Bitcoin or Etherium? You can do that with, just study first the movement before investing, just remember that put only the money you are willing to risk to avoid heartaches.

8. You save on load

With Paymaya and GCash you can get instant 5% rebate when purchasing load. You can even get rebates of up to Php100 when you time it with their promotions via FB messenger. While offers 10% rebate for e-load, that’s even better than most e-load business today!

9. It helps eradicate armored vehicles

 Flickr commons image by Davocarno

They are big, always causes traffic and a sign that you should keep away from them. Even the MMDA are having a hard time with these law breakers especially parking anywhere. Imagine the cash transported by these vehicles to ATMs and Banks when you can simply transfer from your ATM to your account wirelessly and pay wirelessly! We can see less or even eradicate these unnecessary vehicles and push for less traffic!

My main source of loading up these wallets are via Debit Card Sync (GCash), 7-Eleven and some cash acceptance machines in malls. Hopefully, the drive for mobile payment can grow more so we can have more top-up stations.

Currently, around 15% of my transactions are now QR based and it’s becoming more convenient for me. Purchasing at Bench, Robinson’s department store, SM Store and even one time for Under Armour clothes. I can honestly say that I probably save around 200 pesos a month on load alone along with the rebates.

Lastly, the wave of promotions isn’t forever for these mobile companies, I suggest you take advantage as early as now just like how startups like Uber, Grab rained with promos in their start. It’s all about maximizing your opportunity to save and we Filipinos definitely love to save right?