Suddenly, it just hit me with the fact that i’m no longer a teenager. One last year in college (if ever i passed all my remaining subjects) and i’ll be on my own.
I was fostered greatly by my mom and I grew up having the shy personality. Being in college helped me break the ice but still wasn’t enough to let me get out of my box. Yes, I’m still adjusting and i must make it fast because i’m not getting any younger. Though it’s hard and challenging, i will start and will learn to be on my own feet now.
The first step i tried taking for me to be called as an “official adult” is collecting virtual cards. Virtual cards may function as an ‘alternative’ to credit/debit cards and it could benefit you in lots of ways.
I, as an avid shopper especially on online shops which might not offer cash on delivery services—instead, payments through credit/debit cards—tend to need these virtual cards. I knew deep in myself that i’m still not capable to own a credit card since i’m not earning yet, but i did no hesitations and tried these two famous virtual wallets in the Philippines as an ‘alternative.’
Gcash is a mobile money service and wallet linked with a secured virtual card which is known in the Philippines for its convenience and availability especially in Ayala and SM malls. Gcash acts as an ‘alternative’ for debit/credit cards and currently in partnership with American Express Virtual Pay and Master Card. Through this, shopping in international shops are now possible.
Gcash could also be linked in your BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands) and PayPal account which lets you transfer funds from BPI to gcash and vice versa. Through Globe Telecommunications, Gcash was made to let you send or receive money, pay bills, purchase e-loads, pay on international online shops, book movies, shop and pay at the counter by scanning through a Gcash QR code.
Cashing in funds for a Gcash account could be made through their partner stores such as 711 stores, Palawan Express Pera Padala, Mhluiller, LBC and many more. Funds could also be cashed out not virtually but in real cash.
Gcash is 100% safe to use since an account’s service is only limited when it’s not yet verified. Gcash requires users to sumbit a verification form after registering which is a requirement of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Once the account is verified, other transactions that are unavailable are now available.
If you have questions in mind regarding on how to link PayPal accounts and such, please visit Globe’s official website for a full list of Gcash’s services and information.
So after all that information, i want to share to you my experience upon registering to Gcash.
I heard news about Gcash since i was like in 2nd year college, i guess, but i never got interested on it but after reading and watching blogs/vlogs (due to boredom), i was convinced to make an account. Simply, i downloaded the app and signed up. I received a text message right after signing up but i forgot to read the details with the very important link in it and left my account in “hiatus mode” for a week.
My account was registered just 2 weeks ago and i never knew that an account should be verified until i had a transaction in my online shop last week and a customer dropped her payment in my Gcash account.
I was first baffled (since i am so new into this and silly me, i never checked my account if it needs some other things to unlock other locked transactions) when i can’t forward the payment to the main seller. I did some research on Google and found out that i can’t cash in/out, transfer or send money if my account is not yet verified.
Right away, i checked my phone’s inbox and read the text message sent to me right after i signed up and clicked the link which contains the verification form. I immediately filled it up with other necessary requirements such as clear pictures of my valid ID which is my Student ID (front & back), 3 signatures in a sheet of paper and a picture of myself holding the ID under my chin.
The verification form also asks minors (below 18 years old) to attach a parent’s consent letter and a picture of the parent’s valid ID in the form but i did not since i’m not a minor already. Also, at the very last part of the form, it will require you to answer the question: Do you have SSS/TIN? I answered no because really, I don’t have one. Of course, every no has its why so I answered that question with my mom as the reason that she has a full-packed schedule and has no time to process me these IDs.
After submitting, i was instructed to wait 24 hours for my account to be verified. The day after tomorrow, i received a text message from Gcash stating that I submitted an incomplete form and recommended me to send my phone number used in my Gcash account to their service agent named Rome.
I was really in a hurry that week because my customer is waiting and i can’t forward her payment. I resubmitted the form still with no parent’s consent but now with a different reason why i don’t have SSS/TIN: “I am not yet earning and i am not yet capable to have a TIN card.” The next day was still the same, i received the very same message and still no response from Rome.
I’m about to lose my temper that week since i’m way behind schedule and had to borrow money to forward my customer’s payment to the main seller. I already decided to go to a physical Globe store by Sunday since i really can’t cash-out the funds i had there. I was really unsatisfied with Gcash’s slow services that time.
By Sunday morning, i received a chat from Rome that my account was already verified. At last!!! It took me a week to be verified and all that anger stored in me was gone right after i checked my verified account.
BUT i was again in great anger when i tried transferring 100 hundred pesos to my paymaya account—still the same day after i got verified—and NEVER received it. It shows in my Gcash transaction history that i sent it but it never reflected in my Paymaya transaction history! I did a little research and never found out the answer why it did not reflect on my Paymaya account knowing that sending funds from Gcash to Paymaya is possible.
I tried to ask in Globe’s community website but i hesitated to continue further and just gave up on the 100.00 i lost. In summary, here’s the list of the things i liked and disliked on Gcash:
- Its accessibility and availability to malls and stores.
- Its wide array of partners and easy access of Gcash accredited stores where i can drop funds in my account or spend my funds.
- Its discounts/rebates to e-loads and other promos.
- Its KYC or Know Your Customer Verification Process doesn’t require a face-to-face interview to be verified.
- Its MPIN doesn’t need to be long. (4 digits only)
- It doesn’t need a maintaining balance to view your virtual card.
- Its slow updates on KYC verification process.
- Its service agent’s slow response.
- Transaction records only reflects on transaction history after 24 hours.
- My lost 100.00, still not refunded or returned.
- Borrowing load is only available for 20 years old above.
- When sending funds through the app, there is no gcash to gcash or gcash to paymaya option. You just simply have to enter the beneficiary’s phone number.
Overall, i learned my lesson to check everything first and not just rely on it since it is transacting online and in a less hassle way. When i had to send money, i now rely on dialing the *143# buttons instead of using the app since the app doesn’t have the option to where the money could be sent (gcash to gcash or gcash to paymaya) while *143# has these features. (It was in the app where i sent the “lost 100.00” and never “arrived” at my Paymaya account) Because of these problems i encountered, i developed a trust issue with Gcash especially on sending funds. Still, i’ll use Gcash in my transactions but sure, will never do the same ‘mistake’ twice.
Paymaya is kind of similar with Gcash’s services but differs in some other aspects. Paymaya also acts as a virtual prepaid card that lets you pay bills, purchase goods online, purchase loads and even book flights!
If Gcash’s virtual card is American Express, in Paymaya, your virtual card could be Visa or MasterCard depending on the mobile network registered in your Paymaya account. Through this, you could also pay to establishments or online shops that accepts credit/debit card as mode of payment or pay in stores with QR codes.
Cashing in funds for Paymaya could be done also to 711 stores, SM malls, Cebuana Lhuillier, Bayad Center and many more.
Just like Gcash, Paymaya also has the verification process but preferably called as “upgrading your account” which is also in compliance with Bangko Sentral’s requirements. Services for your account are only limited when not upgraded. You could not purchase prepaid loads and data packages, send money, pay bills, etc. But if your account is upgraded, all features of Paymaya are now available.
As i said earlier, Paymaya is pretty similar to Gcash and that’s why i’ve come up with a list of the things/services that i liked for both virtual cards:
- They both offer a physical card which could be purchased in their website.
- Their physical cards are embedded with EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) chip which means a safer and more secure experience.
- Their physical cards could be linked in the app and could be used to your ATM for converting funds into real money.
- When doing transactions such as sending money, purchasing loads, etc., they would always send you a text message of the transaction.
- They both accepted my Student ID as valid ID for the verification process.
For further questions regarding Paymaya’s services, facts, partners, list of Valid IDs, etc., please visit Paymaya’s official website.
I could say in my opinion (it might sound bias) that i liked Paymaya rather than Gcash. Maybe because of all the hassles i experienced with Gcash that led me to like Paymaya more.
Knowing that Paymaya accounts also needs an upgrade to unlock all the features and services available, I tend to had my account upgraded in just a few clicks!
I found out that my Paymaya account needs an upgrade when i first discovered it in Gcash’s verification process. I had the gut that Paymaya also needs some verification when i tried sending funds and viola! I was right!
I kind of forgot already the details but all i could remember was that i accessed the upgrade process in the app itself. I also filled up a form and the form was different. It had less questions and did not need pictures of my signature or myself, holding my valid ID. The form just asked a picture of my valid ID and submitted it right away.
After submitting, i remembered that i was the one who called a Paymaya service agent for an online interview. It took me a minute for a service agent to cater me. He then asked me some questions that could validate my identity. While on call, he requested me to provide necessary informations, focus the camera on the front and back of my student ID and my enrollment form (since the validity of my ID was up to May only) and to pose while holding my student ID under my chin. The video call lasted for not more than 30 minutes, i guess. And right after the call ended, my account was already upgraded.
It was the most hassle verification process i experienced ever! It’s kind of awkward at first but the agent was kind and patient in dealing my case and did not hesitate to accept my student ID as a valid ID.
After a week that my account was upgraded, i tried linking my account to Play Store and right away, 60.00 was deducted in my funds for some Google services thing. Good thing, i just waited and did not unlink my account because after 5 minutes or less, the deducted 60.00 was refunded and returned in my account.
After all that upgrading and linking, i came up with the things i liked and disliked in Paymaya.
- Its accessibility and availability to malls and stores.
- Its fast services to upgrading my account.
- You could contact service agents just by dialing through the app.
- The hospitality, patience and kindness of the service agent that interviewed me online.
- The accommodation of the service agents to their clients.
- Its discounts/rebates to e-loads and other promos
- Transactions made reflect right away on the transaction history.
- Refunding funds were less than 10 minutes.
- I think, their partners are not that wide and accessible.
- Its Upgrading Process requires a face-to-face interview to be verified.
- Its MPIN needs to be long. (I even forgot my pass after not logging in for a week and was forced to reset it)
- It needs a maintaining balance of 100.00 to view your virtual card.
To summarize, i really prefer using Paymaya as my alternative credit/debit card. I don’t have any words left for me to say since i think, i already did above. Though, I intend not to look or sound bias but i trust Paymaya more even though it almost broke my heart by deducting 60.00 without my permission (maybe because i was refunded right away). But still, i would not rely too much on these virtual cards even though they promised a secure experience. It’s better to be cautious than passive right?
Now that i have virtual cards, i feel more of like an adult. I feel more responsible in my expenses and tend to manage it with the help of my virtual cards. My experiences from applying up to verifying my accounts are the things i consider as memorable. All the hassle, anger, disappointments and awkwardness are the things i would also not forget.
Getting my virtual cards without the help of my mom was like an achievement. Sure, it’s easy for others but for me, that is still new and challenging. I am just so happy that i got verified knowing that i’m still a student and i am also planning to purchase physical cards for each of my virtual accounts.
How about you? Have you ever applied for a virtual card? Was it easy? Hard? Awkward? I would love to read your experiences on the comments section below.
Until my next post loves, best regards!