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Going Cashless

Filipinos are doing away with the need
for paper cash.

Jo Chanco       06/07/23


just realized I haven’t had cash in my wallet for two months straight now. I guess I just didn’t feel the need to have any. Paper cash, that is.

I’ve had credit cards for decades now. This is how I usually pay for groceries, monthly bills, auto repairs and maintenance, equipment purchases, movie theater tickets and dining out in restaurants. There’s nothing new about that. It was when I started using GCash late December last year that my personal “cash-on-hand” system got revolutionized.


Before that, I used to have to drive to the bank, and wait in a long, slow-moving queue to cash my check. That would be my petty cash for the week. It gets excruciating at times. The traffic going to and from the bank. The wait, along with a bunch of other miscellaneous hassles that might come along the way (like no parking slot available). And the frustration, when I get home and find out I should have cashed in more, after realizing I’ve forgotten to take into account a thing or two in my estimate. That, of course, would mean another trip to the bank. I don’t use an ATM (a measure I’ve implemented into my system to put some discipline into old spending habits). And for years, this is how I got cash into my wallet.


It’s so different now. It’s way, way easier, as I can just pay for virtually anything using GCash. And it’s not just me. In fact, I’m one of the latter-batch users of the cash app. People around me have been using it for a while, and I just wasn’t paying attention.


More and more village convenience stores, barber shops, street food vendors, plumbers and massage therapists are using Gcash. Even sari-sari stores in remote barrios in the provinces accept e-payments. An astonishing number of hardware stores, computer repair shops, dentists, restaurants and hole-in-the-wall eateries that have traditionally operated on cash basis now accept Gcash  as a mode of payment.

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PayMaya is another facilitator of digital payments that’s become ubiquitous. Widely used in food delivery services, it has become part of the Filipino lifestyle, as evidenced during Covid pandemic lockdowns.

Whether it's a popular food delivery platform or some milk tea kiosk in a street corner, food service businesses have embraced the cashless option, not only as a convenience to offer clients, but as a lifesaver during such a precarious time. It enabled seamless transactions, contactless payments and continuance of business.


Now PayMaya is used extensively, going beyond food deliveries. Taxis, ride-hailing services, buses, train lines, jeepneys and even tricycles all around the country are accepting PayMaya, providing ease to countless commuters. GCash is also accepted in many transport companies, eliminating the hassle of fumbling for loose change. Just scan the QR code, and you’re good to go.

Together with the reloadable Beep Card (widely used in but not limited rail transit, buses ), these new means have abolished commuters’ need for physical cash, streamlined the transaction process, reduced boarding time, and promoted efficiency in public transportation. But more notably, these contributed significantly to the rise of digital payments in Philippine society.

Shopping has also transformed dramatically. An explosion of online merchants and digital wallet users have put Philippine e-Commerce on steroids in recent years. Platforms like Lazada, Shopee, and Zalora offer a smooth checkout experience by integrating popular digital payment options such as G-Cash and PayMaya. Filipinos can conveniently purchase a wide range of products, from electronics to clothing, and pay securely using their preferred digital wallet.

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