Cashless as the New Norm


An uncle recently posted a selfie on Facebook while he was waiting in line to pay bills in a bank. Most of the comments his post received were along the lines of "Can't you pay your bills online?" He explained that Villar properties utilities could not be paid online and could only be paid over the counter.

In this day and age, particularly since we're in the middle of a pandemic and are mandated to stay indoors as much as possible, it's so impractical and even downright dangerous to still be lining up to pay bills.

I settle all our bills online, except for our condominium and water dues which I pay for at the condo admin office. However, ever since the lockdown happened, our condo admin gave the option of paying our dues directly through their bank accounts and just sending a copy of proof of payment through email. Maybe Villar property management can also do something similar?

I've been paying my bills online for probably almost 20 years now. Currently, I use Metrobank Direct and the Landbank app to pay my utilities, credit card bills, insurance money and transfer money.  I find both online banking platforms to be equally reliable, more importantly, they have lots of registered online merchants, and there's no need to pre-enroll merchants at a brick and mortar bank.  Metrobank Direct does has a slight advantage over Landbank because I pay my Pag-ibig mortgage online with it. So if I had to choose between the two, I'd go with Metrobank Direct.

Another game changer in managing my household finances was RCBC's Autocharge feature which allowed me to charge my Meralco and PLDT bills to my credit card. Globe is also included among the available merchants, but instead of an automatic monthly charge, you have to call RCBC monthly to have your bill charged to your credit card. Personally, I think that's silly and defeats the purpose of automating bills payments so I continue to pay my Globe bills through online banking.

There likewise seems to be no reason to venture out of the house now to buy groceries, medicines, clothes etc. since all these can be bought and paid for online. I've only tried Honestbee for grocery shopping (I miss you!) but I've heard good things about Waltermart and Landers online grocery delivery services. Watsons also does home deliveries, while Mercury Drug is almost there with its pick-up option.

When it comes to shopping convenience, Zalora will always have my heart, but my fickle heart skipped a beat when I saw that SM now also delivers. I've been holding off potty training my youngest because he's not comfortable in our adult-sized toilet seat and refuses to release the bomb, but with SM's online delivery, I can buy a potty training seat and just have it delivered.

What has really created a buzz in my circle though is Unionbank and its online check deposit service. My friends were so impressed that they only needed to take a photo of a check, send the pic through the app and the check is considered deposited. How amazing is that?! Recently though, another friend gushed about how she was able to send money through Palawan Express via Unionbank. I know you can also use BDO to send money to Palawan Express, but BDO seems to be buggy now as the cash my husband sent three weeks ago via BDO could not be retrieved at Palawan Express despite having a transaction number. Another friend also had a similar issue where she tried to use her BDO account to send money through Palawan Express but while her account was debited, she never received the transaction number.

It seems like Filipinos are now more open towards cashless transactions, and with your home as the safest place during a pandemic, now is the best time to shift to an online and cashless lifestyle.

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Comments

  1. I also do most of my transactions online. I use BPI online banking most of the time. Aside from paying bills online, I can also transfer money to other banks easily at waived ang transfer fees ngayong ECQ. Sana magkaron din ng option to send to Palawan Express sa BPI para mas madaling magpadala sa province. And oh, I miss Honestbee too! Sana bumalik na sila. :)

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    1. Ditto with wanting more options for sending to Palawan Express. In Biliran, there are only 3 banks, so people are really reliant on Palawn Express and other similar money sending services. I'm sure it's like that in most rural areas all over the country.

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