Smart rolls out Visa ‘beep’ card for commuters

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May be used on toll roads before year-end

SMART eMoney Inc., the digital financial innovations unit of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Smart Communications Inc. (Smart), introduced to the commuting public PayMaya Visa Card with beep, the first live beep card in the market that combines the best of online transactions with a physical payments card.

After launching the PayMaya for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT), Smart is considering expanding its application to include toll roads and later, broader retail trade.

“Palagay ko sa [I think on] toll ways end of this year and retail trade next year,” PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan told reporters.


When asked if the card can be used on all toll roads in the country, Pangilinan explained that he did not know if San Miguel Corp. would also adopt the payment system. But he said that it will surely be used in their toll ways.

Pangilinan said that he is planning to talk with San Miguel for a possible partnership.

Pangilinan-led infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is the parent firm of Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC), which operates the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), while SMC operates the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX); the elevated Skyway system; and the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) tollway.

Introduced last August, PayMaya also comes with a mobile app that can instantly provide a virtual Visa card that can be used for online payments regardless of your mobile operator and even if you do not have a bank account.

It also comes with a physical Visa card that can be used for purchases at any of the over 30 million establishments worldwide accepting Visa.

Built-in-beep wallet
The PayMaya Visa card with beep is a physical Visa card with a built-in beep wallet, enabling users to enjoy the same benefits of the regular contactless beep card deployed under the Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS) for the country’s light railway transport system plus the convenience of getting an instant virtual Visa card for online shopping via the PayMaya mobile app and a physical card for transactions in any Visa merchant.

“PayMaya Visa card with beep is similar to the Hong Kong subway and payments Octopus card plus more. Through this and the PayMaya app, the Filipino consumer will leapfrog into the digital life through an easy to use, versatile and fun solution,” said Benjie Fernandez, managing director and co-COO at Smart eMoney.

PayMaya is strengthening partnerships with ecommerce sites like Zalora, AirBNB and Philippine Airlines as well as face-to-face shopping with establishments like SM and Robinsons Malls.

To avail and fully enjoy the benefits of the card, customers just have to download the PayMaya mobile app and go to the activation centers to get the PayMaya Visa card with beep.

Users of the PayMaya mobile app can also buy discounted prepaid Smart and TNT load.
For upgraded PayMaya accounts, they can also use their PayMaya Visa card with beep to withdraw cash from the PayMaya wallet from any ATM, as well as easily send money to other PayMaya users with upgraded accounts.

Smart eMoney is broadening the availability of PayMaya load centers to include not only presence in train stations but also to establishments such as 7-Eleven stores, Robinson’s business centers, SM business centers, MiniStop stores, Smart Jump centers and Smart Padala outlets nationwide, among others.

Behind the PayMaya card and app is the internationally acclaimed Smart Money platform, which currently supports mobile money services in emerging growth markets such as Brazil, Egypt, and Indonesia.

The PayMaya mobile app is the product of the partnership of PLDT through Smart eMoney with Rocket Internet, the global technology ecommerce leader that has presence in 110 countries including the Philippines in various regions such as Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa, Middle East, Europe among others.

In a recent report from BMI Research, the think-tank arm of the Fitch group, it cited that “the product offering of Smart Money will be strengthened through such partnerships, and give Smart an edge over rival operator Globe’s GCash service.”

Smart eMoney is the first non-financial institution in Asia to be granted by Visa with an issuing and acquiring license. It also counts MasterCard as its partner, giving it the unique opportunity to offer both Visa and MasterCard products.

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