Guide to E-Wallets in the Philippines

e-wallets philippines

The Internet age has made our lives easier in many ways, with certain activities that have previously required much effort now available at our fingertips. From shopping online to paying bills, it now only takes a few taps on your phone to get things done. It’s quick, easy, and hassle-free.

One of the main reasons for the convenience of online transactions is the e-wallet. This online service transforms your phone into your very own virtual wallet by digitally storing your money. An e-wallet allows you to access online transactions and in-store cashless transactions, even without a bank account!

Here we give you a brief crash course on the e-wallet, from what it is, how and where you can use it, and the different e-wallets you can avail and choose from.

What is an e-wallet?

An e-wallet, sometimes called a digital wallet, is an e-service that allows the customer to virtually deposit money which can then be used for electronic transactions. This includes purchasing and paying through online merchants, as well as using your smartphone to purchase something from a physical store.

While there’s nothing wrong with having some cash on hand, e-wallets offer the convenience and security of leaving your wallet at home. With the rise of establishments that accept electronic transactions, it is now almost possible to go completely cashless and simply use your smartphone for all your purchases throughout the day.

You may also want to read: 5 Ways to Send Money Online During the COVID-19 Quarantine

What is not an e-wallet?

Although they are often used in conjunction with one another, we differentiate e-wallets from mobile banking schemes like BDO Personal Banking or BPI Mobile. Mobile banking has limited functionality and usually cannot be used for in-store payments.

We also separate e-wallets from other services like Apple Wallet or Google Pay, which only compile your payment methods into one place for quicker transactions.

Where can I use my e-wallet?

An e-wallet is your gateway to quicker and easier electronic transactions, whether online or in-store. The features and capabilities of each e-wallet will greatly vary depending on the company, but all of them carry the basics of online transactions, bills payment, and money sending.

You can use your e-wallet for:

  • Online transactions. You can purchase from millions of online merchants without the need for a credit card.
  • In-store transactions via scan-to-pay. Use your phone as a virtual wallet for numerous commercial establishments, from retail shops to restaurants to cinemas.
  • Paying bills. From your utility bills and tuition fees to your monthly SSS contributions, and paying all your dues are now instant and hassle-free.
  • Sending and receiving money. Whether from a friend or a payment from a customer, sending and receiving money is safe and easy with an e-wallet.
  • Buying prepaid load. E-wallets like GCash and PayMaya allow you to buy load for your phone directly from the app, often with rebates.
  • Growing your money through savings or investments. Some e-wallets also offer services like an in-app savings account and trusted investment channels so you can do more with your money.

Which e-wallet should I get?

Although the e-wallet industry is still relatively new in the Philippines compared to other countries, there are already several noteworthy e-wallets available to Filipinos. Whether locally grown or coming from a foreign company, these e-wallets offer secure and reliable services for all your transacting needs.

As we’ve already mentioned, the different features and capabilities will vary from e-wallet to e-wallet. Depending on what you will use your e-wallet for, you need to wisely look at its different factors to suit your needs, like the number of accepting merchants, their registration to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and the e-wallet’s transaction limits.

To help you decide which e-wallet you should get, here we present 10 of the most popular e-wallets available in the Philippines.

GCash

GCash is the first-mover and the leading e-wallet in the Philippines, with more than 20 million registered users (as of June 2019). This popularity is due to its massive parent company, Globe Telecom, and its wide range of functionality. Through GCash, you can pay to more than 240 billers and over 60,000 merchants all over the country, buy prepaid load, and shop online through several major shopping websites, among other features. Aside from scan-to-pay services, you can get a GCash MasterCard to use for establishments that accept a debit or credit card. GCash also offers services where you can save or invest your money, one of the few wallets that have this service.

Most Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How to Cash-In Your GCash Wallet
2. How to Transfer Money from Paypal to GCash
3. How to Send Money from GCash to Palawan Express
4. GCash Invest Money: Start Investing w/ Just P50

PayMaya

Another popular e-wallet is Paymaya, created by Voyager Innovations, which is the digital innovations company of the mammoth telecom company PLDT, Inc. With PayMaya, you are basically provided a virtual prepaid card for shopping online, booking flights, and so much more. Like GCash, you can also opt to get a physical PayMaya MasterCard or Visa that you can use for various establishments, plus the over 8,000 merchants accepting scan-QR payments. 

Coins.ph

What started out as a cryptocurrency exchange platform has evolved into a fully formed mobile wallet. Developed by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Coins.ph is an e-wallet that lets you send money, pay bills, and even reload your Beep Card for your MRT travels. But what sets Coins.ph apart is that it allows you to buy digital currency like Bitcoin and Ethereum even without a bank account. Additionally, Coins.ph has one of the highest transaction limits available, with a monthly cash-in limit of up to P5 million. 

GrabPay

Ingrained into the Grab ecosystem, GrabPay is your mobile wallet for seamless payments for different Grab services like GrabCar and GrabFood. Your wallet can also be used for online payments to Zalora and other partners as well as in-store payments. Grab’s partnership with SM makes GrabPay compatible with thousands of the mall conglomerate’s supermarkets, department stores, and partner brands like Ace Hardware and Watsons.

PayPal

PayPal almost needs no introduction, as it is a popular digital wallet with an international scope. Mostly known as a safer way around online transactions, PayPal is different from the previous wallets because it doesn’t aim towards being a lifestyle app. Thus, PayPal is popular for being the method of choice for global transactions – with millions of online merchants accepting PayPal – but it has limited functionality in terms of bills payment or in-store transactions. Still, you can easily transfer your PayPal funds to your other e-wallets if you’re looking to do more with your money.

Most Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How to Register and Verify PayPal Account

BanKO

Marketed as the first and only mobile-based savings bank in the country, BanKO is BPI’s way of targeting the unbanked population to avail of their services. With your BanKO mobile wallet, you can easily send money to account holders, buy prepaid load, and even buy voluntary insurance. Most importantly, BanKO has a comprehensive savings scheme that is secured by the BPI. You can also get a BanKO ATM card that you can use to transact with Bancnet-accredited merchants nationwide.

CLiQQ Wallet

Brought by the most popular convenience store in the country, the CLiQQ wallet started out simply as 7-Eleven’s loyalty rewards program but has since incorporated other features for their over 5 million users. Through the CLiQQ wallet, you can pay bills to more than 250 billers, send load, buy from any 7-Eleven nationwide, and cash in into your other mobile wallets like GCash or PayMaya. Deeply incorporated into this e-wallet is its rewards program, which you can use to redeem different offers and discounts. 

Denarii Cash

Denarii Cash was brought to the Philippines all the way from Dubai to provide a new way to transfer money instantly in over 15 currencies. This multi-currency e-wallet is popularly used by overseas workers (especially those in UAE and Saudi Arabia) to send money back to the Philippines because of Denarii’s low exchange rates, no transaction fees, and guaranteed secure money transfer. Denarii is also in the process of expanding its functionality to include quick remittance, peer-to-peer payments, and a wider range of foreign currency exchange rates.

LoyalWallet

Created by the blockchain company Appsolutely, Inc., LoyalWallet is a new and revolutionary e-wallet that allows you to make the most out of your “loyalty points” from all your favorite establishments. LoyalWallet lets you collect loyalty points from a coalition of merchants and use them to access different offers and rewards to all other merchants, turning your points into a different kind of commerce. You can even share and send loyalty points to your friends. LoyalWallet makes merchants’ rewards system much more rewarding.   

Moneygment

Moneygment is an e-wallet that brings electronic transactions and budget management together into one easy-to-use app. Through Moneygment, you can easily settle all of your payables – your bills, taxes, loans, or PhilHealth and SSS contributions – the smart way, with built-in calculators and records. You can also handle your insurance and your investments through this dandy e-wallet that keeps you on track with your money management.

Should I get an e-wallet?

Getting an e-wallet is definitely a must if you’re looking for a cashless and more convenient way of handling transactions, whether online or in-store. There are also several features that you can enjoy depending on your chosen e-wallet, from cash rebates to investment options.

Depending on what you are looking for, there are many notable e-wallets that are available through your fingertips, and you can surely find the right one for you and your lifestyle. If you don’t have one yet, it’s time to get an e-wallet and join the cashless revolution today.

Which e-wallet are you using right now? Did we miss your preferred e-wallet on our list? Share them with us in the comments below!

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Digital Juan

Digital Juan

Digital Juan is the author of DigitalPinas.com - a blog that aims to answer the frequently asked questions of Pinoys about technology, financial, computer, trending news, social media, and digital lifestyle. Most of his writings here are in the form of a how to guide, list, or tips and tricks.