GCash vs. PayMaya – The battle for Philippine cashless mobile payment platform crown rages on

Globe’s Gcash and Smart’s PayMaya have both been aggressively marketing their platforms just to stay ahead of the competition. Customers benefit the most with the plethora of discounts, rebates and raffle promos being offered left and right. Fortunately for us consumers, it’s not a question of whether you should get aboard one platform over another. If you ask me, I’d say why not get both?

Let me list down my thoughts and observations in using both mobile payment systems. These are based on my personal experience, thus I’m mum about the features I don’t use. I’ll update this list as developments and/or improvements come to mind:

  1. You need to have a Globe line in order to use GCash. You don’t need to be a Smart subscriber in order to register to PayMaya;
  2. I was KYC’ed by PayMaya via Facebook Messenger video call. I went to a Globe store for GCash KYC.
  3. The latest promos are avalable here: PayMaya, Gcash;
  4. Both PayMaya and GCash are especially useful if you have an online business, where you can receive payments via either of these platforms;
  5. Both have sleek apps for Android and iOS. GCash requires just a short 4-Digit MPIN, which is more convenient when opening your account in the app. PayMaya requires a longer, more complicated password, at least 8 charcaters with at least one uppercase, one lowercase, one number, and has no spaces. Opening your PayMaya account in the app proves to be a lot cumbersome, especially when you’re in a hurry to pay for your store purchases. But PayMaya allows you to use TouchID to open the app for iPhones. No fingerprint security convenience is available for Android phones.
  6. If you’re a big Lazada and/or Zalora shopper, you can enjoy 15% and 20% discounts, respectively, if you use your PayMaya virtual or physical debit card upon check out. These promos have so far been coming back every month.
  7. You can both conveniently Add Money (PayMaya) or Cash In (GCash) at any 7-Eleven store. Both offer generating a bar code for the cashier to scan and just pay the amount that you loaded up for your account. The credit to your account for both platforms will be instantaneous;
  8. Both offer a physical card that you can use at credit card terminals as well as withdraw money through ATM’s. You can avail of these cards for a fee. I haven’t personally availed of any card — I’m not paying for that and I more likely won’t use them.
  9. So far, I’ve seen more stores that display GCash Scan to Pay QR Codes;
  10. There seems to be a lot of available bills payment merchants in GCash than in PayMaya;
  11. Last Wednesday, April 18, 2018, there was a GCash QR day wherein GCash offered a 50% (maximum:Php500) cashback if you use GCash Scan to Pay transaction. If that’s not too aggressive, I don’t know what is;
  12. Did you know that there’s an ongoing up to 30% Cashback promo at Robinsons (Promo period: March 15 to June 15, 2018)?
  13. Aside from loading up via 7-Eleven stores, I also now Add Money via BDO online. Moreover, GCash has recently introduced a new Cash In  method wherein you can Cash In via any Visa or Mastercard debit card, which almost all ATM cards are nowadays anyway. I have tried Cashing in via my Security Bank ATM and it worked.
  14. I wish there’s a way to pay for Autosweep RFID toll fee prepaid load/credits using either platform;
  15. A prepaid ABS-CBN Mobile is supposed to be part of the Globe network, but you can’t seem to load using GCash. You can load ABS-CBN Mobile via PayMaya just fine;
  16. GCash is generally faster to credit your rebates to your account. In my experience, I usually receive my GCash rebates within 3 days after the transaction date, while PayMaya could take up to 3 weeks;
  17. [Update: June 5, 2018]] When paying for my purchases at Robinsons Supermarket, the cashier has always had to hold the line, go to the Customer Service counter, and retrieve the phone they use to process my GCash or PayMaya transaction. It’s ironic, it defeats its purpose — GCash and/or PayMaya are supposed to offer convenience with seamless, cashless, and speedy transaction, and yet I always had to wait by the cashier wondering how I would have been 10 times faster if I just paid in cash instead.
  18. [Update: October 12, 2018] GCash now has a lot more features to offer: there’s GCredit, where just like a credit card you can borrow money to Pay via QR code or pay bills. There’s also the GCash Invest Money, where you can invest your GCash funds into the ATRAM Money Market Fund to earn some returns on your unused funds.
  19. [Update: October 16, 2018] More info about GCredit.

As I’ve said, I’ll update this post as new developments come to mind. If you have questions, please feel free to drop them by the comments below.

If you haven’t registered to GCash yet, you (and I) can actually get a free P50 credit (see promo terms) if you use my referral code: C4PBLF.

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