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: Continue reading

Using Autosweep RFID in NLEX/SCTEx/CavitEx (Easytrip)

You may have already read it somewhere, that you may now use your Autosweep RFID in NLEX-SCTEX, Cavitex, according to DOTr. It may be a step towards DOTr’s Toll Interoperability Project, but if you look closer, it is still far from the ideal integration.

The Autosweep RFID tag is the tag you use to breeze through the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system at South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Ayala Greenfield Toll Plaza, and Skyway. From this recent development, you may now use your Autosweep RFID tag at NLEX, SCTEX, and Cavitex, provided that you maintain a separate Easytrip account with them.

That means you may use the same tag but you should maintain two different accounts with the two different toll service providers. Two different accounts mean two different funding and monitoring of account balances. Its effect — very little!

This may be a step closer to DOTr’s goal of tollway interoperability, albeit very small. Can’t wait for the day of one tag/one account electronic toll collection between and among these tollway systems. And please, bring ETC to STAR Tollway soon!

Smart’s Prepaid 1-Year Load Expiration

It was reported some two months ago that the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) ordered the telcos to extend load expiration to 1 year regardless of amount. Last month, DICT agreed to delay implementation of this order for loads below P300.

Today, I tried reloading P300 to my SmartBro prepaid account to test if Smart indeed complied with DICT’s order. Lo and behold! To my gladness, my remaining balance is set to expire in 1 year: February 5, 2019. Though, the free ALLNET TXTS that goes with every reload is still set to expire in 75 days. No worries for me in that case, at least I don’t have to rush anymore to consume my load credits before they expire.

As for Globe, I have yet to try. If you have experienced reloading with Globe, please share them in the comments below.

TRAIN and Pick-up Trucks

Top Gear Philippines posted the new 2018 price list of the Toyota cars line-up, after the effectivity of the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) law. Yes, as expected, expensive and/or luxury cars either retained or even decreased their selling prices. But the more interesting observation is how pick-up trucks, i.e., the Hilux lineup, saw decreased prices as well, regardless of the original price.

I still can’t surmise why pick-ups have to benefit from this law? Please, someone, explain it to me.

DJI Osmo Mobile 2

The Verge:

DJI is introducing a new version of its smartphone stabilizer, the Osmo Mobile, that makes a handful of small changes to the original as well as one big one: its price. The Osmo Mobile 2 will start at $129, making it much more affordable than the original model (which started at $299, though you can find it now for closer to $200) as a way to keep your phone shake-free while shooting video.

Sounds like they’re very much challenged by the competition, particularly the Zhiyun Smooth Q. The price range and the built-in long battery are the Smooth Q’s thing.