March 24, 2020 – In the past few days, this website has gone from purely posting cryptocurrency news and guides to writing about digital transactions, online payments, and government guidelines, particularly from the SEC and the BSP concerning companies and finance. This is a conscious decision in light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines and elsewhere. Frankly, avoiding that topic is like avoiding that black circle in a white bond paper. This time, though, that black circle is creating copies of itself and I dread to see that paper covered entirely in black.
The coronavirus has serious effects even in the crypto and blockchain industries. What with all these canceled events, delayed product launches, crypto-related scams and the crypto market flash crash that happened a few days ago. But those are topics for another day.
The most important topics right now are those that can help Filipinos stay up to date with what’s happening and help everyone be guided during these crazy times. This website will focus on guidance on the finance and payment side of things, whether they are crypto-related or not.
Paying Bills Online
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And with that, let’s move to the topic of this article – Paying bills online.
We are all aware that digital transactions are rising every year. But I think these are concentrated in certain segments of people and in certain cities, etc. I asked 10 people in our neighborhood and not a single one of them has bought a mobile load on GCash or even in their mobile banking app. And I think these 10 people I asked have the means of doing so.
They just do not know that it’s possible and safe. I think we can understand if our grandfathers cannot (and will not) do online transactions, but what about the perfectly capable millennial with a job and has a phone?
In light of the outbreak, it is now more important to understand that almost every bill can be paid online. Whether they are credit card bills, postpaid phone bills, personal loans, internet.
Also, do take note that telcos like Globe, utilities like Meralco, and many banks have announced an extension of their payment deadlines in light of the enhanced community quarantine.
What Bills Can Be Paid Online?
Here are just some of the bills and financial transactions you can do online and ones I or our household pays online.
- Mobile load
- Credit Card
- Personal loan
- Water Bill
- Cable TV
Other stuff you can pay for online:
- Tuition Fees
- Funding of your account with a stockbroker
- Online shopping
- Flight Tickets
- SLEX and NLEX cards
- House Rental and Payment fees
- Food delivery
- Healthcare-related bills
What Apps to Use to Pay Online?
Here are some apps and services you can use to pay bills online. Those with * are the ones I use a lot.
- Your bank’s mobile app
- Cliqq (7-eleven)
- Lazada eWallet (I haven’t check this)
There are other apps out there that I don’t know of yet but chances are you are aware with at least one or two of the apps above.
Why Pay Online?
Right now, the pandemic is the best reason why you should pay online and at the comforts of your home. Why? It is not safe to go outside. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department of Health (DOH) is strictly enforcing social distancing measures. Persons should maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from each other. This is because when an infected person sneeze or cough, the coronavirus will be on the droplets they cough out, and that virus travels atleast 1 meter in the air before falling to the ground (the coronavirus is very heavy.
And if a payment center is open, guess how many people will be there? It is safe to say that these social distancing measures will not be followed most of the time, especially if there are so many people struggling, trying to finish paying their bills and go home immediately.
Also other reasons to pay online:
- It lets you keep track of due dates
- Apps like Gcash, for example, reminds you that a certain payment is due.
- You know where the money is going.
- Most of these apps tell you the history of all your payment transactions. Of course, you can do that on your own in a notebook. But apps will do it for you.
- It saves you time
- What if you have 1-hour break in the office, and you need to use that time to fall in line in (!!) BDO? Sayang oras. may branch fee pa.
- It keeps you organized
- It is secure and safe
- Imagine having 10k on your pocket and you are paying for a credit card bill… and then riding the bus or tricycle with that huge amount of money in your possession.
- It is ecological.
- Obviously, you are not the only person trying to pay their bills. It is probably not much but the amount of carbon that doesn’t go to the atmosphere because we all choose to not ride to the bills center should certainly amount to something.
- Plus less paper printed and used, saving more trees!
But is it safe to pay bills online?
There are two steps in paying bills online. Presentment and Payment. Presentment is when you put the details, including the amount you will pay. Payment is the actual transfer of money from your app to the service.
Here are some tips so that you can pay safely.
- Never ever give your password to anyone.
- Only communicate with the billers’ or apps’ representatives through their official channels.
- For example, if you have a problem with GCash, make sure you are talking to a GCash representative. Check their Facebook page, make sure you are talking to someone with a verified account.
- Beware of clicking links on your email or anywhere.
- You have the app on your phone. Open it yourself.
- Take note of the website’s URL if it is correct and secure.
These are trying times, and paying online is just one of the steps to make sure you stay on top of your bills while practicing social distancing measures during this health crisis. Take advantage of the apps on your phone and only go out of your house when necessary.
This article is published on BitPinas: Don’t Go Out. Pay Your Bills Online
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