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Is cash still king?


by Jacky Lynne A. Oiga

Clicks are the new “cha-chings” in the online selling world. Electronic payment methods are one of the biggest advantages and “come-ons” of online merchants to consumers who prefer to do their shopping in their pajamas, in the comforts of their homes. Simply create an account, place an order via the store’s website, fill-out payment particulars, click “Buy” and you’re done.

Credit card, direct debit, PayPal, internet banking and mobile money exchanges are just some of the cash-less payment methods offered by online stores and online shopping platforms like Zalora (www.zalora.com.ph) and Lazada (www.lazada.com.ph).

Issuing banks that usually process credit card payments are Visa and Mastercard. Megalink provides direct debit payments. Almost all Philippine banks support internet banking. While Globe and Smart offer mobile money transfers through GCASH and Smart Money.

Payment through credit card or plastic money is the most common payment method for online shopping transactions. Customers are asked to provide their card information to make a transaction. Online merchants like Zalora, however, are mindful of customer’s security concerns in giving out credit card information.

“We ensure that every credit card transaction occurs within a secure environment. Customers will know transactions are secure if they see a padlock at the bottom right of the web browser,” the website says. “We do not retain credit card information after an order is complete. Rather it is submitted directly to our banks.”

Direct debit payments and internet banking, on the other hand, are simpler and more secure because transactions are made personally by the customer. But telco giants are making these cash-less transactions even more convenient by allowing money transfers at the speed and cost of a text message.

Globe’s GCASH is an internationally acclaimed micropayment service that transforms a user’s mobile phone into a virtual wallet. With this service, users can use their phones to quickly and safely transfer money or pay bills. Globe and TM subscribers can access GCASH in two ways: dial *143# and follow instructions as prompted or download the GCASH app. With GCASH, users can purchase from international shopping sites like Amazon (www.amazon.com) and app stores like iTunes.

Meanwhile, Smart‘s Smart Money is an electronic wallet similar to a bank account that features a Smart Money MasterCard that can be used as an ATM or debit card. Through Smart’s PasaPera (mobile-to-mobile money transfer), users can transfer funds to other Smart subscribers nationwide or receive remittances from over 95,000 partner agents from all over the world at the speed of a text.

To get Smart Money on your mobile, you need a 16-digit Smart Money account number. To get this, type MONEY in your mobile and send to 343. To unlock Smart Money for online shopping transactions, go to the Smart menu and choose Smart Money. Choose “Internet Txns”. Choose unlock and press OK.