Google and BPI introduce BEBAPAY in the Philippines

BebaPay is now in the Philippines!
BebaPay is now in the Philippines and being tested in a smaller community - De La Salle University!
BebaPay started to stir up curiosity last week, as BPI and Google launched the product in September 16, 2013. It's a payment system that allows users to transact using a magnetic BebaPay card. Students became eager to try it out, especially that a free initial balance of P200 was given upon registration and acquiring the card.
Read more about BebaPay in TheLasallian: Google, BPI launches cashless payment for DLSU

In this blog post, I will just share some opinions as well as more details about BebaPay.

Is BebaPay practical?
Well, I am not actually sure. Right now, I don't find any compelling need for us to use BebaPay, except for the possible convenience it brings when you don't need to fumble through your wallet to get your bills and/or coins and put back any change (if there's any). However, that's so petty. Hopefully, new features will be added on this card, so that it would be more practical for us to use it. I'm guessing that once the free P200 in our cards gets all used up, students will no longer top up.

Top-Up Station in Perico's - BebaPay, Just Tap to Pay
Top-Up Station in Perico's - BebaPay, Just Tap to Pay

What's the minimum top-up (reload) amount?
I asked one of the crew of BebaPay, and he told me that the minimum amount of reloading is P1 and the maximum is P2,000.

Does BebaPay really secure our hard-earned money?
For now, yes. Since there are still a few stores (as of now) that offer BebaPay as payment, the thief won't be able to immediately use your BebaPay card, in case it gets stolen. Hence, you will enough time to send an SMS to BebaPay that will block your lost card. The exception, of course, is when it gets stolen within DLSU. Well, hopefully, that won't happen.

However, when BebaPay starts to be more usable anywhere, the "security" of our money in our BebaPay cards may no longer be effective. Naturally, the thief will immediately use it elsewhere! Remember that there are no forms of verification can be found on our cards (i.e. no names, no photos, no signatures, etc.).

How does BebaPay work?
BebaPay uses almost the same technology and mechanism of magnetic cards (e.g. Powerstation, DLSU IDs, etc.) only through a mobile phone. Interestingly, there's a device attached on the back of the phone that allows it to read the BebaPay card, and then deduct any sum amounting to your purchase.

BebaPay and How it Works?
BebaPay and How it Works?
I was able to take a photo of how it works. I purchased a bottled water in Perico's Canteen and used my BebaPay to pay for it. It took only seconds before the transactions got completed! Afterwards, I received an SMS telling me I used it in Perico's (yes, it was that specific), as well as my remaining balance.

Checking your Account Online:
If you are the type of person who wants to track his or her expenses, you may find this useful - BebaPay shows us our transaction history indicating the amount as well as the establishment we used BebaPay on.
BebaPay Account - Transaction History and Balance
BebaPay Account - Transaction History and Balance
As you can see, I still have P138 in my account, after I've spent another P45 in Munchster Yum for some Munchies. Hmmm, now where should I spend the rest? 

How about you? Tell us something about your BebaPay experience!

Update May 2014: Bebapay in the Philippines has been discontinued. You may want to check a somehow similar system that not only provides convenience in paying but as well as rebates - Paybux Rebate App for Mobile.

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