5 Cashless Payment Solutions for Customers in the New Normal

March 24, 2021
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4 minute read
woman using card on app

According to the country diagnostic by Better Than Cash Alliance, the Philippines was actually one of the early movers in the digital payments industry. However, despite having access to mobile money platforms as early as 2001, Filipinos have been quite slow in adopting the technology. As a matter of fact, in 2015, only 1% of payments in the country were made through electronic channels. In addition, a significant number of online shoppers and sellers still prefer COD or cash on delivery as a payment method.

These things changed when COVID-19 struck. The virus was discovered to be easily transmitted through close contact, Filipinos had to find ways to avoid exchanging cash. With the so-called “new normal,” more Filipinos began to appreciate the health and safety benefits of cashless transactions. This was particularly true during the height of community quarantines, when only essential businesses were allowed to operate. Even when the restrictions were somewhat eased, establishments known to primarily accept cash (e.g., small eateries and beauty salons) started adopting cashless payments to help ensure public health and safety.

As it stands, this trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down; in fact, it appears to be holding strong and is likely to persist even after the pandemic is resolved. This means that if you own a business and aren’t offering cashless payment solutions yet, now is the time to do so. This way, you can help your customers stay safe and help them adapt to the new normal.

The question is, what kind of cashless payments should you offer? Here are a few suggestions.

Credit and Debit Cards

Filipinos were first introduced to credit cards in the 1980s. Soon after, debit cards emerged as another viable payment option. These two types of cards were among the first cashless payment options in the country and are still being widely used today.

Depending on the type of card, you either need to swipe or insert it into a payment terminal. However, there’s also new technology that lets a customer tap or even just wave their card on top of a reader. This provides another layer of safety, since it further minimizes physical contact by eliminating the need to pass a card back and forth.

If you want to offer your customers this cashless payment option, you can check out Maya Enterprise payment gateway for seamless integration. Aside from credit and debit cards, you can also offer other cashless payment solutions using just one service.

Mobile Wallets

Mobile wallets became more popular with consumers during the pandemic, primarily due to the option to pay multiple bills using just one platform. Aside from bills payment, mobile wallets can also be used for online shopping and other digital transactions. This pushed small business owners to also use such applications to accept payments for their products and services.

What’s great about mobile wallets like Maya is that they’re available even to the millions of unbanked Filipinos. In addition, the app itself offers multiple payment options. For example, for e commerce, websites can incorporate Maya as a direct payment option. Meanwhile, physical stores can opt for Maya QR which allows customers to #ScantoPay for faster, more seamless transactions.

#ScanToPay also avoids the dreaded “Ma’am/Sir, wala po ba kayong smaller bill?” scenario. With Maya, your customers don’t need to count their bills and your staff don’t need to provide change. It’s always going to be an exact-amount transaction every time!

Bank Transfers

If you have an online shop, another viable option for cashless payment solutions would be bank transfers. The process here is two-fold. First, you have to provide the customer with your bank account number or a QR code. Then, the customer will make the payment and send you the proof (through a screenshot of the transaction record).

Again, do note that this payment method is mainly for online purchases even if it’s possible to do this in physical stores. However, it’s likely to be a little slower than using e-wallets because online banking isn’t structured for in-store applications.

NFC Mobile Payments

NFC stands for near-field communication and is a modern way to transfer data using a wireless signal. It’s like RFID (discussed below), but it requires that the devices be in close proximity with each other (thus, “near field”). NFC is also like Bluetooth, but NFC doesn’t need to “discover” the other device first before the transfer can be initiated.

The best example for NFC payments would be mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay, where you need to put your phone or smartwatch near the reader. Some credit cards also employ NFC technology.

Unlike the previously mentioned cashless payment methods, NFC mobile payments aren’t as popular in the country. Nevertheless, it’s good to know that you have the option. If you do consider NFC payments for your store, think about ways to create a seamless experience. For example, you can try incorporating your rewards programs with NFC so it’s easier to redeem coupons.


RFID or radio frequency identification allows you to store information in different objects such as stickers or cards. The information encoded in the object is then transferred through radio waves, captured by a reader. It’s essentially like a barcode; however, unlike a barcode, RFIDs don’t need to be in the line of sight of the reader. As long as it’s in range, the waves can be captured and interpreted.

The most common application of RFID payments in the Philippines can be seen in our tollways. Like NFC, there aren’t a lot of retail establishments in the Philippines that are using RFIDs yet. However, the technology is already in place and can be easily deployed.

Some other cashless solutions you can offer your customers include digital vouchers and gift cards, as well as converting rewards points to their cash value.

It can be a little challenging to make the transition at first, especially if you’ve been used to cash transactions. However, the truth is that these technologies are actually very user-friendly. What’s more, just think of the number of customers whose patronage and loyalty you’re going to miss out on if you don’t provide safe and convenient solutions.

If you want your business to succeed and sustain it, it’s best to adopt these cashless solutions today!


Top 8 Cashless E-Payment Systems for Merchants & Consumers in PH (grit.ph)

Moving towards a Cashless society: Types and major benefits (digipay.guru)

The Philippines is going cashless – finally - Tech Wire Asia

Buy online but pay in cash still preferred–poll | BusinessMirror

7 Things to Know About Accepting NFC Mobile Payments - Insights | Worldpay from FIS (fisglobal.com)