AF Payments Inc., a joint venture between Philippine conglomerates Ayala Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp., has announced a partnership with fintech startup Coins.ph that allows users to top up their beep cards using only their phones.
Using a new feature in the Coins.ph mobile app, beep cardholders can tap their cards on an Android smartphone with near-field communication (NFC) enabled to reload. This will transfer funds from the Coins.ph wallet to the beep card within seconds, and topping up can range from Php10 to Php10,000 per transaction.
Topping up through the Coins.ph app has no transaction fees, and a Coins.ph wallet can reload several beep cards across various transactions. Cardholders can also check how much load is in their beep cards through this method.
“Coins.ph provides beep cardholders the ability to load their cards anytime, anwhere just by tapping their card on their smartphone,” said Peter Maher, president and CEO of AF Payments, in a statement. “This added convenience means no more falling in line to add load during the busy rush hour.”
Since its inception in 2014 from a public-private partnership project, the beep card has expanded from its original use as a payment option for Metro Manila’s three main elevated railways. Today, the over four million beep cardholders can also use the card to pay for certain bus lines, two major expressways and select branches of a number of retailers such as FamilyMart, Wendy’s and Robinsons Movieworld.
Coins.ph’s new beep card top-up feature is in line with the company’s mission to make financial services more accessible by allowing its users to skip tedious processes such as lining up to pay bills, withdraw funds or top up cards. According to its website, its services have “saved Filipinos more than 68.9 decades of standing in line since 2014.”
“Each day, nearly two million Filipinos are forced to wait in long lines to top up their beep cards with cash,” said Ron Hose, CEO of Coins.ph, in a statement. “With this collabration, beep cardholders can seamlessly use Coins.ph to load their cards with their phones and make payments anywhere beep is accepted.”
More popularly known for its fund transfer, remittance and payments services that use either Bitcoin and peso mobile wallets, Coins.ph is the only Philippine startup to be granted both an electronic money issuer license and a virtual currency exchange license by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. The Coins.ph wallet can be funded in over 33,000 locations across the country, which include 7-Eleven convenience stores, major pawnshops such as M Lhuillier and Cebuana Lhuillier, and major banks such as UnionBank and Security Bank.
Lorenzo Kyle Subido is a staff writer of Entrepreneur PH