How Going Digital Can Help Save Your Life

April 9, 2021


A cashless transaction is paying without using any physical money when making purchases in stores or settling your bills. Nowadays, going cashless has also become viral as it helps minimize the risks of getting COVID-19. According to scientists, the new coronavirus can survive in banknotes for 28 days. Kaya ang pagsalin-salin nito sa iba’t-ibang mga kamay ay maaaring makapagdala at makapagkalat ng bacteria at viruses.

In a report by the World Bank and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) titled A Better Normal Under Covid-19: Digitalizing the Philippine Economy Now,” it is said that “the use of digital technologies such as digital payments, e-commerce, telemedicine, and online education, is rising in the Philippines and has helped individuals, businesses, and the government cope with social distancing measures, ensure business continuity, and deliver public services during the pandemic”.

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How has our country adapted to the ‘new DIGITAL normal’ compared to other countries? According to the same report, “the use of digital technologies in the Philippines, however, is still below its potential, with the country’s digital adoption generally trailing behind many regional neighbors”. Bukod sa hindi pa kasi tayo technically-equipped para maging all-out sa pagiging digital, many of us are still struggling with technology, lalo na ang mga senior members ng ating society. A lot of them remain skeptic about using gadgets and other devices and still find technology ‘too fast to handle’. Ngunit sa panahon ngayon, wala na rin silang choice. Kailangan nilang mag-adjust at matutunan ang pinaka-safe at convenient na paraan ng pamumuhay para manatiling ligtas, dahil kung hindi ka pa sasabay sa pagbabago, talagang mapag-iiwanan ka.

Recently, a study made by PayPal (an online payments system) through an online survey showed that during these times, 80 percent of Filipinos increased their digital payments usage while 90 percent have shifted from cash to electronic payments.

Ngayon, hindi na problema kung offline ang ATM sa lugar ninyo o kung naubusan man ito ng cash because there are different ways to make payments without the need to go out, be exposed and get infected. Cashless payment facilities have now been made available to make transactions simpler, safer and more hassle-free. Some of these channels include:

1. Credit/debit cards. These banking cards are very useful in making online transactions such as ordering food, booking your flights, buying groceries or even settling hospital bills and paying tuition. Aside from convenience, many credit card companies also offer rewards points you can earn and redeem.

2. Mobile wallets. Some call it “electronic money or e-money”. These are smartphone apps that you install in your mobile phone as an alternative kung wala kang credit/debit card. Mobile wallets have emerged as a secure and reliable payment method of choice not just for buyers but for big and small businesses as well. 

One example of a mobile wallet is GCash. It is the biggest online payment tool in our country which has more than 23 million users. Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, nearly 63,000 physical and online stores accept GCash. Through this app, you can buy a load, transfer money to your bank account, send money to other users or to their bank accounts, pay bills, loans or insurance.

Another example is PayMaya which the government used in the disbursement of financial aid to senior citizens last year. The funds deposited to their PayMaya account can be used to pay their bills or send money to other users.

3. Gift cheques. When doing shopping, hindi mo na kailangang magdala ng malaking cash para mabili ang mga gusto at kailangan mo. Aside from being the usual and practical ‘pang-regalo’, gift cheques have evolved into becoming a versatile tool of commerce.

4. Bank cheques. This is a handy way to go cashless lalo na kung may mga suppliers ka, for your business na kailangan mong bayaran ng malaking halaga. You may also use this when paying electricity bills or school tuition. 

Now that we are going digital, kailangang maintindihan na hindi kailangang maging techie para matutunan at magamit ang mga digital financial tools na ito. Kung matuturuan at magagabayan natin lalo na ang mga nakatatanda, mari-realize nila kung papaano nito mapapagaan ang takbo ng buhay. In fact, they will be the most to benefit from this because less movement and less travel will redirect them away from accidents or other health risks. At the same time, we also need to understand that transitioning into a ‘cashless’ society would also require more responsibilities on our part as users. Maging mas maingat sa paggamit ng mga PINs o Personal Identification Numbers at huwag basta-basta ibabahagi kung kani-kanino ang mga importanteng impormasyon gaya ng account numbers at iba pang personal na detalye.

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