As a Filipino consumer, you are probably maintaining a couple of e-wallet accounts right now. Each of them have small peso amounts that you keep there in anticipation of the times that you’ll be using them for paying using QR codes in establishments. Isn’t it a hassle that you have to top them up individually? This is what “QRPh P2M” tries to solve.
What is QRPh P2M?
What a long bunch of acronyms!
Let’s start with “QRPh“. It basically refers to the Philippines’ National QR code standard, introduced by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in November 2019. This standard allows BSP-supervised financial institutions (BSFIs) to be able to read QR codes regardless of the source. It contrasts with the current scenario where your PayMaya e-wallet is unable to scan QR codes given out by Gcash, for example. Assuming that you have a QRPh-compliant QR code (represented by the QRPh logo), you should be able to scan it, regardless of whether you’re using PayMaya, Gcash, or some other e-wallet (or mobile banking) application.
Now, the “P2M” part: This means Person-to-Merchant. This is the kind of interaction that happens when you go to stores and you need to pay — you’re that person, making a payment to the merchant.
(And yes, if you’re asking about a “P2P” (Person-to-Person), there is something like that for some time now. That already enables you to transfer money to friends’ personal accounts instantly, via InstaPay! )
With QRPh P2M, we can now use our own e-wallet or mobile banking application to pay even if the QR code displayed in payment counters was issued by a different company than the one you are using.
From its launch event last 12 October 2021, below are the initial participants implementing the said standard. Their apps can be used to scan QRPh-enabled QR codes for payment.
- Asia United Bank (AUB)
- Cebuana Lhuillier Rural Bank
- China Banking Corporation
- Land Bank of the Philippines
- Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC)
- Union Bank of the Philippines (Unionbank)
- USSC Money Services Inc. (UMSI)
How do I benefit from this new QR code standard?
It’s easy!! Just be on the lookout for the QR codes with QRPh logo when paying. An example is shown below in one convenience store. It may say “PayMaya”, but since it has the QRPh logo, then you can use your own e-wallet or banking application to scan it!
Does this charge an additional fee on top of what you’re paying? Nope! Scanning to pay via QRPh P2M is free!!
Another benefit here is by using your own account to pay, you get to save on top-up fees! Transferring money to e-wallet accounts can incur you some InstaPay fees. (Some charge as much as 25 pesos!!) Thus, by skipping topping up and using your own primary banking app, you don’t have to worry so often about the overhead charges.
Scan-to-Pay in action
My trip to the convenience store got me curious about QRPh P2M! I checked my balance in my Hello Pag-Ibig e-wallet to see if I have enough. I then scanned the above QR code standee. The payment took less than a minute to proceed, not too different than paying using PayMaya itself! 😀
It would have been the same experience had I used another application, like say, AUB, Landbank, or Unionbank mobile banking apps. It will be just as easy, fast, and convenient via QRPh P2M!
It makes a lot more sense to pay digitally nowadays. However, we’ve been forced to topup our numerous e-wallets because different establishments use different e-wallets for payment. QRPh P2M allows us to skip this problem and directly use our own preferred banking or e-wallet application for paying for our purchases. We get the same level of convenience while allowing ourselves to skip unnecessary fund transfer fees and having to maintain balances across many e-wallets!