I signed up for a PayMaya account almost two years ago. There was an Upgrade option right within the PayMaya mobile app and I got the reference number via SMS but had not been able to upgrade then because of the lack of authorized PayMaya centers. At the time I signed up there was no authorized PayMaya center in my hometown and as of this writing there still isn’t one in Cagayan de Oro.
Last year I became aware of the Facebook video call via the PayMaya Official Facebook page. I tried this option with an old account, which I had to bring back to life from deactivation, only to be later disappointed that my Facebook video call request was ignored. I replied to their message via Messenger about the time and date and a month had gone by without any reply from them. Okaayyyyy. They should take out the Cares in PayMaya Cares or whatever. When I had the chance to stop by in Manila for 4 weeks, I found my chance and took care of this PayMaya upgrade business the first few days after my arrival in Manila.
If you browse through the PayMaya website, there’s a link for authorized Bayad Centers that will do the upgrade. Upgrade is free, by the way. I am staying in Las Piñas and this was favourable because there are few Bayad Centers close by. I chose the closest, Puregold Las Piñas.
I wasn’t very familiar with Las Piñas (I only lived in Parañaque a few years in the past but rarely ventured further down the South) and although I easily spotted Puregold Las Piñas, my journey didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked because of a tiny oversight – I had to be in possession of a filled-up Bayad Center application form. If I had taken the Smart Jump Center route, which was SM Megamall, perhaps I would not be needing the Bayad Center form anymore. I was informed by the Bayad Center attendant in Puregold Las Piñas that I would need to print the Bayad Center upgrade application form and fill it up with the same information I entered in my PayMaya upgrade application online.
It took me 30 minutes of scouting the area outside of Puregold to find an internet cafe which offer printing services. When I went back to submit the form, again, I realised I had overlooked something when the attendant called me about the form I submitted. I did make sure, however, that I don’t get out of the premises without receiving any text message or a call from Bayad Center. The passport number I had entered on the form did not match what I entered on my PayMaya upgrade application. The passport number I submitted years ago expires this month and I have had a new passport since November 2016. My mistake was assuming that I could replace the info because of a mere expiration issue. I was wrong. Expired or not, the same ID indicated during the time one signed up must also be written on the Bayad Center form.
Once I provided the old passport number, I received a text notification within minutes from PayMaya that my account has already been upgraded to PayMaya Plus.
It was such a relief to be able to see on my PayMaya mobile app that I could send money to my other PayMaya card and/or SmartMoney accounts and even to other KYC’ed GCash accounts as well, which I currently have.
I did the PayMaya to GCash transfer to test. The transfer came through instantly!
UPDATE: September 1, 2019
Just thought I’d update this article for those who are interested in using PayMaya as an alternative to GCash. The PayMaya Plus upgrade can be done within the mobile app itself and there is no need to go to a PayMaya center for the account upgrade. Few days ago I instructed my mother to follow the instructions indicated in the PayMaya mobile app and in less than 24 hours she received a confirmation that her account has been upgraded.