Having traveled to a few countries in Asia for the past year, I feel this information is share-worthy for potential tourists coming in to Vietnam. I have a GCash MasterCard from the Philippines and it is the principal card I use for ATM withdrawals and grocery purchases. However, I would run into a problem sometimes because not all ATMs accept my card even though the ATM machine clearly has MasterCard sticker on it. I’ve compiled this short information as a result of my own trial-and-error experience with most ATM machines.
Just like Indonesia, Vietnam’s currency employs many zeros and mindfulness is a useful asset when handling money here in Vietnam. In Thailand, I do not usually pay attention to the withdrawal limits in banks as I do not reach more than 7,000 Baht transaction/week. Here is the list of ATM withdrawal limits per transaction by banks I have tried:
SeABank – 5,000,000 dong/transaction
Techcombank – 2,000,000 dong per transaction (Each transaction will incur a 66,000 dong fee)
Sacombank – 3,000,000 dong/transaction
Vietcombank – 3,000,000 dong/transaction
Maritime Bank – 3,000,000 dong/transaction
Obviously, SeABank is the first choice to try. PVCom Bank, OCB Bank and Eximbank, unfortunately, would not accept my GCash MasterCard. I will try using a Visa card to experiment withdrawal with next time and will update it. For the meantime, hope this short information helps.
GCash does monitor its users’ transactions and if the GCash team detects a slight suspicious activity, they will notify the users via email. I received a comment on one of my articles about his or her account being suspended so I thought I would address this.
If you find that you cannot log in to your GCash mobile app. you would get this kind of error message:
I immediately went to GCashCare on Messenger and that was a mistake – a waste of time because even though GCashCare is preset to send automated responses once you send them a message, you would not be able to get to chat with a live person as soon as you deliver your response. Chances are, you would have already been e-mailed about your GCash account suspension so you should first check the email account you registered with GCash instead of going to Messenger.
True enough, I did receive an e-mail from GCash informing me of transactions they tagged as suspicious and they wanted me to confirm if I was the one who performed them on the mobile app.
Without hesitation I responded to the e-mail that I was the one who made the transactions they listed. The account suspension was lifted shortly after they received my response so no worries there. Even if your account gets suspended, it is temporary.
As you all know I have been writing about the technical issues I have had with GCash and all of them have been resolved. In this article I am going to write about the GCash non-dispense issue I had with an ATM machine outside the Philippines.
As I have written in a previous article, withdrawing cash in ATM machines overseas can be tricky as some cards may not be accepted in all banks and you run the risk of trial and error as to which bank’s ATM machine would accept your card. Even if the ATM machine lists all the logo, it’s not an assurance that it would work. I have a GCash MasterCard and even though the bank in Hanoi I tried transacting with listed MasterCard on the ATM machine, I still encountered an error and the card ejected my card along with the transaction slip bearing the words “Issuer or Switch Inoperative”.
No cash came out, of course, so imagine my confusion when I tried withdrawing funds in another bank’s ATM machine and saw the error message on the screen that my funds were insufficient for the transaction. I did not bring my Android phone at the time which has my Globe sim inserted in it so I did not see the text message from GCash that the non-dispense transaction at Shinhan ATM machine got my GCash balance deducted.
I sent an e-mail to GCash about it and the customer service rep replied that it would take 7-14 business days for my funds to be reverted. My mistake was WAITING and doing nothing for the 7-14 days period. When I tried to follow up with them beyond the 14 business days period, I was told by the agent that she forgot to attach the Dispute Form for me to fill up. The reversal dragged on longer than expected because even when the second 14 business days period right after I submitted the Dispute Form, it took something like a week or so for me to see the funds back in my account and not without badgering GCash on Messenger, Twitter and via e-mail. Not to mention all my follow-up attempts were futile because their reps would not respond to me on time. Two weeks after I got my funds back was the only time when the replies from their customer service agents came in.
I know I have stressed this before in other GCash articles, but I am going to emphasize this issue one more time – please have a Dispute Form downloaded on your laptop or desktop computer to fill up easily in case you encounter any technical issues with GCash services, especially those that involve money reversal. You can download the Dispute Form here.
When traveling overseas we may overlook the fact that not all debit cards can be used in a lot of ATM machines. I would always recommend to bring two or more debit cards. I currently have the GCash MasterCard and RCBC MyWallet for the meantime.
I also have my PayMaya physical card which is already linked to my verified PayMaya virtual card account but I am excluding it for now because of the Ph500 roaming fee my Smart postpaid account would automatically charge me once I insert my SIM to a working phone here while being overseas. As PayMaya now requires a text verification upon logging in to the PayMaya mobile app, I don’t think it’s worth it using my Smart postpaid SIM when I have two other debit card alternatives.
In Thailand, I could withdraw funds from my GCash MasterCard in most ATM machines. Most 7-Eleven stores in Thailand have ATM machines outside the premises but you have to also make sure the ATM machine is not that of a local bank. As for the RCBC MyWallet, I have tried withdrawing cash from it in both Siam Commercial Bank and Krungsri ATM machines and have been able to transact successfully.
I should also like to mention that solely depending on GCash MasterCard is not a good option because of the monthly withdrawal limit. There were times when I’ve reached my limit in GCash on the last day of the month and I had to wait for the next day, the first day of the next month, to do a withdrawal. In case waiting might pose a hassle for you, it’s good to have other options too.
It gets tricky here in Vietnam for the RCBC MyWallet. Techcom Bank, BIDV Bank, Lienviet Post Bank, Vietcom Bank and Maritime Bank are the most common ATM machines I could run into and GCash would be accepted in all of these. The only ATM where I found I could use my RCBC MyWallet is that of VP Bank. Unlike Vietcom and Techcombank, you won’t come across VP Bank ATM machines in most big malls. I had to research VP Bank ATM locations online.
I do find my travelling situation to be unique but I hope this has helped anyone who has trouble finding a bank in Vietnam they can withdraw their funds with using RCBC MyWallet.
If you’re a frequent traveler and you need to change SIM cards wherever you go, I recommend the mobile apps Coins.ph and Mobile Recharge. I alternate between the two mobile apps as each has unique services to offer.
I signed up with Coins.ph a few years back and completed the profile verification steps quickly. I knew Coins.ph dealt with Bitcoins primarily and they only extended their services to include mobile top-up not only for Philippine mobile numbers but also for international numbers. I have tried their Buy Load feature with my Philippine mobile numbers and also for my Vietnamese and Cambodian SIM cards and the top-up was successful.
You can top up your international mobile numbers with Mobile Recharge as well. In fact, M-Recharge mobile app is mainly for that purpose. I have used it in the past to top up my Malaysian and Thailand SIM cards. The only reason I keep Coins.ph as an alternative for mobile top-up is that the available denominations Mobile Recharge top-up are higher compared to that of Coins.ph. The minimum amount for mobile top-up with Mobile Recharge is at $10 which you can conveniently purchase using your PayPal account. Coins.ph does not have the option to purchase via PayPal as users would have to top up their Coins.ph Wallet first before they can purchase using their Coins.ph account.
I have been using Skrill for transferring funds to my Philippine mobile wallet and purchasing referrals in NeoBux. Over the years, more online businesses I have used have switched from PayPal to Skrill as it has proven to be a good alternative to PayPal. I still prefer to use it over Payoneer because of the lower fees.
My only complaint about it lately has been about the Skrill verification process. I have completed the ID verification last year and for a while was not badgered about other Skrill verification process I needed to complete until last month. It was about the address verification. I wanted to add some Skrill funds to my NeoBux account so I could purchase new referrals. There was a warning on my profile page that my account use would be limited because I have not done the address verification. My beef mainly concerns the account restriction – this should have also included NOT BEING ABLE TO DEPOSIT FUNDS into my own account using my card. It should not only cover the amount restriction and limitation to transfer Skrill funds or use Skrill funds for purchases.
After Skrill ACCEPTED my funds deposit to my own account using my own card (mind you, this was AUTOMATED – a lesson for other companies to disable this feature also unless verification has been completed), I proceeded to upload my postpaid bill document. It was rejected. Few years back, I submitted my postpaid bill document showing my address and my name and they actually deemed it as valid. Now, the same document was rejected as they said they will only accept telephone utility bills. For some unfortunate reason, my sister said she has not received the telephone paper statements in our address. The newly added funds were stuck there in my Skrill account.
Meanwhile, I would have to pester my family back home for water or electric bill statements to get rid of this annoyance.
Update: January 2, 2018
I requested my sister to take a photo of a utility bill which she sent to me via Viber. It would make sense to upload the said document via the Skrill mobile app as well. However, in the Skrill mobile app (at least in the iOS version as I have not tried downloading Skrill on Android yet) it does say USE DOCUMENT UPLOAD but that option is misleading because it only allows you to scan or take a photo of the said document, which means you must have the utility bill on hand. In other words, it is pointless to do the address or location verification via the Skrill mobile app.
I had to do it via the web site on desktop as there is an option in the latter to upload the document. I had to open iCloud on the web and download the utility bill photo from there.
Update: January 3, 2018
Just got word from Skrill that my location has been verified.
Earlier today I got an alert on my iPhone to update my GCash mobile app and that the new update not only includes the RCBC-GCash and BPI-GCash cash-ins but also a list of their over-the-counter partners right within the GCash mobile app.
For a few months registering GCash within the RCBC Online Banking platform had been disabled. It’s a good thing they have brought the feature back. If you access your Globe sim menu and select GCash > Registration by dialing *119#, you will see the option to register your BPI and RCBC accounts. For a refresher, here’s the video for the registration for RCBC:
Update: June 11, 2018
Even though the RCBC to GCash option is available in the GCash mobile app, most of us encounter errors in attempting the feature. It probably works for RCBC accounts which are connected to a savings account but with the RCBC MyWallet Visa debit card (one can apply for this card at any RCBC branches without necessarily having a savings account at RCBC), it seems it’s been disabled again and it’s unclear when the RCBC to GCash cash-in service will resume. I would like to also emphasize that even though there is an option in the GCash mobile app to add your MasterCard or Visa Debit Card for cash-in, adding your RCBC MyWallet Visa Debit card is not allowed and you will only get a text notification that the attempt to add the card is unsuccessful.
There is an alternative, which I have tried for myself yesterday, but it would require you to have a Skrill account.
- You must have a verified Skrill account.
- Your GCash account must already be linked to your verified Skrill account. You can add your GCash mobile number under the Mobile Wallets tab.
- Your RCBC MyWallet, which is a Visa debit card, must be also added to your Skrill account. You can do this by clicking on the tab Cards and Bank Accounts. Even if you do not verify this particular Visa debit card, you can still send money directly via Skrill but there would be a limit.
- I would suggest you do the RCBC MyWallet to GCash cash-in on the web and not on the Skrill mobile app for the reason that “Philippines” does not appear on the drop down menu on the mobile app. Skrill needs to update their mobile app for bugs.
Here are the steps to transfer or send your RCBC MyWallet funds to your GCash account:
1 – Under Account Overview and just right under Available balance, there are two buttons for Send Money. Click on Send Direct.
2 – Since this pertains to RCBC MyWallet, select Credit/debit card.
3 – Select the RCBC MyWallet Visa debit card to be debited from.
4 – Review the details.
5 – Wait for the confirmation.