Last week I signed up for Google AdWords and created a campaign to test the waters. The minimum I paid for was $10 and Google collected my payment via a Philippine-issued debit card.
When I signed up, I saw the location or Country drop drown menu detected Vietnam by default. Thinking I was supposed to use my temporary address here in Hanoi, I entered my Hanoi address. My ad campaign was running well and my $10 balance was deducted $0.40 for a few days. I made another campaign after that, this time I promoted a YouTube video I had uploaded a month ago. The day after I received an email saying that my Google AdWords account was suspended for Suspicious Payments.
Google AdWords Suspension for Suspicious Payments, as I understood it after I appealed Google AdWords’ decision, meant they suspected I used a stolen credit card because the default country I registered Google AdWords for and the billing address of my Philippine-issued debit card were different. It’s funny because as soon as they emailed me regarding my account suspension, they sent me another email (on the same day!) that my ad campaign was up and running.
If you do a Google search about Google AdWords suspension for Suspicious Payments, you will come to the conclusion few only get their Google AdWords suspension lifted. You guessed it, I got the same canned response about their decision was final and that I would not be able to create another account. However, when I go to my AdWords dashboard, it doesn’t absolutely reflect that. To get my refund, I had to cancel my Google AdWords account and yet after deactivating it, the button turned into REACTIVATE YOUR ACCOUNT. Another eye-rolling moment.
For now, I won’t think about reactivating my account yet even though it was clearly just a click away. The lesson for this is to make sure your billing address of your debit or credit card matches that of your registered country when you signed up.
PayMaya offers a virtual card by simply registering via their PayMaya mobile app. If you want a GCash debit card alternative, you can definitely use PayMaya abroad and withdraw your funds using a physical PayMaya card.
Since the premise of PayMaya is principally for the purposes of a virtual card, no physical card is provided for the virtual card number you enrolled to by default on the PayMaya mobile app. It is important to note that you can have 2 or more PayMaya physical cards which you can order on the PayMaya website online or in PayMaya booths in malls. Once you have the PayMaya physical cards on hand, you can proceed to link them to your PayMaya virtual card. The mobile app is pretty straightforward when it comes to linking the physical cards. Once your physical cards are confirmed linked, the balance is shared among your physical cards and the virtual card number.
But how do you use your PayMaya abroad? First, you need to ask yourself if you used your postpaid or a prepaid number as your PayMaya login credential. Although you can use your TM or Globe mobile number to initially register with PayMaya, the critical distinction to make is the postpaid or prepaid number.
With a prepaid number, all you need to make sure is top it up with PhP100 for international roaming. With a postpaid number, you will be charged a PhP500 or so per day which is not ideal when you are staying overseas for long.
Second, you need to make sure you have logged in to your PayMaya mobile app before traveling out of the country. Some time ago PayMaya added a security feature for its users via a verification code that can only be sent to your registered mobile number.
If you registered with your postpaid number as your PayMaya login credential, it means you will need to keep your sim inserted to get the verification code.
The good news is you can still view your PayMaya funds but it will have to be on an ATM machine overseas and not on your smartphone’s screen. Using the PayMaya physical card, you can inquire about your balance by doing a balance inquiry.
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.
Once you arrive at any airport in Vietnam, I recommend you look first for the SeA Bank ATM because it has the highest withdrawal limit of 5,000,000 Vietnamese dong per transaction.
Should you encounter a problem with the card not being accepted by SeA Bank, you can move on to either Sacom Bank, Vietcom Bank and Maritime Bank as these three’s withdrawal limit is 3,000,000 Vietnamese dong per transaction.
If you see a Techcom Bank ATM, just know that you can only withdraw 2,000,000 Vietnamese dong per transaction. Each transaction will incur a fee of 66,000 Vietnamese dong.
Sometimes you might get unlucky with other ATM machines. In my case, PVCom Bank, OCB Bank and Exim Bank, unfortunately, would not accept my GCash MasterCard.
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.
My second GCash non-dispense issue happened in January 16, 2019. Interestingly the ATM machine is also in Vietnam. Different bank and different city.
I emailed the dispute form to GCash support that same day and I got a response in 2 days. I got my funds back for this second non-dispense incident on February 19, 2019.
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.
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.
There has been a technical problem with GCash mobile app lately and it affects both the Android and Apple versions. Two weeks ago when using my GCash app to withdraw funds from PayPal to GCash, the mobile app would prompt me that my PayPal account has not been linked or that I need to re-link my PayPal account to my GCash account.
The problem with re-linking it is it duplicates the Pre-approved Payments Plan code recorded in your PayPal account for the same Globe GCash mobile number. You would have to log in to your PayPal again and delete the older Pre-approved Payments Plan code.
The other issue from which the same GCash technical problem would arise is if you are alternately using two or more Globe GCash numbers to access your GCash mobile app in Android or on an iPhone. When the cache on your phone has not been cleared or reset, the GCash mobile app would give you an error prompt about re-linking your account which should have only been the case for one Globe GCash number as users are only allowed to connect one PayPal account. Avoid having to alternate frequently between numbers.
If you aren’t aware of it yet, Android and iPhone do not roll out the update simultaneously. Android version of the GCash mobile app may release a more updated version earlier than on its Apple counterpart. I have observed this marked difference and it is the reason why I keep an Android and an iPhone and have the GCash mobile app installed on both. There was a time when my GCash account showed up as Unverified on the iPhone version while I was Verified on the Android. Of course, I had to break my own rule to stop alternating GCash numbers and had to do my GCash transactions on the Verified version. In fact, three days ago I experienced a coded error on my Android’s GCash after having successfully cashed in from PayPal to GCash. When I went to my iPhone’s GCash, I didn’t experience any errors at all.
Hope these few tips helped. Always remember you do not need to keep re-linking your account to PayPal as it could only be a temporary system glitch.
In case your GCash balance has already been deducted because of a system glitch, simply fill out this Dispute Form and e-mail it to email@example.com.
Update: January 7, 2018
For a few months I had been using my sister’s GCash account for PayPal to GCash cash-ins because of this relinking error. Last Wednesday, in the middle of doing the cash-in on the GCash mobile app on my Android using my sister’s GCash account, that dreaded “Please Try Relinking Your PayPal Account To Your GCash Wallet” error appeared. What I did was tell my sister to transfer back to me the remaining USD to my PayPal account from hers because I wanted to see if I could finally relink my own GCash account to PayPal using the GCash mobile app on my iPhone. The relink turned out to be successful and I was able to resume my PayPal to GCash cash-in.
Update: February 22, 2018
Yesterday I encountered the same error and was not able to do a PayPal to GCash cash-in. In order to get my funds, I requested my sister to exchange my PayPal USD into PHP with the help of a trusted currency exchanger. Today, I received a text notification from GCash that they are temporarily suspending the PayPal to GCash cash-in. We’ll have to be patient until this service resumes.
Update: February 26, 2018
GCash has sent out this update:
“Hi there! We’re pleased to inform you that the PayPal to GCash service has been restored. We appreciate your patience and understanding. Thank you.”
Update: May 9, 2018
I encountered this dreadful error again but thankfully the GCash mobile app worked just fine after the re-linking. I was able to proceed with my cash-in right after. Here are my screenshots for this day:
Update: June 13, 2018
For two weeks now I have seen the error message “Sorry, we are unable to proceed with your cash-in request” when I try to do a PayPal to GCash cash-in. The good news is you can still proceed with a successful cash-in by clicking on Retry. Again, ALWAYS WITHDRAW IN INCREMENTS OF $25-$29. Doing cash-ins in alternate amounts between $25 and $29 is safer and I had lesser problems with delayed cash-ins.
Although I praise GCash for preoccupying themselves with their customers’ security, I still couldn’t forget how traumatizing it was to experience PayPal to GCash cash-in delays thrice.
On June 8th, I received a follow-up e-mail from GCash regarding the transaction I made on June 7th.
I replied to the e-mail and informed them I have done withdrawals in small batches for more than three weeks already, pointing out to them that in case the initial $15 does not go through, I only have a measly $15 to dispute with PayPal for 6 days instead of a hefty $278.
I hope my reply put things into perspective for them.