Posted in Finance, Mobile App, Telco

PayMaya Non-Dispense Dispute

You’ve only ever read about my complaints regarding GCash when it comes to non-dispense disputes as it has happened to me twice in Vietnam with two different bank ATM’s. Unfortunately I can now also add PayMaya to that list.

I had been frequently using my PayMaya physical card for ATM withdrawals since August 2019 in Bangkok and decided to continue using it upon coming back to Ho Chi Minh because it seemed the PHP-VND rate was better compared to PHP-THB.  Because I had gotten paranoid with 2 non-dispense incidents with GCash, I decided to follow my former landlord’s advice in the past about only transacting with either Sacombank or Vietcombank ATM machines.

That theory was busted when upon attempting to withdraw money on a Sacombank ATM on September 25, 2019 (the same bank ATM which I had been withdrawing money from for 3 weeks before that), I read an error message on the screen which says “Your bank does not allow you to perform this transaction”. I took out my card and reminded myself not to panic while looking at the balance in my PayMaya app. Nothing deducted. I reinserted the card and tried to withdraw again and my fears had materialised. I was shown the same error message and what’s worse, no money nor ATM slip came out but my PayMaya balance has already been deducted for the failed attempt.


I went straight to the bank manager (even though I knew there was nothing they could do on their end). I was told the proverbial “contact your bank or card issuer”.

I contacted PayMaya via email but it wasn’t until a week has passed when I received a reply from their support team. Inside my head my good impression of them was already waning. Their so-called support team is inefficient and those who have responded to me were a bunch of liars. I was repeatedly told that their escalations team has tried to contact me many times via my mobile number. Well, guess what, my sister in the Philippines who has had my Smart postpaid sim inserted into her iPhone 5 cellphone has not answered any calls from someone claiming to be on PayMaya’s bogus escalations team before, during and after the email exchanges.

Since I was not getting any straightforward answers via email, I even took to the App Store review on the PayMaya app. Similar to their email support, it was only a waste of time.

I had begun to compare PayMaya’s support with that of GCash support and I can tell you right now that you can at least count on GCash to answer you honestly and promptly. PayMaya’s customer support will tell you comforting lies.

I expected the reversal of the non-dispense issue by October 16, 2019 because having already experienced it with GCash took me 3-4 weeks. Surprisingly on October 9, 2019 at 11PM, the reversal was already reflected in my PayMaya balance. The resolution took 14 days.


The resolution time for non-dispense dispute is perhaps one of the striking advantages PayMaya has over GCash. GCash could refund my funds in 3-4 weeks only after submitting a dispute form while PayMaya could complete it within 2 weeks.



Posted in Finance, Mobile App, Telco, Tutorials

GCash versus PayMaya


I have held off on writing about a GCash versus PayMaya article because until two months ago I was only a heavy GCash user. It’s pretty much evident I’ve encountered many problems transacting with GCash and that’s why I have been using my PayMaya account more frequently. Read more below for my GCash versus PayMaya update.

ATM Non-dispense Issue:

With my GCash MasterCard I have experienced non-dispense issues with an international bank’s ATM twice, spaced exactly a year apart. I detailed the first one here and the second unfortunate one happened earlier this year. The refund took 3 weeks. The solution I found for GCash non-dispense issue with international bank’s ATM was listening to the advice of my landlady’s son – to only use Sacombank’s ATM for withdrawing funds. I cannot discount the probability of the currencies involved for the conversion from Philippine Pesos to Vietnamese Dong as the factor for the ATM error. In Thailand, I have not had non-dispense issues using my GCash MasterCard (let’s not tempt fate!) but I do stick to one ATM machine only when withdrawing funds.

I have not used PayMaya to withdraw funds in Vietnam but have used it frequently this month in Bangkok and I can say I can go to my preferred ATM and not get paranoid as much as I would have when using GCash MasterCard.

Currency Conversion:

The caveat, though, when using the PayMaya Visa debit card for withdrawing funds at my preferred ATM here in Bangkok (Siam Commercial Bank), is the currency conversion. For example, XE Currency Exchange would tell me the exchange rate between PHP and THB is 1.67 but my PayMaya Visa ends up being charged using the 1.74-1.77 exchange rate. I believe this is purely a Visa issue and not PayMaya’s per se.


When I use my GCash MasterCard at a Siam Commercial Bank, it doesn’t assume the bank’s conversion rate for me. Rather, the ATM’s screen would prompt me to choose between “Yes” or “No, continue without conversion” once it shows me the bank’s exchange rate. Tapping on the latter saves me a bit more compared to using my PayMaya Visa.

When using PayMaya or GCash abroad for withdrawing funds at an ATM, the exchange rates with Visa and MasterCard are things you should consider.

Another type of transaction where I could really feel the pinch when it comes to using the PayMaya Visa debit card is with Agoda hotel bookings – typically those reservations which are “Book Now Pay Later” where the booking is guaranteed with a card and will be charged a few days before the check-in date. Using a 7-day reservation as an example, I notice I would get charged 7,500 PHP with my PayMaya Visa as opposed to only 7,200 PHP using my GCash MasterCard. I’ve paid bookings with both cards for over a 4-month period to notice the difference. Despite Agoda’s high exchange rates, I would still suggest using a MasterCard.

Ability to Transfer Funds:

I can transfer funds from my GCash to PayMaya via the Send Money > Send To Bank option in the GCash mobile app. PayMaya, on the other hand, seems to have already disabled the transfer funds or send money to GCash feature for quite a long time. GCash does this via InstaPay and it is as promised – instant – and free, too.

PayPal Transfer:

Many have encountered delays when it comes to PayPal to GCash cash-ins. The good news is PayMaya is just as quick when transferring funds from PayPal to PayMaya but I would advise you to convert your USD to PHP first before attempting to do so.

Customer Support:

If you want to quickly resolve your GCash cash-ins via PayPal delays, I would advise you to go to a nearest Globe center and report the problem to a Globe agent. If you cannot go in person, you can write an authorisation letter and send someone instead to lodge the dispute case for you. Do not attempt to call 2882 when the Globe agent advises you to do so after filing your dispute for refund – have a Globe agent call 2882 for you on their mobile phones. It is really stupid how calling 2882 only works when a Globe agent is doing so on your behalf.

Even though I have often stressed sending a dispute form to GCash’s email support – – nothing beats going to a Globe center in person or via a proxy to have your GCash disputes quickly resolved.

Needless to say, I have not had delays with PayMaya transfers. I should warn you, though, that it is pointless to contact PayMaya’s email support or message them via FB Messenger (PayMaya Cares). I once contacted PayMaya via email and they only replied to me after a week and the customer service agents made the situation even worse because their replies were all false promises and lies. With PayMaya it is best to wait for the disputed funds to be available. Don’t waste time contacting them unless it is for an upgrade follow-up.

System Maintenance Glitches:

GCash users would usually get notified of system maintenance updates via text message. This means all GCash transactions attempts will be disabled. I noticed GCash would schedule theirs between 10pm-2am. Last month I had a problem with an Agoda “Book Now Pay Later” booking because of this system maintenance incident. The funds for the booking were supposed to be debited from my GCash MasterCard by 1am Bangkok time. System was still down by 2am and because I had set my Agoda booking to auto-debit my GCash card, the inevitable system glitch took the amount from my GCash balance. When Agoda attempted to charge my card again later that day, it was unsuccessful because GCash had the funds floating somewhere in my account. Agoda verified they had not received the amount so my booking ended up being unpaid.

As I mentioned above, I requested my mother to go to a Globe center on my behalf and a Globe agent showed her a printed statement of my GCash account which proved Agoda did not receive anything. My funds were returned 3 days later because of that crucial printout. If I only relied on email support, the funds would have been returned to me 3 weeks after.

The solution I found for the problem I described above was to transfer my GCash funds to my mother’s GCash account as she also has a GCash MasterCard. During the day (when there is less likely to be system outages), I would email Agoda to request for a change in the card (my GCash MasterCard) associated with the booking). Within a few minutes I would get a call from an Agoda agent and I could then enter my mother’s GCash MasterCard via the secure line for card change.


I would occasionally get coupons or discounts with my GCash account but I could not use them overseas. PayMaya has a lot of promos and rebates especially when I’m using my PayMaya physical card to buy groceries or swipe my card for in-store purchases. I received PhP1,000 in September 2019 and in October 2019 I got rebates of almost 100%.


Posted in Finance, Mobile App, Telco

GCash Wallet Cap Exceeded

A GCash user would encounter the “Wallet Cap Exceeded” message when attempting to transact in the GCash mobile app beyond his or her monthly limit. There would also be a corresponding text message notification from 2882 which would appear to be something like, “Sorry, you will exceed your transaction limit. Please try a smaller amount.”

A Basic Member level in GCash has a transaction limit of PhP50,000 monthly while a Fully Verified Member can have incoming and outgoing transactions of up to PhP100,000 monthly. One person can have multiple GCash accounts, but GCash may as well mean the transaction limits apply to one person nothwithstanding the number of GCash accounts.

My GCash account shows up as Fully Verified in the GCash mobile app.

But every time I check my transaction history after the third week of the month, I would find my online purchase/ATM withdrawal/send money to another GCash user attempts would be halted when the amount hits PhP50,000.

Few years ago my sister had inquired about this with the support team at a Globe center and she was told my Fully Verified account is good for a PhP100,000 monthly transaction limit.

I recently am having this problem again and decided to send an e-mail to GCash Support earlier today to clarify.

Here’s what my GCash MasterCard and GCash AmEx statements currently looks like:

Hope GCash support can clarify.

UPDATE: MAY 14, 2019

GCash Support could not give me a clear answer at first until I pestered them to stop sending me templates which does not address my question properly.

I was then told that as a Fully Verified member I am allowed the PhP100,000 monthly transaction limit. What this means is if I cash in PhP50,000 plus worth in a month, I would have already reached my monthly transaction limit if I spend or transact away all of that amount from ATM withdrawals, bank transfers, money transfers to other GCash numbers, online purchases, shopping, etc. PhP50,000 cashed in and PhP50,000 cashed out equals PhP100,000.

I wish they would rectify the transaction limit table. Wallet Size makes it confusing as it can be misinterpreted as PhP100,000 allowable cash-in.

That clears up the GCash wallet cap exceeded issue. It’s still a good idea to either have multiple GCash accounts and get a PayMaya account, too.


Posted in Android, Mobile App, Telco

GCash Mobile App Errors


On Tuesday night my App Store prompted me for the latest GCash mobile app update, Version 5.11.1. When I opened the app the next day, I was greeted with several errors. I shouldn’t really be surprised as GCash mobile app update tend to bring a slew of bugs with it especially in connection with account verification issues.


Even when it clearly says my account is fully verified, the app still prompts me to verify when I tapped on PayPal to attempt a cash-in.


Thinking that tapping through the verification process would quickly take me to the cash-in page, I waited and waited and waited. I logged in and logged out of the app but I would still see the same message to wait 30 minutes.


An hour passed and I wondered if the Android version had the same update. I opened the GCash mobile app on my Android phone and luckily for me I was able to proceed with my PayPal to GCash cash-in.



Five or six hours later, I decided to check on my GCash app on my iPhone and I didn’t encounter the verification prompt anymore.

The lesson here is to make sure to open your GCash mobile app right after you finish the update. Or better yet keep an Android phone just in case.



Posted in Finance, Mobile App, Telco

GCredit by GCash


It has been a while since I started seeing “Beta version” and “For selected users only” whenever I would click on the GCredit tab in my GCash app. Few of my friends and relatives who have GCash have had their GCredit working for them when they do QR shopping. I had better GScore on my GCash mobile app than they did but I was quite late to the party. I thought it probably has something to do with the fact that my Globe number has been on international roaming for close to a year now.

Then last week I got a text notification that I have been approved for GCredit.


My sister and cousin had been approved for P2,000 but I had not expected mine to be P5,000.

GCredit is not without its disadvantages – some GCash users who have been known to have regular cash flow coming into their GCash accounts might suddenly stop using it once they can no longer afford to fund their GCredit interest. I have heard a few unpleasant stories about GCash users’ balance being automatically deducted because of their unpaid GCredit interest. As with credit lines, moderation is always key.

For the meantime, its advantage for me is the pay bills part. I can pay my Smart postpaid bill with GCredit. It’s a measly P999 monthly plan which I have not really utilised for 10 months straight. Sending money to other GCash users is not available with GCredit.

How does one get approved for GCredit? Just keep using GCash to pay your bills, buy groceries with the QR Code shopping or top up mobile numbers with it and in no time your GScore or trust score will move up.

Posted in Finance, Mobile App, Telco

Skrill To GCash Withdrawal Problem


For a few years that I’ve been a Skrill member, I have also experienced Skrill to GCash withdrawal problem before and I’m surprised the Globe number 0956 prefix problem is still a huge topic in some forums. Some forum posters have pointed out one needs to enroll a Globe number with a lower prefix into GCash and add it to one’s Skrill mobile wallet.

I am bringing this topic to light again because my cousin recently encountered a Skrill to GCash withdrawal problem specifically with the error “Recipient number can not be found, please review and try again.” He has a freshly verified GCash account so what could have been the problem? His Globe number has a 0906 prefix so this somehow botches the lower prefix theory.

In 2015 I had bought a Globe LTE pocket WiFi at 50% discount and the following year I decided to use the SIM card included in it as my GCash AmEx number. Not long after I decided to apply for a GCash MasterCard because I wanted to have a GCash physical card with me. Right off the bat I already noticed a problem with the new SIM card the agent suggested I enroll for the GCash MasterCard –  the text notification for the GCash registration did not arrive instantaneously and he had to pry open another SIM card packet before he got a successful registration.

I was able to add both of my GCash numbers – the AmEx and MasterCard ones – to my Skrill mobile wallet. It tricked me to think both numbers would be working fine for Skrill to GCash withdrawal. I was already using the GCash AmEx number to withdraw on Skrill and never had a problem with it. Adding the GCash MasterCard proved pointless thereafter when I would get an error message with every withdrawal attempts. Luckily with my 0995 GCash AmEx number already on file, I could (and still can) successfully withdraw from Skrill to GCash instantly and I would then transfer the GCash AmEx funds to my 0956 GCash MasterCard.

For my cousin, this solves his Skrill to GCash withdrawal problem for the meantime, which means he would have to do the Skrill to Skrill transfer and I would have to withdraw to my GCash Amex, forward it to my GCash MasterCard and lastly to his GCash account. Good thing the whole process is instant.

I don’t think we simply have a lower or higher prefix number problem here for Skrill. As has been known with Globe’s practice of recycling inactive numbers, you can bet it’s possible the root of the Skrill to GCash withdrawal problem error “recipient number cannot be found” is that some GCash numbers, regardless of prefixes, were once nulled or deactivated and along the way some quality control went awry.



Posted in Finance, Mobile App, Telco, Tutorials

GCash MasterCard Refund


I have read some posts in the Globe Community forum about user complaints not getting their Lazada refunds or any other chargeback promptly and by promptly these dissatisfied GCash users mean months. Trying to contact 2882 or constantly badgering their customer support via their Facebook Messenger account sometimes can be a waste of time.

I, too, had purchased an item on Lazada Thailand’s website which the merchant eventually cancelled and I waited for 3 months because I had placed so much trust in the system to automate the refund itself.

What you need to know is on Lazada’s end, it would only take less time for them to process the refund. The tricky part is on GCash’s part. This GCash refund problem seems to happen more to GCash MasterCard accounts. This is just my observation as  I also own a GCash AmEx and with the latter it’s never taken months for refunds to arrive to my GCash AmEx balance.

How did I get my Lazada refund to my GCash MasterCard resolved? I filled up the Dispute Form and e-mailed it to It’s very important to remember that sending them an e-mail with a description of your problem won’t do it – always always always fill up the dispute form, tick the correct concern and send them additional proof like receipts or a screenshot or communication exchange with Lazada or some other company you are awaiting refund from.

My Lazada Thailand purchase was made in April this year but I did not file the dispute until early August. However, once I filed the dispute with GCash, I was able to get my Lazada refund in less than a week. You will know when the refund because you will receive a text notification which usually looks like this:

Upon review of a previous transaction, we have now credited PXXX.XX to your account. Your new balance is PXXXX.XX. Ref. No. XXXXXXXXXX. 

In order to completely fill up the dispute form with the correct details, you might want to have your transaction history e-mailed to you. You can do this right within the GCash mobile app. You can even select the specific month when you made the online purchase. The transaction history will contain the 10-digit Transaction Reference number. If you know the date but don’t remember the exact time you made the purchase, you can look for the e-mail confirmation of the online purchase sent to you by Lazada or some other merchant. The time on the e-mail and the time on the GCash transaction history should match. The 10-digit Transaction Reference number is the one that GCash support will refer to in their records for their review.

As of this writing, I still have 3 more pending refunds in this order: from’s promotion, from Google AdWords, and from iHerb. The last two were July purchases so they should come in within this month.

What if you are expecting a reward for an online promotion and you entered your GCash MasterCard for it? That’s what happened with my’s 30% reward from a  hotel stay promotion had back in June. The e-mail confirmation stated that $12.70 was on its way to the card listed on my account. July came and went but there was no ingress of $12.70 on my GCash MasterCard. Of course, this was a hotel stay paid for in cash so there was no 10-digit GCash transaction reference number to look in the transaction history for. In this kind of scenario, you would need to contact the merchant to follow up with them regarding the reference number on their end and forward it to GCash.

I will post an update for the 3 remaining refunds I am expecting.


Update September 3, 2018:

The iHERB refund has been processed.

Processed with MOLDIV


Update September 25, 2018:

The reward has been processed.

Processed with MOLDIV

Posted in Android, Food Delivery, Lifestyle, Mobile App, Telco, Travel

Best Mobile Apps in Vietnam For Expats and Tourists

My first travel experience in Vietnam was not a very pleasant one and looking back, I knew I had to write about this guide to the best mobile apps to use in Vietnam for tourists and travelers. These are the best mobile apps to use in Vietnam whichever city you may be in:


GRAB – I will primarily start with the transport service mobile app Grab because of that not so pleasant incident when I first arrived in Ho Chi Minh via the land border. When you don’t know the language of the place you’re going into in Southeast Asia, Grab can be trusted to give you the correct fares and take you safely to your booked accommodation. It’s not uncommon for unsuspecting Ho Chi Minh tourists to report being charged ridiculous exorbitant fares by unregistered taxi drivers. If you came from a neighbouring country like Thailand, Laos or Cambodia and you already have a Grab account, you can still use your Grab mobile app to book a ride to get to your hotel. If you’re coming to Vietnam via the land border, you’ll be glad to know some buses offer free WiFi and this will allow you to book a Grab ride long before the bus leaves the drop-off spot. If you’re coming in via an international flight, the airports offer free WiFi too.

I personally have taken more Grab Bike rides than the Grab Car/Taxi ones because I prefer to look around and explore.


GOOGLE TRANSLATE – There aren’t a lot of Vietnamese on the street you can ask clear directions or recommendations about so you need Google Translate mobile app for communicating with them.



Google Translate mobile app does not always get it right but it can get across the general idea of what you’re trying to inquire.


MY VIETTEL/MY MOBIFONE – If you intend to stay longer than a week, you might want to get serious about buying a local SIM card. You can see Viettel and Mobifone SIM cards being sold in airports and some currency exchangers even sell them. Once you have bought a SIM card, you can download the corresponding mobile app. I had a brief experience with using Mobifone last year so I cannot write about it. I’ve used Viettel the longest. You can top up at Circle K or Vinamart convenience stores or any stores with the sign boards Viettel or Mobifone.

A local SIM card is very useful for answering your Grab driver’s calls. Even if I don’t understand the driver, I would ask for help from a guard or valet nearby to assist me by letting them talk to the driver on my behalf. No need to be shy. It’s also useful for food delivery.


NOW.VN/FOODY – NOW.VN or Foody is a food delivery service with many merchants to use from ranging from lunch, drinks, desserts, or fast food. There are a lot of healthy choices and some stores offer discounts. My only problem with NOW.VN is the debit card limitation – it won’t accept my home country-issued Visa and MasterCard debit cards. I’ve tried only to be greeted with a card declined confirmation.


I could only pay in cash for my orders. However, you will be granted 1,000 VND credits to your Foody account after a completed delivery.


VIETNAMMM – Vietnammm is also a food delivery service although it’s not as varied as Foody, its best feature is the availability of PayPal as a payment option. I did compare the menu of one restaurant which is also listed on Foody and the latter has one item more. You can filter your searches via payment options as well.


CGV CINEMAS – There are more CGV Cinemas here in Hanoi and I’ve used it to check schedules. Pre-booking cinema tickets is not ideal for those holding a non-local debit card. Again, this has something to do with the same debit card limitation I mentioned with the Foody mobile app. I could only really browse for schedules on the day I’m watching the movie as their schedules often vary. By downloading the app and signing up for an account, you are eligible to earn rewards points for money spent as long as you present the CGV Cinemas mobile app to the ticket counter for QR scanning.


LOTTE CINEMA VIETNAM – There are more Lotte Cinema branches in Ho Chi Minh than there are in Hanoi. It’s a shame there is no IMAX theatre here, though.


SPEED LOTTE – I only knew about Speed Lotte mobile app because one store clerk approached me about it and had me sign up while I was browsing tissue boxes at Lotte Mart. Speed Lotte allows you to pick items on their grocery menu and Lotte Mart will have it delivered to your doorstep.

Posted in Finance, Mobile App, Telco, Tutorials

How To Use PayMaya Abroad

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.