Coins.ph and Mobile Recharge

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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.

RCBC MyWallet to GCash Cash-in

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.

Requirements:

  • 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.

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2 – Since this pertains to RCBC MyWallet, select Credit/debit card.

select currency and payment method

3 – Select the RCBC MyWallet Visa debit card to be debited from.

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4 – Review the details.

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5 – Wait for the confirmation.

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GCash Follow-Up E-mail

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.

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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.

 

My Experience With PayMaya Plus Upgrade

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.

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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.

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I did the PayMaya to GCash transfer to test. The transfer came through instantly!

 

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