Posted in Mobile App, Telco, Travel

Mobile Apps for International Mobile Top-up

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If you plan to travel outside the country for a while, you need to think about mobile apps for international mobile top-up. Speaking from experience, it is never a good idea to keep your local postpaid SIM inserted on your phone unless you have managed to deactivate the roaming status with your network provider prior to getting out of the country.

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 for international mobile top-up. 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 will immediately be notified if a particular international mobile number is no longer working – your Coins.ph account balance will be adjusted.

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 in Mobile Recharge for international mobile top-up are higher compared to that of Coins.ph. The minimum amount for international 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.

There are other web services and mobile apps out there for international mobile top-up but these are the two I haven’t had problems with so far.

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Posted in Finance, Mobile App, Telco

PayPal to GCash Technical Difficulties

It has been two weeks since I could not use the PayPal to GCash cash-in within the GCash mobile app itself. I’ve experienced delayed cash-ins before and I am glad Globe owned up to the never-ending technical difficulties their system seems to be having to prevent amassing discontented customers.

At first I thought the error was caused by the lack of update for the Android version only.

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I kept encountering that error message even though my PayPal account was already linked to GCash in the past. I tried unlinking it via PayPal and then relinking it within the GCash smartphone app but the same problem persisted.

It was somewhat deceiving when I tried inserting my Globe GCash sim into my iPhone and could click on the PayPal to GCash cash-in option in the iOS version. However, when I entered the amount and clicked Next, that was when the error message appeared.

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Relinking was futile, of course, as both Android and iOS versions have given me the same error message. PayPal and GCash Care clarified the issue.

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Yesterday, I received a text notification that PayPal to GCash cash-in is now functional.

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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 gcashinquiries@globe.com.ph.

Posted in Mobile App, Telco

Instant Withdrawal Services – GCash and PayMaya

I am currently using PayPal to GCash instant withdrawal service but experiencing delays two times within a month has made me reconsider. On Wednesday, April 26th, I attempted an initial PayPal to GCash cash-in of $5 to check if the withdrawal would go through instantly. Having dealt with the unpleasant consequences of experiencing the delay on April 5th, I decided to do a small GCash cash-in and if it goes through instantly, I could then continue with transferring a larger amount. This time, though, the second PayPal to GCash cash-in in a larger amount did not go through; only the first small transfer did. So much for being cautious.

The new information I would like to share about this delay in PayPal to GCash cash-in is the text notification I received regarding the transaction.

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This text notification came even when PayPal already e-mailed me the confirmation that the funds have already been transferred successfully to my GCash account. What gives? When I contacted PayPal about it, I was told that the transfer went through and GCash should be able to refund me the amount.

At this juncture of doubting which platform really works or if I should switch from GCash to PayMaya (PayMaya also offers the same instant withdrawal service), I decided to do some research on reviews about PayMaya’s instant withdrawal service as well. Most of the reviews I read were not so encouraging as with PayMaya’s instant withdrawal from PayPal service was also met with negative comments from 2-day delays up to even a week.

These instant withdrawal services getting delayed led me to wonder about what makes mobile wallets susceptible to serious timing errors. I tried Skrill’s mobile wallet feature in the past for a long time before I switched to GCash and I did experience delays not amounting to five attempts. The redeemable point about Skrill’s instant withdrawal service via mobile wallet was that Skrill will send an e-mail that your transfer was declined by your chosen network so no dispute and claim would have to be filed because your balance would be instantly reverted to your account.

Instant withdrawal services do come with a caveat – expect network glitches and delays on some days, be it via GCash or PayMaya or Skrill. The word instant does not guarantee immediacy most times.

Posted in Mobile App, Technology, Telco, Tutorials

Withdrawing Upwork Funds to GCash via PayPal

As I promised in a previous article, here is the video I made for withdrawing Upwork funds to GCash via PayPal. I  have started using PayPal because Skrill will no longer be supported by Upwork as a withdrawal method by April 24, 2017. Withdrawing funds in Upwork to GCash via PayPal is instant. Do not forget to link your PayPal account first with your GCash account. Only one GCash account can be linked to your PayPal account.

Posted in Finance, Mobile App

Update: Same Day Local Funds Transfer Withdrawal Alternative for Upwork Freelancers

A few days after I wrote about a speedy Local Funds Transfer alternative for Upwork freelancers in the Philippines (Same Day Local Funds Transfer Withdrawal Alternative for Upwork Freelancers), I learned that the Upwork management (once again) has made several changes to their withdrawal payment methods. Since the same day local funds transfer withdrawal alternative I mentioned required Skrill, I was a little upset that Upwork will no longer be partnering with Skrill. In a follow-up email, Upwork mentioned that Upwork freelancers can still withdraw funds to their Skrill account until April 24, 2017.

This was the first email they sent out:

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It does sound all good but I still would opt to find another way to get my funds out by some other means. Why? Because when you withdraw to PayPal you are getting the most out of the current peso-dollar rate compared to the Direct to Local Bank option. For me, this means having to go back to withdrawing to PayPal and using the PayPal to GCash option. I still stand by my option to use my GCash mobile wallet (cashless purchases, of course!) and transferring some of my funds to my RCBC Savings bank account via Coins.ph as usual.

On the GCash mobile app, there is an option to transfer your PayPal funds to your GCash account. My PayPal is already linked to my GCash account and the GCash mobile app needs to  update that line of code for those who already have their PayPal accounts linked to their GCash.

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I have asked GCash support about the processing time for transferring PayPal funds to GCash and below is their response:

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Posted in Lifestyle, Mobile App, Technology

Pros and Cons of Mercury Drug MyWallet VISA Debit Card

I applied for the Mercury Drug MyWallet VISA Debit Card mainly for PayPal verification but in the long run found there was more I could do with it. Over time, however, I understood one card does not always fit the bill.

PROS

Anyone who has ever worked as an oDesk/Upwork freelancer may have heard it to be an alternative to Unionbank’s EON VISA Debit Card. The EON VISA Debit Card was primarily embraced by most freelancers as an viable verification method to lift the imposed minimum amount of fund transfer on unverified PayPal accounts. The Mercury Drug MyWallet VISA Debit Card fulfills the same aforementioned purpose, but while EON has to be linked to a savings account (fundamentally when you apply for an EON VISA Debit Card you are likewise applying for a Unionbank savings account), the Mercury Drug MyWallet VISA Debit Card is the opposite – one does not have to open a savings bank account or be a current RCBC account holder to meet all requirements for the MyWallet VISA Debit Card.

I use my MyWallet card to swipe my Mercury Drug purchases and I earn Suki Points for it. Never had a problem swiping purchases at local garments shops, restaurants, and coffee shops here with it as long as the stores accept debit card payments.

LBC Express, a cargo and courier service, is a ubiquitous institution here so reloading a MyWallet VISA Debit Card is speedy and simple. The reloaded sum is reflected promptly and I always sign in my RCBC AccessOne after the reload transaction to verify if the funds are available for use. Yes, you can view the balance and transaction history of your MyWallet VISA Debit Card using the RCBC AccessOne mobile app. You would need to apply online for the RCBC AccessOne first.

CONS

I use the Etsy mobile application for purchasing crystals and gemstones. Once I encountered a problem with my MyWallet VISA Debit Card not going through and I got stuck with an error message saying my card was not accepted. I had to change to a SmartMoney debit MasterCard and only then did my order go through. Some merchants do not accept the MyWallet VISA Debit Card and you’d be better off with a SmartMoney debit MasterCard if you have one.

With respect to booking cinema tickets online in advance, a year ago I discovered that sureseats.com and limketkaicinemas.com employ the online payment gateway service, iPay88. iPay88’s website is where you’ll get redirected after choosing your seats online for debit/credit card payment confirmation. It seemed iPay88 did not support MyWallet VISA Debit Card.

Recently, though, I tried booking tickets online using my MyWallet VISA Debit Card and it looks like the merchant restriction has been lifted – my ticket purchases went through. I would still caution the use of MyWallet VISA in other online purchases as a customer service representative had once advised that some merchants do not accept the MyWallet VISA Debit Card.

 

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Those are the pros and cons I have discovered so far. I would definitely recommend anyone who can’t open a Unionbank EON account or can’t get accepted for debit card applications in other banks to opt for the Mercury Drug MyWallet VISA Debit Card.

Posted in Social Media, Social Network

Where To Buy Twitter Followers

A few months back I was researching for online sites that offer Twitter followers for a fee. I had to do some assignments which required the number of my Twitter Followers to be at least twice the number of those I follow on Twitter.

The lowest price I found for buying 500 Twitter followers was $5. I was following around 150 people then and could even sacrifice unfollowing some Twitter users if only there were reliable sites that allow a purchase of 250 followers. Of course I had to extensively read reviews on sites regarding buying Twitter followers because, let’s face it, a huge percentage of the followers you get are bots. At last I went for the service which had a 5 star rating from its members and clicked on Purchase 1,000 followers for $10 on the Buy Real Marketing site.

What really impressed me was the fact that Buy Real Marketing has a chat feature on their website so potential buyers can probe more about what they are buying. The customer service agent was helpful in answering my queries and he did not give me the disillusion that I was going to get 100% legit Twitter followers.

The purchase was easy – I did it using my PayPal account and within 3 days I saw they had gradually started delivering my additional Twitter followers. Delivery of 1,000 followers was completed in 4 days as promised. I received a confirmation e-mail, too.

A day after my order was completed I was disappointed to see the number of my Twitter followers dropping about 4 times in a day. I noticed the same thing on the second and third day and the week ended by leaving me only 700+ followers. I was beginning to doubt the best service I found could not give me my money’s worth. Meanwhile I could still do my Twitter assignments, the real reason why I bought 1,000 followers.

Buy Real Marketing has a 60-day refund policy. Within 60 days they will review your Twitter account and if the followers drop, they can always re-deliver. They did re-deliver the Twitter followers I missed because of Twitter’s API change and I even got 700 followers more.  My Twitter followers came up to 2,200 two months ago. I still notice a drop, but it’s only a slight drop – within two months I still have 2,100.

**This article was originally published in RedGage, TheEmpress.