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  • PayMaya or GCash: Choose The E-Wallet Best For You And Your Family

    Compare the services, perks, and other important info about these two e-wallet apps.
    by Ginyn Noble .
PayMaya or GCash: Choose The E-Wallet Best For You And Your Family
PHOTO BY Unsplash
  • One of the things that have made so many tasks easy and virtually hassle-free today is e-wallets. You can use it for various transactions from the e-wallet provider’s partner stores. You sign up, load or transfer money to your e-wallet, and you are ready to do cashless payments. Two popular online payment apps today are PayMaya and GCash.

    While these two apps are powered by telecom companies (Smart Communications for the former and Globe Telecom for the latter), you don’t need to be a subscriber to register for either of these e-wallets. In other words, a Globe or TM number can be used to register for PayMaya, and a Smart or Talk ‘n Text number can be used for GCash.

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    How to download PayMaya and GCash plus what to expect

    Both PayMaya and GCash apps can be downloaded for free via Google Play for Android devices and the App Store for iOS devices. They’re easy to use, and they have a guided sign-up process. Once you’re using either of the apps, you can easily find where to go for profile updates, basic transactions, and their promos or deals and vouchers.


    In terms of app interface, the difference is GCash has more features. Aside from the standard e-wallet services, it has the GCash Forest, an Invest Money option, a "KKB" (bill-splitting) feature, and GScore system among others. This is great if you love all the bells and whistles. If you prefer a simpler interface, though, you might find the PayMaya app more user-friendly.

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    How to sign up for PayMaya and GCash

    Like signing up for various apps today, you’ll just need to provide basic contact information to get a free account on either GCash or PayMaya. For GCash, you’ll have to provide a valid mobile number first. Then, you’ll get an authentication code via the mobile number you entered. Once you successfully enter that one-time password into the app, you’ll be required to input information like your name, birthday, and email address. After that, you can set your four-digit MPIN, which will serve as your account password.

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    For PayMaya, you’ll be asked first for your name, mobile number, and a password (with certain requirements). Entering your email address is optional and encouraged for security and backup. Once done, you’ll get a verification code that you need to enter into the app. After successful registration, you can now add money to your e-wallet and use some of its services like bills payment and paying via QR code in stores.

    You can also upgrade or further verify your account for more advanced transactions like sending or receiving money and linking bank cards. This verification is mandated and regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to protect consumers and businesses against financial fraud.

    GCash has three verification levels, which affect transaction limits and certain advanced features like credit card linking and money sending or requests.

    PayMaya, on the other hand, has an “upgrade account” option. Like the GCash process, you’ll just need to scan valid ID/s, send a selfie, and fill out your information. Once upgraded, you can send money and withdraw PayMaya funds via ATM if you have a PayMaya card.

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    How to add money to your GCash or PayMaya account

    There are several ways to top up or add virtual cash to your e-wallet. Among the most accessible methods that apply to both apps are cash-ins via the following:

    1. SM Business Services
    2. Robinsons Business Center
    3. Bayad Center
    4. ECPay
    5. 7-Eleven
    6. ExpressPay
    7. Western Union
    8. Cebuana Lhuillier
    9. Palawan Pawnshop
    10. Tambunting
    11. BPI
    12. Metrobank (via Instapay)
    13. RCBC
    14. Unionbank

    Here are other accessible top-up options that are unique to each app:


    • Shopwise
    • Wellcome
    • Circle K
    • BDO
    • Ministop
    • Smart Stores


    • Puregold
    • LBC Express
    • MoneyGram
    • Shell Select
    • PayPal
    • Globe Stores


    PayMaya allows top-ups via debit and credit cards (Mastercard, Visa, or JCB), while GCash allows cash-ins via Visa or Mastercard (debit) bank cards only.

    Take note that transaction or convenience fees may apply with some partner establishments. For example, when you cash-in via Metrobank Instapay, you’ll be charged Php25 per transaction.

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    Paying bills via PayMaya or GCash


    Online bills payment is probably the most favorite feature of PayMaya and GCash users. No need to endure long lines and commutes — you can pay utility, credit card, some tuition fees, and other bills in just a matter of minutes.

    Both apps allow you to pay for the following utilities and services:

    1. Meralco
    2. Maynilad
    3. Manila Water
    4. MMDA
    5. NBI
    6. NSO Helpline Plus
    7. PAG-IBIG
    8. POEA
    9. Smart Postpaid
    10. Smart Bro
    11. Globe Postpaid
    12. PLDT
    13. SkyCable
    14. Cignal
    15. Converge
    16. Manulife
    17. Sun Life
    18. Pru Life UK
    19. BPI Credit Card
    20. Home Credit
    21. Easy Trip
    22. Cebu Pacific
    23. Manila Memorial Park

    Here are other common billers that are unique to each app, to name a few:

    PayMaya: Maxicare, RCBC Bankard (for the complete list, check the Pay Bills section of the PayMaya app)

    GCash: BDO, Citibank Credit Cards and Personal Loans, Metrobank Credit Card, Union Bank Visa Credit Card, Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, SSS

    A word of caution: make sure you pay your bills on or before the due date! Late payments made through the apps may result in penalties from your billers.


    Aside from convenience, these apps may have promos if you pay thru them. For instance, PayMaya had a bills payment cashback promo from September to October. You get Php100 for every unique biller and bill (worth Php1,000 or more) paid through the app during Fridays and Saturdays of those months.

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    Shopping or paying for services

    You can also use these e-wallets for your convenience when shopping online and in some stores and when paying for meals, groceries, or meds. Partner merchants and stores have a unique QR code, which you’ll scan will your PayMaya or GCash app QR scanner. Once scanned, you’ll input the amount due, and you’ll either need to provide the reference number or the partner merchant will get their own notification.

    Both apps have hundreds of partners around the country. A few of them accept both PayMaya and GCash. But there are some establishments that only accept one of them, such as Mercury Drug (accepts PayMaya) and Shell (accepts GCash).


    Sometimes, you’ll get rebates, cashbacks, or vouchers for e-wallet payments, too. For instance, PayMaya had a “Double Cashback Weekend” promo throughout October, where users could get 1% to 100% (maximum of Php1,000) of their purchase.

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    Buying load and money transfer

    Aside from bills payment and shopping, you can also buy prepaid load through these e-wallets. The apps occasionally offer discounted load and cashback promos. For example, GCash gives up to Php50 rebates for prepaid load purchases.

    Another handy function of the apps is sending or receiving money from fellow users. Let’s say your child suddenly needs money to buy supplies for school. You can transfer money from your GCash or PayMaya account to his or her account, so it can be used for the purchase (in National Book Store, for example).You can even track the purchase digitally, since all scan-to-pay transactions are recorded on the app.

    Another advantage of using these apps is sometimes, they give rebates or vouchers for money transfer transactions, too.

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    Is GCash or PayMaya safe and secure?

    Like other digital or online services, these apps aren’t perfect. Both have different safety and security features and policies that protect their users.Sometimes, there are breakdowns or maintenance downtimes, and there are rare instances when there are security breaches according to some users. Both PayMaya and GCash have had their fair share of these concerns. Be sure to mind these risks before signing up and using their services.

    If you encounter issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to the e-wallet providers’ respective customer service channels for assistance. Always be vigilant with the information you share and the transactions you do, too. Also, don’t mindlessly splurge through these apps! These apps definitely make life easier for parents and other individuals, but make sure you use them responsibly and wisely.

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