AF PAYMENTS, Inc., in partnership with GCash, launched on Monday the first quick response (QR) code transport ticketing system in the country.

The company behind tap-and-go payment system “beep” said in a statement that the Metro Manila-based BGC Bus and the Cebu-based Topline Express Ferries will be the first to adopt the QR code system for passengers’ payment through the GCash mobile app.

“It’s a smart solution where both operators and commuters enjoy the efficiency and ease of use associated with QR technology,” AF Payments Chairman of the Board Joey Lim was quoted as saying in the statement.

For his part, AF Payments President Jose Rene D. Almendras said the company is targeting to expand the use of QR code technology for payment in the country.

“We are opening our QR ticketing ecosystem to other market players. We invite transport operators, payment companies and developers to work with us in widening the reach of QR ticketing,” he said.

The QR code technology, which replaces manually validated paper ticketing, is an additional option for commuters along with beep cards and beep-powered Topline Express Ferries cards. The goal is to speed up the validation process, AF Payments said.

BGC Bus and Topline Express Ferries can now pay their fare via GCash app on their smartphones.

“Choose Pay QR, generate your own QR code, and scan the QR code on the beep QR Reader; the QR ticket will automatically print and the fare will be deducted from your GCash account,” AF Payments said.

The company plans to roll out this technology “in the coming months” to other bus companies in Metro Manila.

“This initiative is expected to benefit a sizable portion of e-wallet customers in the Philippines,” AF Payments said, noting that there are already 6.5 million beep cards in the market and over 20 million GCash accountholders nationwide.

AF Payments is the government’s private concessionaire for the P1.72-billion automatic fare collection system at Metro Manila’s railways. It started managing the ticketing system at the Light Rail Transit Line 1, LRT-2 and at the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 in 2015.

Outside transportation, the company also has partnerships with several convenience and retail stores such as FamilyMart, 7-Eleven, Robinsons Movieworld, Wendy’s, Binalot, Auntie Anne’s and Worship Generation. — Arjay L. Balinbin