DIGITAL PAYMENTS firm PayMaya Philippines, Inc. is hoping to lead the country’s entire transport chain to full digitization through its end-to-end payment platforms.

In a virtual briefing on Wednesday, PayMaya Enterprise Head for the Public Sector Marvin C. Santos said an effective way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is to implement cashless payments in the transportation ecosystem.

“We must implement contactless payment acceptance (either through card or e-wallet) across the entire transportation chain,” he said.

The ecosystem, which consists of service providers, commuters, transport hubs, government entities, delivery companies and petroleum firms, has started its digitization journey with the adoption of contactless payment systems, Mr. Santos noted.

He said PayMaya has partnered with UBE Express (point-to-point and airport shuttle services), hirna and EKR Taxi (taxi services), and Hype (transport network vehicle service or TNVS).

The company has also enabled the Araneta City Bus Port to accept both QR code and card payments.

Petrol, Shell, Seaoil, Unioil, Cleanfuel and Rephil, among others, are also using PayMaya’s payment platforms, Mr. Santos said.

Lalamove accepts cashless payments through PayMaya, he added, noting that the payments firm continues to encourage other delivery service providers to go cashless.

PayMaya has signed an e-payment deal with the Land Transportation Office and the Bureau of the Treasury for motor vehicle registrations and renewals.

The company is in talks with air and water transport providers for a possible partnership.

“Our complete suite of cashless payment solutions can help empower all modes of transportation, from tricycle drivers, to jeepneys, all the way to premium taxis, buses and other forms of mass transportation around the country,” Mr. Santos said.

Transportation Assistant Secretary Mark Steven C. Pastor said a department order is being prepared for the standardization of cashless payments in the transportation sector.

He said the Transportation department is also pushing for an integrated card that commuters can use not only for transportation but also for other transactions.

“We don’t want the transport sector to be a potential transmission sector for the virus and ayaw na natin ang cash payments talaga (we don’t want the cash payments anymore), so we are pushing for this. We are finalizing a department order… for the standardization of this,” Mr. Pastor added.

PayMaya is a subsidiary of Voyager Innovations, Inc., the digital innovations company of PLDT, Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin