DIGITAL payments firm PayMaya Philippines, Inc. is in talks with the Department of Transportation (DoTr), the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and some taxi operators for a possible partnership to implement cashless payments in public transportation as a measure against the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“As part of our many digitization engagements now with the government, consumers, and enterprises, we have been in talks with the LTFRB, the DoTr, and initially some taxi operators given the mandate released by the LTFRB to implement cashless and contactless transactions in public utility vehicles (PUVs),” PayMaya Founder and Chief Executive Officer Orlando B. Vea told BusinessWorld in an e-mailed reply to questions on May 20.

He said cashless transaction in public transportation is an “essential component” of the overall set of measures meant to protect both drivers and commuters. “PayMaya is more than ready to help transport providers in implementing this measure among their drivers and fleet.”

PUV drivers can sign up for a PayMaya account and immediately accept or receive payments from other users through the Send Money function of the platform via QR or mobile number for free.

PayMaya, Mr. Vea added, also offers transport operators a payroll disbursement technology, extending the benefit of cashless transactions to their internal operations.

He also said it would be wise for the government to implement cashless payments in PUVs nationwide, adding that PayMaya is “more than ready to accommodate the projected surge in new users” coming from the transport sector.

The LTFRB has issued Memorandum Circular No. 2020-018 mandating the collection of fares in taxi units and transportation network vehicle services (TNVS) as strictly through cashless payment or through online payment facility only.

“In the past, we have also partnered with bus and taxi companies in Metro Manila and also in other areas such as Baguio and Cebu, and we have also enabled the Araneta Bus Port in helping them accept cashless payments through credit and debit cards as well as via PayMaya QR. The technology is here, and we are ready to partner with government and transport operators to enable them with cashless payments acceptance,” Mr. Vea explained.

During the community quarantine period, PayMaya’s combined user volume for consumer wallet, enterprise, and agent network businesses have doubled year-on-year, he said.

“We have ably delivered efficient and reliable services to them for their online groceries, bills payments, mobile prepaid reloading, and even the financial aid being distributed by national government agencies and local government units,” he added. — Arjay L. Balinbin