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Digital advocacy group urges DOTR to use digital payments to address card shortage

Digital advocacy group Digital Pinoys today encouraged the Department of Transportation to use contactless payments after the transport agency bared that there is an impending shortage of stored-value cards.

Digital Pinoys National Campaigner Ronald Gustilo said that the DOTR should explore using contactless, cardless payments in rail and other public transportation systems as its payment method lessens the impact of the impending Beep card shortage.

“We should not be dependent on these cards and we should make the most out of the technology available to us. Digital payments in transportation are now rampant globally and have been proven to be efficient. It also eliminates waste generated from the physical cards being used,” Gustilo said.

Gustilo added that as many Filipinos already own a smartphone, digital payment options should be highly encouraged by the DOTR. Many transportation systems worldwide are already using contactless payment schemes.

“97 Million Filipinos have smartphones. Most of the smartphone users are also using public transportation so using QR codes for payments will be helpful for commuters. DOTR should also not have any problem accessing the technology for it as it is being used in many countries. They can work with leading digital payments providers like Gcash and Maya to provide an immediately scalable contactless solution to the shortage,” he explained.

Gustilo also stated that the DOTR should quickly turn to other options available other than simply warning commuters that there will be a shortage of cards because commuters are already stressed out due to the problems caused by the current public transportation crisis.

“DOTR should use readily-available technology and not get stuck-up with this card shortage issue. It should not be the Filipino commuters’ problem that the supplier for the cards cannot deliver. The public is already burdened with the transport crisis, DOTR should at least resolve this one quickly and not pass the problem to the people,” the digital campaigner said.

Reference: Ronald Gustilo, Digital Pinoys National Campaigner