E-Wallets Are for Everyone: 5 Basic Tips to Get You Started
Cashless solutions like e-wallets have enjoyed an increase in their number of registered accounts and usage frequency in recent months. Due to the so-called “New Normal” brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more Filipinos have come to appreciate these financial apps and the convenience they bring.
Nevertheless, many are still wary of adopting e-wallets and other cashless payment solutions. Some may have created their accounts already, but aren’t using them as often. There are many reasons behind this hesitation, including the preference of having physical proofs of transaction (i.e., paper receipts) and the form factor of cash. There are also people who think that e-wallets are only for the tech-savvy.
However, the truth is that e-wallets are quite accessible and user-friendly. Moreover, they are also safer and more secure than cash-based transactions. If you’re one among the millions of new e-wallet users inthe Philippines or if you’re still thinking about making the switch, these tips can help you get started and maximize your account:
Verify Your Email and Upgrade Your Account
To help simplify the registration process, the most popular e-wallets in the Philippines require only an active mobile number from their customers upon sign-up. However, if you want better security, it’s bestto verify your email and upgrade your account. Doing these steps protects your e-wallet from scams and ensures safer transactions.
Verifying your email address serves two primary purposes. First, you’ll have a way to recover your account just in case it gets compromised. Second, you’ll receive alerts if someone else tries to sign in to your account. Meanwhile, upgrading your account unlocks more convenient features and perks like a big increase in your daily transaction limits. A fully verified and upgraded account is also “tied” to your name (you will need an ID for the process), which helps address issues of fraud.
Link a Bank Account
According to the 2019 Financial Inclusion Survey of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), 71% or more than 51 million Filipino adults still don’t have bank accounts. Thus, e-wallets have partnered with convenience stores, remittance centers, and other establishments, so that unbanked consumers can still use e-wallet services.
Still, if you want to cash in quickly and safely, it’s best to link a bank account to your e-wallet. This way, you can add money to your e-wallet anytime, anywhere in a fully cashless and contactless manner.
Linked accounts also help centralize your transactions for easier monitoring.
Save Your Frequent Billers and Accounts
Once you’ve set up and verified your e-wallet account and then linked your bank account for faster cash- ins, the next step is to save your frequent billers. These include your utilities like electricity, internet, and water service providers. This way, you don’t have to input the details whenever you have to make a payment. Just tap on the biller in your list and enter the amount you want to pay.
If you often transfer money to other e-wallet or bank accounts, such as those of your family members, it’s also a good idea to save them. This will make each transaction faster, not to mention less prone to errors.
Monitor Your Notifications
To help ensure your account’s protection, e-wallets require you to input a one-time password (OTP) sent to your registered mobile number before a transaction pushes through. If you receive a request for an OTP from an unknown number, ignore it and report the incident immediately. Remember that e-wallets are the ones that give you the OTP to input in the app; they will never ask one from you.
You should also keep track of the notifications you receive through SMS, email, and the app itself.
Usually, your transactions should be reflected immediately or after a few minutes. In case you want to make a dispute, you can cross-reference the notifications you receive. It’s also good practice to check your account statement every month to make sure that there are no suspicious transactions.
Remember to Protect Your Phone
As previously mentioned, e-wallets have security measures like OTPs to protect your account. They also use two-factor authentication (2FA) when you log in using a new device. Beyond these, you also receive alerts about your account activities so you can spot any inconsistencies.
For stronger account security, however, don’t limit yourself to the built-in features of your e-wallet. You should also secure the phone in which the e-wallet is installed. Activate 2FA and fingerprint or passcode locks, along with secure folders. You should also turn on the corresponding “find my phone” feature (this is usually in the security settings) so you can remotely deactivate your device in case it gets lost or stolen.
Finally, don’t click links from unverified sources. These often contain malware that can compromise your information, including your e-wallet account.
As you can see, using an e-wallet is pretty straightforward. It’s just like social media, in that it’s very intuitive and even the least “techie” person can learn how to use one. Explore the app once you complete your registration so you can fully appreciate its features and remember to practice good security habits. From here, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a pro at using e-wallets.