Top 5 Local Payment Systems for your Philippine-based Website

Don’t have Paypal, Moneybookers or Liberty Reserve? Let’s try to check some local based payment systems/gateways.

When one of our investors begins to talk about selling online, I never fail to bring up the topic of payment processors. After all, while it’s more fun to come up with all sorts of creative promos that would grab the attention of netizens, making sure that the entire payment procedure remains synonymous with convenience is a bit more crucial in achieving success. With some horror stories lingering about Paypal, I believe that every entrepreneur should also take advantage of the very best payment processors in the country.


western union

A Western Union branch – And no, they don’t accept pizzas for remittance 🙂

Western Union

Wherever I go, it seems that there’s a Western Union outlet nearby. This means that merchants throughout all regions of the nation could easily receive payments if they’d want to. My respect for the money transfer company though, does not merely stem from branch quantity. Western Union is also among the fastest in terms of transaction processing. Sending money usually takes less than an hour. This is why sellers who use such a service are able to confirm payments almost instantly.

I should probably point out however, that no payment processor is perfect. Despite the fact that Western Union is trusted worldwide, some rumors also view it as a tool often used by scammers. This is the reason why I tell business owners not to offer Western Union transactions as their only payment option. I’d also remind them that sending money comes at a price. It’d even be safe to say that clients who need to send several thousand pesos, would find the finance-service firm’s fees budget breaking.



LBC Express Philippines

lbc express

An LBC Branch where you can send anything – Even flowers! =D

I know that LBC is among the toughest competitors of Western Union. After all, the two companies are pretty much on par with each other when it comes to sheer outlet abundance. LBC Express is doing its best though, to beat its rival in affordability. For example, sending 1,000 pesos through Western Union would probably involve charges of up to 120 pesos. Transferring the same amount through LBC would only require a fee of roughly 50 pesos.

After finding out that the local finance-service corporation offers much better prices than its competitor does, most entrepreneurs would surely ask one question: why avail of Western Union’s offerings when there’s a much more economical alternative? The answer is simple: availability and preference. No matter how many locations such firms have, there are always places where only one of them is available. Likewise, regardless of how impressive LBC’s rates are, some people are loyal to Western Union.


gcash rates

Presenting Globe’s GCASH Rates. =D


If you were to build an online store, make sure to consider getting GCASH. Globe Telecom’s entry in the payment processor market is definitely successful, as made obvious by the fact that almost every web-based shop has a GCASH logo on its homepage. This level of popularity could be explained by a single word: simplicity. Taking advantage of such a money-transfer offering, is as easy as buying a Globe SIM, accessing the *143# menu, and sending the necessary details.

Once again, I should point out that no payment processor is perfect. When sending money through CGASH, it would be a must to pay a fee. Aside from this, receiving money through Globe Telecom’s finance service entails charges. To compensate for such expenses, sellers let their customers shoulder both the cash-in and cash-out costs. Of course, not all shoppers will be willing to comply with this particular payment rule, as some would think that they’d end up spending too much.


bpi eol

BPI Express Mobile 24/7, and their famous “Transfer to anyone” feature.


Bank of the Philippine Islands / BPI Express Online

It’d be safe to say that a BPI account is almost a must-have for those who wish to sell online. After all, letting customers deposit money directly into an account would eliminate the need to waste cash on transaction charges. Also, the well-known bank managed to make the entire payment process much simpler by offering BPI Express Online. Such a service makes 24/7 banking possible and even eliminates the need to drive to a nearby BPI branch.

Eager entrepreneurs should keep in mind though, that BPI Express Online is somewhat of a double-edged sword. Despite the fact that such a service makes banking hassle-free, it might also create problems when dealing with careless buyers. In particular, each time I’d use the bank’s mobile application to send funds, I’d face the need to check the recipient’s account number repeatedly. Web-based transactions also lack a proper receipt, which in turn means that checking whether a client has already paid could sometimes be a pain.



banco de oro

A BDO Branch.

Banco de Oro Universal Bank

There are also several reasons why it’s advantageous to open a BDO account. For one, unlike BPI, it is easier to spot a Banco de Oro branch that remains open past 4:30 PM. Aside from this, the largest bank chain in the Philippines has a very efficient transaction system. I even think that the manner in which BDO is being run is patterned after how SM Department Stores operate. I should also point out that every SM Mall has a BDO branch inside.

In terms of online banking features however, Banco de Oro is bit less reliable than BPI. Security is an issue when using BDO’s web-based offering, as highlighted by a certain incident: an OFW lost 50,000 pesos due to hacking. What is even more concerning about the issue though, is that it wasn’t acted upon immediately. As a matter of fact, it took more than a month until the bank’s top officials became aware of the problem and yet they essentially just said that they’re going to look into it.




To sum it up….

  • LBC and Western Union are top picks in terms of branch abundance
  • GCASH is a must-have for entrepreneurs due to its convenience
  • BPI and BDO are excellent for clients who prefer bank transactions
  • Most importantly, using more than one payment processor is a must

I’d say that remembering these tips would boost the startup’s chances of attaining success. Don’t forget to post payment how-to guides in your website, and include it in your F.A.Q. (Frequently asked questions).

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Paul Agabin is the Founder and CEO of Wooka Interactive. He is an internet marketer based in the Philippines which deals with varied topics such as local industry news, seo strategies, content marketing, inbound marketing, social media management, website reviews, and the like. You can contact him at 0917-5069839.

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