Which is better: GCash or Paymaya?

Money | Sep 30, 2020 | By PDee

In the Philippines, there are two mobile wallets battling for supremacy --- GCash and PayMaya. It seems that there is a new doupoly rising in the arena of mobile money service. Let’s take an overview about these two, identify their pros and cons and then decide which among the two is better.


It launched in 2004 and is operated by Mynt, a partnership between Globe Telecom, Ayala Corporation and Ant Financial. It has been regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and has over 20 million registered users.

This mobile wallet offers a lot of services from buying prepaid load, sending money and even purchase goods without the need for any cash. They have two types of services --- Lifestyle and Financial.

1. It has 11 lifestyle services:
    o Buy load (regular or combos) anytime, anywhere with rebates for each transaction
    o Borrow load without GCash balance and pay later
    o Pay bills with over 400+ billers nationwide
    o Book movies ahead without lining up at major cinemas in Ayala, SM and Robinsons Malls
    o Pay QR using your phone if you shop and dine at over 70, 000 stores nationwide
    o Send money securely to anyone with a mobile number for free
    o Send money with a clip by attaching photos, videos and voice recordings
    o Ang Pao, send money to multiple people in one go
    o Request money from anyone if you’re short on cash or need payment from someone
    o KKB, split any bill with friends whether they have GCash or not.
    o Shop online without a credit card and just make quick payments on major shopping websites like Lazada, Shopee and Zalora

2. It has 4 financial services:
    o Bank transfer instantly to over 40 banks anytime, anywhere
    o GCredit lets you extend your budget and gain access to your own credit line
    o Invest money for as low as Php50!
    o Save money (GSave) with 3.1% annual interest rates and no initial and maintaining balance; a savings account powered by CIMB Bank PH.
    o All depositors are insured up to Php500,000. Withdrawal channels are through GCash, Buy Load, Send Money, Invest and Pay Bills.

3. It also has GForest in which you can donate and help grow trees plus it comes with a certificate.
4. You can get Php50.00 when you refer a friend and vice versa.
5. As of 2019, they have 63,000 partner merchants across the country.
6. Fast verification of GCash Account creation. For full verification to access all features, you just have to provide 1 valid ID, a selfie and complete address.

1. There are quite number of security issues like scam because the mobile wallet is very convenient to almost all people including scammers. People will just ask you to send a certain amount to a certain number and voila! Scammers would automatically receive the money through their GCash account.

2. System issues – there are times when you pay a bill, transfer money to other account or even buy a load, it won’t go through because of system error or system maintenance

3. Poor customer suport - there are times when you are facing issues like when you encountered error in transferring money and the amount has been deducted to your account but was not received by your intended recipient. Their customer support is really very slow to respond. It happens to me several times and it was indeed very frustrating, but in fairness to them the issue was eventually resolved and I had able to send the money to the intended recipient successfully.

4. Convenience fee will soon be charged to bank transfer starting October 1, 2020. Nothing last forever as the saying goes. We are thankful to GCash for providing us free bank transfer services for several months, but now this is going to end soon as they will be imposing charges next month. We do not have the details yet as to how much is the charge but we will update this article as soon as we have the info.


It was founded on 2013 and formerly known as Smart eMoney, Inc., It is a subsidiary of Voyager Innovations (a digital innovations company of PLDT and Smart). According to Business Mirrors, PayMaya Philippines did not disclose the actual figures of their registered users but they are aiming to reach the 20 million mark soon.

PayMaya offers bills payment, grocery shopping thru scanning of QR code using mobile phone, sending and receiving of money, buying load and mobile data as well as claiming of remittances.

1.Services Offered:
    o Claim remittance local and international
    o Travel with PayMaya by purchasing Beep tickets or load for Autosweep or Easytrip
    o Bills Payment
    o Mobile Prepaid Load and Mobile Data
    o Add money (up to Php100,000 if account if fully upgraded) via banks, self-service kiosks, debit/credit cards and other channels
    o Send money (ranging from Php500 to Php20,000) to other PayMaya users, bank account or remittance centers
    o Virtual Payment Card, enables you to shop online without a credit card. Just ensure that you have at least Php100.00 balance in your PayMaya wallet for you to use the card
    o Link Physical Card, may it be debit or credit card for a faster transaction
    o Scan to Pay by using the merchant’s QR code
2. One device for all types of payment (debit/credit card), considered as the first-ever Android POS in Southeast Asia to accept all types of digital payments in-store.
3. They have a 24/7 fraud protection which offers safer and more secure transactions which is true as you’ll less likely to hear or read any security issues with this mobile wallet.
4. Referral - you can get Php50.00 when you refer a friend and vice versa.

1. As of this writing, they only have limited number of billers which is only 120 companies
2. Offered services or app features are also limited.
3. Convenience fee for adding money in your PayMaya account is only free for selected add money partners. The fee applies to the following partners starting October 1, 2020:
      o 7-Eleven
      o Touch Pay
      o eTap
      o Pay & Go
      o Robinsons Department Store Business Centers
      o SM Store Business Centers
      o Gaisano Capital
      o Tambunting
      o RD Pawnshop
      o Palawan Express
      o LBC Express
      o ECPay
      o Bayad Center
      o Posible
      o Digipay
      o ExpressPay
      o iBayad
      o Smart Stores
4. Upgrading PayMaya account takes time. You still need to request for an upgrade of your account to use some of their important features like sending money.

Based on personal experience, I created my account on December 28, 2019 and requested an account upgrade on the same day but it was only upgraded after 4 days. I didn’t mind at all because it was holiday season and maybe there were no available personnel to process my request but as for other customers, it might be inconvenient on their end, waiting for days for the account to be upgraded.

Which is better?

Overall, Paymaya and GCash are good innovations to old fashioned and outdated payment system that we have in the Philippines. Technology is fast evolving and everything is going online nowadays. Much more in our situation right now, where the world is threatened by a contagious disease. The need for contactless and cashless payment is on the rise.

There maybe risk because scammers are also exploting these new technology for their evil and selfish intentions. But we do see that the companies who are running this innovations are also doing their best to protect their users. For instance, GCash and Paymaya ensures their users are insured and protected against scammers.

As for us consumers or users of these innovative platform, we also have to do our part to protect ourselves from these scammers. We should ensure we follow safety protocols like keeping our MPIN to ourselves at all times. Never share your OTP (One Time Password) to anyone and always report users who are conducting illegal transactions.

Now going back to the question, which is really better? Personally, I prefer to use GCash as it offers lot of useful features within the app. Its verification process is also seamless compared to Paymaya. The features in the GCash app are very innovative and perfectly suited for the Filipino people. For instance their KKB, where you can split bills among your friends. GSave, where you can save money to a CIMB bank by directly using the GCash app. Your savings will also reflect instantly in your CIMB account and can be viewed separately using CIMB app.

As for security, both are good but I feel that Paymaya is a little bit stricter in their verification process and it is also take some time. I am not sure yet about Paymaya but in GCash has this "Customer Protect", which assure its users to investigate any unauthorized transactions that happen to your GCash account. Once the investigation proves that the transaction was indeed illegal and unauthorized they will compensate your loss with their Money-back guarantee. But please note you need to have a verified account in order to be covered to this program.

However, this is not a winner-takes-all thing, right? I may prefer GCash, but Paymaya has also its own strengths or advantages. For instance, Paymaya's customer support is better than GCash. Their customer support are easily reachable and very responsive. As for GCash, I have tried sending around 20 plus emails with no any reply. Well, I badly need the money that time so I keep on sending follow-ups but GCash never care to send a single reply other than their automatic replies.

But until now, I am still using GCash. Over time their services are getting better and better. I no longer encounter system issues as often as before. If you want to learn more about the Advantages and Disadvantages of using GCash we have a separate article for that one.

Though, I prefer GCash, I do not discourage using Paymaya. Both are great innovations and are worth trying. If you want to have convenient and secured transactions, then just create an account for both mobile wallets just like I do. The more choices you have, the better. If the system of GCash is not working, you can just opt for PayMaya and vice versa.

These apps are available for download from the Play Store for Android and App Store for iOS. Try it and let us know your thoughts about these apps in the comment section below.

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