The Philippines is briskly marching towards a digital payment revolution. As 2023 unfolds, a blend of traditional and modern payment channels emerges. Cash and cards still hold sway. Yet, digital platforms like e-wallets, bank transfers, and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) schemes are making headway. This shift mirrors global trends. It also underlines the changing consumer preferences amidst the expanding e-commerce landscape.

Government initiatives fuel this digital leap. They aim for greater financial inclusion. E-commerce platforms are booming. More Filipinos are getting comfortable with online transactions. Each payment method, be it cards, cash, bank transfers, BNPL, or e-wallets, narrates a distinct tale. They reflect the evolving financial landscape and the burgeoning trust in digital economy.

In this article, we will explore each payment avenue. The goal is to forecast what lies ahead for commerce in this archipelago nation.


Payment by card in Philippines

In 2023, the e-commerce market in the Philippines is flourishing. However, card utilization trails behind other nations. About 1.9% of people use credit cards, and 21% use debit cards​2​. Moreover, only 9.1% make internet purchases, while a mere 7% have online banking accounts​2​. Despite this, local card schemes are making strides. BancNet and MegaLink are notable local schemes, contributing significantly​3​.

According to PPRO, 58% of card scheme distribution in the Philippines is attributed to local schemes, outpacing Visa at 18%, Mastercard at 20%, and American Express at 3%​4​. Amidst this, the E-Card by the Land Bank of the Philippines stands out for its versatility, acting as a debit card for online and POS transactions​5​.

Furthermore, in the Philippines, there are various types of cards issued by local banks including credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, payroll cards, and prepaid cards, each serving different purposes and customer needs​4​.

Local actors: BancNet, MegaLink, E-Card (Land Bank of the Philippines)

BancNet logo    


Payment by cash in Philippines

In 2023, the Philippines showcases a blend of digital and cash payments in e-commerce. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announces a goal of 50% digital payments by year-end. This implies half of all retail transactions may still involve cash, whether in malls or online​1​. Despite digital payment promotion, Cash-on-Delivery (COD) remains a favored e-commerce payment method. It reflects a steady cash transaction preference among consumers​2​.

Key payment instruments in 2023 include mobile wallets, cards, and cash. Cash holds the largest market share, followed by mobile wallets and credit transfers​3​. The scenario is termed as “Cash, but the future is cash-lite.” This indicates a gradual digital payment transition, yet retaining significant cash transactions, especially in e-commerce​4​.

COD provides consumer security and trust. It’s ideal for those hesitant to share financial information online. This method allows physical product verification before payment, enhancing buyer-seller trust. Many e-commerce platforms offer COD to cater to a wider audience. This ensures a seamless shopping experience for all user demographics.


Payment by bank transfer

In 2023, bank transfers significantly impact the Philippines’ e-commerce sector. They provide a reliable method for online transactions. Utilization of bank transfer apps is rising. GCash is one notable example, facilitating seamless money transfers​1​. Other apps also enable transactions to and from the Philippines, although they aren’t specifically named​2​.

InstaPay is a recognized instant payment system. It facilitates real-time fund transfers, a feature likely beneficial in 2023. PESONet, another service, enables batch electronic fund transfers between banks. In 2023, transfer fees across various banks range from free to PHP 500, depending on the bank and transfer type​3​.

These systems enhance the e-commerce payment landscape. They provide quick, reliable payment solutions for online shoppers and merchants. The integration of such instant payment systems simplifies transactions. It showcases a trend towards digital, instantaneous payment solutions in e-commerce.

Local actors: InstaPay, PESONet, GCash, BDO, BPI, Cebuana Lhuillier,

InstaPay Logo    GCash logo  BDO logo  BPI logo  CebuanaLhuillier logo


Payment by installment and BNPL

In 2023, the landscape of e-commerce in the Philippines sees the rise of innovative payment solutions, particularly the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) and installment payment models. Among the brands steering this financial evolution, several have carved a niche, catering to both B2C and B2B markets.

BillEase and Cashalo emerge as notable names in the B2C domain. BillEase, through its loan app, enables consumers to access a credit line of up to Php40,000, offering a reloadable credit facility for various purchases. The app seamlessly integrates with Grab services, expanding its utility for Grab Mart purchases​1​. On the other hand, Cashalo, alongside BillEase and Tendopay, offers installment loan services, aiming to be a lifetime financial service partner for its customers​2​.

Plentina, a homegrown startup, also joins the BNPL brigade. With a focus on emerging markets, it recently secured $2.2 million in funding, underscoring its growing influence in the financial sector. The startup’s trajectory since its inception in 2019, showcases a promising venture into the BNPL model, making e-commerce more accessible for the Filipinos​3​.

In the B2B arena, 4Gives sets a precedent. It extends financial flexibility to employer partners through salary loans and credit lines. This initiative facilitates personal or emergency needs of employees, allowing them to shop from a myriad of online or physical stores. The essence of 4Gives is to provide financial assistance at no cost to the employers, establishing a win-win scenario for both employers and employees alike​4​.

Mocasa, a fintech innovator founded in 2021, is another entrant in the BNPL space. It extends credit payment services to the Philippine market, sans the necessity of owning a physical card. This initiative embodies the essence of financial inclusivity, enabling Filipinos to experience the convenience of credit payments anytime, anywhere, be it online or offline​5​.

Local actors:

for B2C, BillEase, Cashalo, Tendopay, Plentina, Mocasa, Homecredit, SPayLater, Grab Pay Later

Billease logo  Cashalo logo  TendoPay logo  Plentina logo    Homecredit Logo   Grab logo

for BtOB, 4Gives


Payment by digital wallet and X-Pay

In 2023, digital wallets gain traction in the Philippines’ e-commerce sector. They offer convenience and speed for online transactions. The mobile wallet usage in e-commerce is projected to grow from 16% to 27%, showcasing a significant uptake in digital payment methods​1​. Already in 2022, mobile wallets accounted for the highest share of e-commerce payments, with GCash and PayMaya leading this domain​2​.

Several e-wallets and digital banks operate in the Philippines in 2023. GCash emerges as a widely used, powerful e-wallet. ShopeePay combines an online shopping app and digital wallet. Seabank is known for high interest rates and free transfers. Lazada Wallet offers great deals via LazPayLater. Maya functions both as an e-wallet and a digital bank. GrabPay facilitates payments for various services​3​.

A survey conducted in October 2022 highlights the popularity of e-payment services in the Philippines. This indicates a favorable environment for digital wallets​4​. The market for prepaid cards and digital wallets was valued at $3.21 billion in 2022, forecasting a promising outlook towards 2027​5​.

Digital wallets facilitate quick, secure, and hassle-free payments. They smooth e-commerce transactions for both consumers and merchants. The rising adoption of digital wallets reflects evolving payment preferences among Filipino consumers. This aligns with the global shift towards digital payments.

Local actors: GCash, ShopeePay, Seabank, Lazada Wallet, Maya, GrabPay, Smart Money

GCash logo  ShopeePay logo      PayMaya logo  Grab logo  SmartMoney logo



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