By Edd K. Usman
Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), the major operator of the country?s expressways, introduced on Tuesday, Aug. 22, a new e-payment toll initiative dubbed ?Digital Tollways Program?.
During the launch, MPTC chair Manny V. Pangilinan cited the benefits of a contact-less toll payments when traversing the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), Subic?Clark?Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), and Cavite Expressway (Cavitex).
“The use of digital payments is helping usher in a new era of tollways operations in the country where consumers can enjoy faster, more secure, and more convenient electronic transactions,” Pangilinan said.
He said the digital journey jibes with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)?s National Retail Payment System, which aims “to transform 20 percent of the country’s payment transactions to electronic by 2020.”
The Digital Tollways Program will seek to build awareness on various electronic payment alternatives that are available to motorists traveling the NLEx, SCTex, and Cavitex.
Some of these payment options are Easy Trip RFID, Beep cards, and Mastercard contract-less debit, prepaid, and credit cards, including the newly-introduced PayMaya-powered Smart Mastercard. Users of the expressways can still pay with cash, however.
The undertaking is in recognition of the big role that digital technologies play in transforming the tollway experience while at the same time empowering communities and businesses connected by the three expressways.
“Enabling electronic transactions in the tollways is a key contributor in growing electronic money usage as thousands of motorists use our expressways every day,” said Rodrigo E. Franco, MPTC president and CEO.
“With these payment options, motorists will experience an even more seamless, convenient and hassle-free travel at the NLEx, SCTex and Cavitex,” said Franco.
PayMaya Philippines, which is under PLDT?s Voyager Innovations, is lending its expertise in enabling end-to-end acceptance of contact-less payments for the e-payment initiative.
“The impact of digital transformation in the toll roads space will not only bring a whole new level of convenience to consumers but also place the country at the forefront of the region’s digital global economy,” said Orlando Vea, president and CEO of PayMaya Philippines.
For those who already have Beep cards, they can use not only to pay toll but also in railway transit systems and Point-to-Point (P2P) bus services.
For motorists who prefer to use their existing Mastercard prepaid, debit or credit contact-less cards, they can now also use them on the tollways.
The PayMaya-powered Smart Mastercard, for instance, is best for motorists who shop and pay bills at the same time because it works anywhere Mastercard is accepted, even online and abroad. It is also backed by over 15,00 reloading stations across the country.