MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday said it is working on forging partnerships with various digital payment providers for the implementation of cashless or contactless transactions in taxis and Transport Network Service Vehicles (TNVS) as part of the “new normal” amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a statement, the DOTr said it has tapped payment platforms to help equip taxis and TNVS with scan-to-pay systems to limit direct physical contact between drivers and passengers, thus further curbing the spread of COVID-19.
Taxis and Transport Network Companies (TNC) are allowed to operate in areas placed under general community quarantine at reduced capacity and with strict health and safety protocols.
“Cashless and contactless payment scheme will now be part of the ‘new normal’ in the public transportation system,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
The DOTr said one of the first to tie-up with the government for this purpose is GCash.
Under the partnership, GCash will help enable taxi drivers to accept digital payments through the Scan To Pay app where GCash users only need to scan the unique QR code of the taxi unit they are riding in paying for their metered fares.
GCash is also offering the GCash PowerPay+ solution to taxi operators where they can send out salaries, allowances, and commissions through to their employees, or members nationwide, the DOTr said.
“GCash strongly supports the government’s call for the use of mobile payments to lessen the risk of spreading COVID-19 through surfaces such as paper money,” GCash Head of Payments Jovit Bajar said.
Authorities are also in talks with other payment platforms PayMaya, Squidpay and Beep, among others, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said in the same statement.
“We had consultations with these providers over the weekend. We are encouraging these digital payment providers to partner with taxi operators and TNCs to lessen the chance of COVID-19 spread,” LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III said.
“On the part of the TNCs such as Hirna, Grab and Owto, they are already accepting cashless transactions,” he added.
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