To further subdue the spread of Covid-19, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) pushed for contactless payments once accepted modes of transportation resume operations under the general community quarantine.
Under the Memorandum Circular No. 2020-018, the LTFRB mandated the collection of fares in taxi units and transport network vehicle service (TNVS) “strictly through cashless payment or through online payment facility only.”
“Cashless and contactless payment scheme will now be part of the ‘new normal’ in the public transportation system. Taxi operators should not treat this as another transaction cost. Instead, this move intends to limit direct physical contact between drivers and their passengers and help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
The agency has been meeting with various cashless payment providers, wherein the first to find collaboration with the government is the mobile wallet Cash.
GCash will allow taxi drivers to accept digital payments through the “Scan to Pay” app, where users only need to scan the unique QR code of the taxi unit they are riding in paying for their metered fares.
“The implementation of cashless transactions for transportation in the new normal allows drivers to participate in the financial landscape through financial technology. As a strong government partner, GCash fully supports this initiative, and we are more than willing to pour in more support to other government endeavors,” said GCash Head of Payments Jovit Bajar.
The company is also offering the GCash PowerPay+ solution to taxi operators, a fund disbursement facility that enables companies to send out transactions through GCash to their employees or members nationwide.
“There will be no problem anymore when paying for your taxi fare. Direct contact between the driver and the passenger will also be limited, and physical distancing will be observed. This means that there will be a little or no chance for the virus to spread, and more lives will be saved,” explained LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III.
Aside from GCash, the Board is also discussing with other electronic payment providers such as Squidpay, Paymaya, and Beep, among others.
“We had consultations with these providers over the weekend. We are encouraging these digital payment providers to partner with taxi operators and transport network companies to lessen the chance of COVID-19 spread,” Delgra divulged.