I’ve used a few different web forms to make payments. The Filipino merchant websites tend to be ungodly slow while the websites for American merchants seem to be fast. You would think it would be the other way around since I’m in the Philippines.
I know why and it’s because they’re using Windows servers instead of some variation of BSD, Linux or UNIX. In fact, every time I see a website crash after I submit the debit card details, it’s always an active server page (ASP) that I see, in all its hackable glory.
I usually pay my Smart phone bill by debit card, but the payment form for Smart says my debit card is already expired. I also use it to pay my web hosting bill. For that bill, I’ll try to see if PayPal’s expanded use plan will automatically withdraw the necessary amount from the bank account. For the Smart bill, I’ll have to visit the Smart store in person.
To get a new debit card, I have to surrender my expired debit card at the bank and wait a week or so. In the United States, the bank automatically mailed the debit card to me and all I had to do was confirm it, either by phone or by using it in an ATM. 1990 (see “A short history of the debit card“) called and wants its debit card services back from the Philippines.
Most of the online Filipino merchants are still stuck squarely in the 1990s. Many can’t even accept online payments. Luckily, I have relatives to pay bills in person for me. My electric bill, my DSL bill, my cable TV bill and my water bill all have to be paid in person. This month, I can add my Smart mobile phone bill to that list. I’ll be paying that in person myself because I have to stop by the bank to renew my debit card anyway.
I know what some people are thinking. Why not use a bank payment, like many banks offer. Well, my direct deposit bank is Philippine National Bank (PNB) and they don’t cover any of the merchants I use and even if they did, I’d have to have a Philippine peso account to go with my United States dollar account.
I use UnionBank of the Philippines for my debit card because it’s easy to use with PayPal. I think it’s about time I started researching friendlier banks when it comes to online payments. No one should have to run from merchant to merchant to pay monthly bills. Not in 2015.
The PayPal method to pay my web hosting bill worked.