At Little Wave Coffee Co., where we got a cup of icy joe for sustenance, we made our first cashless, cardless payment.
Using the PayMaya app on our smartphone, we scanned the QR code beside the counter and input our bill.
As soon as we hit send, the cashier confirmed the payment. We also received a text message that a specific amount had been deducted from our account. The remaining balance and the name of the establishment where we had purchased coffee was also included in the message.
Up until that moment we thought only first world countries have the capacity to become cashless, cardless societies.
But “this itty-bitty island in the Western Philippines,” as Condé Nast described Boracay, is already on its way to becoming a cardless island.
And it all starts in Station X.
In this youthful dining and hangout space situated in Hue Hotel and Resort, cash and cards are so 2017. We grabbed good grub, played giant Jenga and settled our bill using only the PayMaya app—our new Boracay travel buddy.
The virtual prepaid card app features QR payment that allows customers to transact digitally. No need to carry debit or credit cards and worry of losing them or finding an ATM when you run out of cash.
All establishments at Station X accept payments through PayMaya. Displayed by the counter is the QR code of each merchant; customers need only to log in their app, scan the code, input the total bill and hit pay.
Registration and reload is easy, as well. Download the PayMaya app on iTunes or Google Play and complete the hassle-free registration, then load the virtual card at 7-Eleven, SM Business Center, Robinson’s Department Store, or even through BDO online banking.
But, if you ask us what’s better than hassle-free payments, it’s the virtual wallet that keeps track of expenses (or splurges). Because, when we’re on vacation, we tend to overload—on food, pasalubong and more food.
The plan is to turn Boracay into a cashless and cardless society, PayMaya COO Paolo Azzola told Super.
“In the future it will be cardless,” Azzola said during the launch at Station X.
Soon, even the beachfront stalls that sell souvenir magnets, T-shirts, sunnies and trinkets will be accepting payments through PayMaya.
PayMaya is a “fully homegrown business” that can be used in the island to Japan and anywhere else in the world.
Paolo added that the goal is to democratize payments through PayMaya, whether the transaction happens in “SM or the local sari-sari store.”
For now, tourists can use their PayMaya apps when dining at streetmarket, Station X’s own food hall. At streetmarket are: Winner Winner that serves deep fried chicken, Santo Peligrosa for Mexican cravings, Poketo that offers yakitori (not poke bowl, much to our surprise) and Fat Rice that has outstanding mee goreng.
There’s also Prisma, the bar by the poolside that serves refreshing concoctions like rosé margarita and sangria.
Our top street market pick is the creamy mango and lychee bingsu from Sugar Cloud. It’s a sweet ending after parasailing under the Boracay sun.