How to shop online without a credit card (or PayPal)

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In the early days of e-commerce, when I was but a wee little lass, shopping online was such a chore. It was even impossible in some cases (i.e. international online stores) if all you have is a bank account with a debit card. Eventually I managed to get myself a credit card and a PayPal account; these are what I use for most of my online transactions. However, what if you don't have access yet? How do you shop at places like Sephora, Althea, Colourpop, and Amazon (to name a few) or pay for online services and apps if you don't have a credit card?

Thankfully, there's a new payment portal that can help you with that problem! It's called PayMaya and they've actually been around for a while. I first heard about them from my special other James, who has been using it for in-app purchases for about a year now. Recently though I got to know more about PayMaya during a Smart event, and I think I've been missing out!

So how does it work? It's all in the video, but I'm going to list it down here in case you're not able to watch the video yet:

1. On your phone, download the PayMaya app on the App Store or Google Play Store. It's free!

2. Register with your basic details. You will also be required to verify your mobile number.

3. You get a virtual credit card (technically a debit card, more on this later) that functions like a Mastercard. The card contains the basic info required by most online sites (card number, name, expiration date, and CVV) and you just need to input them whenever you need to.

4. Before using the card, make sure you have funds in your account. You can go to 7-Eleven, Ministop, do Smart Padala, or even transfer directly from your BDO account as if it were a bill payment (must be enrolled).

And that's it! According to the PayMaya people, you can load up as much as P100,000 in your PayMaya account. This is super useful to me since I purposely keep my credit card limit low; in case my card gets used illegally - a real threat since I use it for many online stores and services - I don't have to worry about fixing a huge debt. With PayMaya, I can pay directly for flights and hotels which require a bigger credit card limit. I can load it and pay ASAP. 

Eventually, PayMaya will offer physical cards which may be swiped in counters. I use my BDO debit card for most of my purchases (it's also a Mastercard) but it's useful to have another card handy just in case - again, this is useful when traveling.

One other useful feature is that you can send and receive payments through your PayMaya account. I aim to offer this as a payment option at the Project Vanity Store soon.

If you want to see PayMaya in action, please do watch the video above. I show how I was able to purchase something at Sephora using the details provided on the virtual card. Hope you found this useful! Let me know if PayMaya solves your online purchasing problem!