Here comes the sun, and people have no plans of staying at home despite the heat.
Undeniably, summer is best experienced outdoors. It’s that time of the year when going to the mountains, museums, amusement parks, and other go-to places almost becomes necessary. But with the rising temperature, nothing seems more appealing than having a dose of vitamin sea: getting sun-kissed, feet on the sand, and a smell of salt in the air.
A beach getaway is closer than you think and not nearly as expensive. Roughly four hours from Manila lies the surfing capital of the north: La Union.
With its many hotels and hostels, restaurants, cafes, and bars, the vibe in La Union does not really veer away from the urban life back in the Metro. Moreover, as a fast-emerging province that encourages weekend escapes to the beach, La Union is among the first places that may eventually become a cashless society.
The Vision and Transition
Leaving a wallet behind—along with credit card and cash—is no longer a problem, at least in terms of one’s purchasing power. With only a mobile phone and access to data, people can now utilize a mobile application to make cashless transaction.
As a deemed pioneer in digital financial services in the country, Filipino-owned PayMaya has collaborated with some of the traveller-favorite destinations in La Union. The partner establishments are equipped with ‘Quick Response’ code or QR, and completing a transaction can’t get any simpler: just scan the QR code, key in the amount of payment, then click “Pay.”
“The dream here is to really create a cashless ecosystem. Once you turn an ecosystem cashless, the flow of money is so much quicker and it’s a lot more convenient for us,” said Raymund Villanueva, Vice President and Business Head of PayMaya Consumer.
Villanueva also revealed that convincing both the merchants and the consumers to accept the QR system was not as difficult as they thought it would be, “To be honest with you, it was not as big of a leap. Our customers are mostly millennials, and they are very open to new things, new technologies. Do I see it to become the future of payments? It’s definitely going to be one of the key players,” he said, adding that even the sari-sari stores are soon to follow the initiative.
Starting with La Union, more places are bound to be indulged in a cashless experience, “Everyone can definitely look forward to where we will make waves next in the coming months,” said Paolo Azzola, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of PayMaya Philippines.
The Role of Sports and Recreation
Since its beta launch in 2015, PayMaya has doubled its efforts to further promote digital payment. Through sports and recreation, more people are engaged in pursuing the cashless endeavors.
“We target places known for their recreational activities. We really have a strong support on sports programs. Not only because it is a great tool for marketing, but it also embodies what the brand is all about,” Villanueva shared, in addition to his statement that the brand will soon be joining the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) with a team called the PayMaya HighFlyers.
Being one of the most popular surf spots in the country, tourists do not fully live the La Union experience without riding the waves. In the city of San Juan, even the surfing lessons can be paid through the QR system.
Surfing tutorials include a discussion on the basic parts of the surfing board, proper feet positioning and stance, controlling the board for acceleration and slowdown, dos and don’ts, and safety tips, among others. The time for the actual surfing varies but usually lasts an hour.
“As soon as you identify your back foot and front foot depending on the stance you are comfortable with, you’re good to go. Back foot should be 90 degrees for stability, while front foot is 45 degrees para consistent with our shoulders na medyo tilted when we stand for balancing. Two controls lang ‘yan, lean forward para bumilis, lean back naman para bumagal,” a local surfing instructor referred to as Kuya Ian said.
With a line-up of outdoor activities this summer, people are constantly in motion. And having to carry cash—considered as the riskiest and the most expensive thing to handle—adds hassle to the heat of the sun. A QR type of transaction allows people to track everything, and be able to do more and sweat it all out!