The online selling price of a stored value card for commuters costs more than when it was regularly available at the train stations.
The Beep Card announced on November 18 that Filipinos can now buy it through an online shopping platform for P188.
The card does not come with an initial load balance.
Based on its product details, it will expire by July 2025.
Ka-beepers, i-tag niyo na si friend na naghahanap ng beep™ card! Pwedeng-pwede na niya i-add to cart yan sa Lazada! 🛒
— beep™ card (@beep_card) November 18, 2022
The Beep Card is usually utilized as a payment in MRT, LRT, modern PUVs, some point-to-point (P2P) and city buses, ferries and LRT-1 partner merchants.
It can also be used to pay for items from select convenience stores.
The stored value card can be loaded for a maximum of P10,000 while it has no minimum load.
Users also have the chance to earn reward points whenever they use it through the beep™ app.
Its announcement of its availability through an e-commerce app failed to excite some commuters, who found its price costly compared to when it is bought in train stations.
“WTF? Anong 88?!?! Hoy 20 pesos lang bili ko nung sa’kin na-expired last year then bumili ulit ako, 30 pesos na, ta’s ano ‘yang 188???” a Twitter user commented.
“Bili ko sakin [P70], wala pang load, tapos sasabihin mong 188 na nga, wala pa ring load??” another Pinoy reacted.
“Mas efficient kung sa train stations/convenience stores to binebenta, hindi sa online shop,” wrote a different Pinoy.
Others also wondered if it could be the reason why the stored value cards are now supposedly scarce in some stations.
“Okay, what the actual f*ck. Bought mine at the station last July for P100, [with] 70 initial load. A friend told me stored value tickets haven’t been available at train stations for several months now, madami naghahanap. They’re selling it for P188 na pala online, no initial load,” a Twitter user wrote.
“Pahirap. Dati 100 pesos lang tapos may 80 load. Isipin mo, ang hirap na maghanap ng beep cards sa mga station ngayon tapos magbebenta kayo ng napakamahal,” another user commented to the announcement.
“Kaya pala wala na sa stations kasi ibe-benta niyo online nang mahal? Ang convenient po niyan. Opo,” wrote a different commuter with an eyeroll emoji.
Last October, a report said commuters could buy a Beep Card outside train stations for P130, while it was P30 in railway ticket booths.
Two months before that, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) warned of an impending shortage of the cards attributed to global chip shortage and the repercussions of COVID-19 on major manufacturing hubs like China.
DOTr, in response, said in October that it would launch a payment scheme that will tap QR codes, bank cards, smartphones and smartwatches using a near-field communications system.
“Isa po ito do’n sa mga bagay na ginagawa natin para hindi tayo nakadepende sa isa pong teknolohiya na kung saan, tulad nga ng nararanasan natin ngayon, kapag nagkaroon ng shortage ay nawawalan po tayo ng alternatibo,” Transportation Undersecretary Timothy Batan said before.