Credit cards have never been my thing, given my impulses and my finances.
I’m not exactly the next Confessions of a Shopaholic’s Rebecca Bloomwood. I just want to think about huge purchases 10 times before I actually buy them. This no-credit-card lifestyle is a matter of mind over impulse.
While it is financially sound, in my case, to not have a credit card, it is becoming inconvenient for essential purchases.
All these time, I have paid for my online purchases through someone’s credit card and I just transfer my payments through the “Transfer to Anyone” function in BPI’s mobile app.
Since I left my job, whose payroll is with Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), my convenience
is now left at the mercy of BDO (Banco de Oro), which is my new payroll bank.
There are a lot of options for Prepaid Debit Cards. I chose BDO at the moment because BPI will take long (takes 5 banking days before you can get your card, with a processing fee of Php 500). Aside from that, some BDO branches are open during Saturdays and Sundays. That’s mighty convenient if you work during weekdays and would hate to spend lunch break for a trip to the bank.
BDO, on the other hand, allows us to get the card instantly by just opening an ATM savings account with the following provisions:
1) Bring two valid IDs.
2) Php 2000 maintaining balance
The process with the BDO ATM Debit Card (Mastercard) is the same as opening a regular ATM account. The application was fast and faultless. Should you want your name embossed on the card, you would have to endure the same waiting period as BPI. Since I don’t mind having the generic card, I opted for that which allows me to have it immediately. After activating my card, I applied for online banking and patiently waited for 24 hours.
For less than 24 hours, I could already see my BDOADC (Mastercard) through online banking and started to use it. And that’s where I discovered the glitch.
I wanted to book someone’s space in AirBNB with BDOADC(Mastercard) for a quick weekend get-away. Apparently, for those who are living in the Philippines, there are only two modes of payments for Airbnb:
1) Credit Card/Prepaid Debit Card (MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, Discover)
The next step I tried was using PayPal as a mode of payment using BDOADC. The same thing happened – I cannot push through the transaction. I saw that Paypal attempted to confirm my account because I saw that they debited my account. But immediately, the amount debited by Paypal from my account was redeposited. That means BDO rejected the attempt.
After so many failed attempts, I called BDO’s Customer Service. After confirming my account details, they told me that they have a strict requirement for transactions. If the website does not pass the security standards imposed by BDO, they do not push through the prepaid debit transactions. I asked them if there was anything they could do, like unlock me for now or something, but it was negative.
So that means Airbnb is not safe enough? Even Paypal? Paypal accepts credit cards of BDO. Does that mean only the BDOADC have strict requirements? I find it a ridiculous analogy. They should protect credit cards than debit cards. After all, the amount charged in debit cards are often not as huge as a credit card’s credit limit, (for most).
Nevertheless, I find my BDOADC useless for now. I am withdrawing my money (at least for the Airbnb payment) and will be applying for the BPI ePrepaid Mastercard/Visa.
Let’s see how it goes.
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