PLDT’s wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) powers the ‘digi-palengke’ initiatives of Maya, the country’s leading digital banking app and all-in-one money platform, across the National Capital Region (NCR), starting with Pasig City to make it easier for consumers and merchants to embrace digital payments, just like flower store owner Jhojane Ramos.

For over a decade, the flower store has been a steady source of livelihood for Jhojane and her parents. Although the family struggled during the COVID-19 lockdowns, Jhojane shared that they have been doing a bit better now that restrictions have eased. A Maya user for several years now, they have also opened that payment option in their flower store for clients who prefer to pay through the app.

Now that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Maya have rolled out the Paleng QR Plus program at the Pasig Mega Market this month, Jhojane said that this could help their business.

“It’s no longer a hassle, and we can avoid scams or the possibility of transacting with fake money,” she said.

Flower store, carinderia in Pasig public market benefit from digi-palengke initiatives

Meanwhile, for newly activated Maya merchant KC Nueva, one QR code for digital payments enables them to keep track of their income better. “We can immediately see the money that comes in every transaction,” the carinderia owner stated. “We can also pay for our water and electric utilities online without having to physically go and line up at the billing office.”

To date, Maya has enabled over 800,000 QR Ph Maya merchants in 96% of the country’s cities and municipalities.  

To help boost the digital ecosystem in Pasig City, Smart has boosted the city’s network to provide fast and reliable mobile connectivity to Pasigueño customers.

“We are optimizing our network according to the needs of our customers, empowering Filipinos to have better customer experience when it comes to digital banking, video streaming, gaming, learning, to name a few,” said Eric S. Santiago, Network Head at PLDT and Smart.

Recently, Smart was officially awarded by Ookla as the Philippine winner for Best Mobile Network, Fastest Mobile Network for five years in a row, and Best Mobile Coverage at the 2023 Mobile World Congress (MWC) held in Barcelona, Spain. Enabling this level of performance is Smart’s 3G, 4G/LTE and 5G networks, which cover 97% of the country’s population.

PLDT and Smart’s efforts to enable digital payments in public markets and other local communities through their fast and reliable network is aligned with the PLDT Group’s commitment to anchor initiatives on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG No. 9 – Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure and SDG No. 11 on Sustainable Cities and Communities. 

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