Bayad Center, which many know as a brick-and-mortar touchpoint to pay bills, rebranded on Thursday and revamped their mobile app Bayad to accommodate online transactions from people stuck at home.
Online transactions boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic, as paying from the comfort of your own home meant avoiding the risk of getting infected. While it entailed food deliveries and online shopping, for many it was all about the basics: paying the electricity, water, wi-fi, and mobile bills — things that were traditionally settled at stores or payment centers.
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Bigger, better, younger
The payment facility launched their new logo with the tagline "#BiggerBetterYoungerBayad" and "#YouCanBayadAll".
The old Bayad Center logo utilized a serious sans serif font, all caps in bold red, housed under a roof, and all enclosed in a blue rectangle which was rounded at the corners. It's a familiar image for those in charge of paying their household's bills, and for some, it's also a reminder of long queues and waiting times.
The new logo is nothing quite like the old one. The blue stayed, but the font's more easy on the eyes and now in small letters. The main logo is a small letter B that resembles a power button, superimposed over an orange squarish circle.
According to CIS Bayad Center CEO and President Lawrence Y. Ferrer, this is "a new look that speaks to the younger generation of payors."
Let's talk about services
Much like the physical branch of Bayad Center, the Bayad app also accommodates bills payment for electricity, water, cable, wi-fi, mobile plans, and even MMDA ticket violations.
Instead of pulling up a physical bill and listing down account numbers every time you pay, the app lets you save billers so transactions are faster.
If you're keeping track of past bills and expenses, you can access your transaction history in the app. You can also get notifications for when bills are due and if you still have bills to settle.
Payments are updated in real time.
The app also comes with other services : it's equipped with a mobile wallet that can store credit, which you can use for your transactions. Cashing in is available through several banks and partner establishments.
You can also send money and credits to other Bayad users.
Loan payouts, ATM withdrawals, airline ticketing, remittances, and even buying load are also services offered in-app.
Why the push for digital?
Ferrer said the goal has always been to "bring payments and financial services closer to every Filipino, saving them time, money, and energy. Manage their finances better."
Two decades ago, Meralco clients were looking for other ways to pay bills apart from physically going to branches, he said. The need eventually gave rise to Bayad Center, a payment facility that accepts payments for services and utility providers.
With the pandemic forcing everyone to stay at home, people were now looking for ways to settle their bills while keeping sade.
Even before the pandemic struck, he said "we have been working hard towards digitizing our financial services" so that it is more accessible for people.
"Innovation is our lifeblood. We continue to grow and adapt to the ever-changing needs of customers," he said.
Where can I get the app?
The app is free, and is available for both iOS and Android users.
Accounts will need a working mobile number, and have to be verified by the app before transactions can be made.
Bayad Center is here to stay
The shift to digital is a welcome development for tech-savvy millennials and Gen Z, but what about the folks who got used to paying bills at Bayad Center branches?
"Nakasanayan na natin 'yan. Hindi mawawala 'yan," Ferrer said.
The app is meant to supplement and add on to Bayad Center services. The payment center's branches will still be up and running to accept bill payments. He added that there may be more branches in the future to reach more people.