AF Payments waives fees for PUVs
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - May 22, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — AF Payments Inc. (AFPI), a consortium of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Ayala Corp., is waiving maintenance and processing fees of public utility vehicle (PUV) operators equipped with the automatic fare collection system in support of the government’s push to modernize the system of collecting fares in public transport.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the AFPI’s decision to waive its maintenance and processing fees would be a great help to transport operators, drivers, and passengers, especially as his agency is encouraging PUV operators to shift to the automatic fare collection system.

“We want to promote a new normal in public transportation. And shifting to cashless, and contactless transactions is part of that. Cashless payments will be beneficial to operators since it reduces pilferage, and other losses. It also automates accounting, and immediately provides ridership reports to the operator for analysis of its operations. This is a game-changer, as it enables the operator to further improve its service,” Tugade said.

“AFPI is proud to support the efforts of the government to reopen public transport and is ready to equip buses and jeepneys with contactless devices that enable cashless ticketing and payment,” AFPI chief financial officer Chona Basilio said.

Prior to the enforcement of community quarantine, Transportation assistant secretary Mark De Leon said AFPI was charging between four to six percent of daily gross revenues as maintenance and processing fees.

As such, he said the initiative of AFPI would help boost the income of PUV operators.

“Before, if a bus operator earns P20,000 per bus a day, it translates to a P1,200 transaction cost daily. This decision of AFPI to waive their fees will be a big boost to the PUV operators’ income,” De Leon said.

“The LTFRB is now in talks with bus operators who are eyeing to consolidate their operations into a consortium, and with that development, they would need an automatic fare collection system to appropriately manage their fare collections, and share the income among themselves,” he said.

AFPI is behind tap-and-go payment system beep card. The Ayala-MPIC consortium won the permit to operate an automated fare collection system as a public-private partnership project in 2013.

“AFPI’s ticketing terminals will accept the well-known contactless beep cards as well as GCash QR code payments. Many commuters already have a beep card, as AFPI has issued seven million beep cards since 2015,” AFPI head of business development Sharon Fong said.

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