James is one OFW who’s determined to save and invest. I’m happy for him. I hope more OFWs will also save their earnings, as they can’t be sure of the stability of their jobs.
I wrote a post encouraging OFWs to invest in SSS Flexi-Fund or Pag-ibig MP2 or both, and James commented on it.
Well, it’s really quite difficult to pay for these investments if you are the kind of person that prefers to pay online. Aside from the basic contributions, I have never paid for MP2 or Flexi-fund through remittance centers.
Pag-ibig has a direct online payment facility. However, it is only for the mandatory Savings and none for MP2 payments.
SSS has no direct payment facility whatsoever. None of the Philippine banks offers services or biller services to Pag-ibig MP2 or SSS Flexi-fund. None. Thank you Philippine Government for not mandating Philippine banks to facilitate payments. Really, thank you. You are in a different league of incompetence and disservice to your own citizens.
What I do is that I registered for an account at paypilipinas.com.
PayPilipinas is a website that facilitates payments to Philippine government agencies such as SSS and Pag-ibig. This website is owned by Ventaja and before, it had the facility to pay for other private company bills in the Philippines such as Meralco, Maynilad, Manila Water, etc, but they have moved all of those private billers to PayRemit, which frankly I don’t understand how it works.
PayPilipinas is such a convenient facility for me and I hope Ventaja keeps it as they have started to include SSS payments in PayRemit.
In paypilipinas.com, you could top up your account using credit card (Mastercard or Visa) or through Philippine bank billership. However, If you use credit card to top up your account, the exchange rate is substantially less than the equivalent exchange rate of the Philippine bank top up as everything will be converted to pesos.
As PayPilipinas is not a listed biller in most banks, you have to register it while you are in the Philippines. I have used BPI and Chinabank and the only way to register PayPilipinas as a biller is to register them using physical paperworks in the bank. This is the single most demanding step. After that, you can top up your account at PayPilipinas and enjoy higher rates as if you were paying directly from the Philippines.
Here’s how it works for me as I have an account at Chinabank (only few banks offer online biller facility to PayPilipinas: BPI, Metrobank, PNB, RCBC and Chinabank).
Remit money to Chinabank using remittance facilities because the exchange rate is higher compared to local bank transfer. Pay PayPilipinas biller. Wait for at least 3 days for the bank to credit the fund to PayPilipinas. The amount then appears in your PayPilipinas wallet minus PhP 50.00 facility fee, so make sure to always add P150 (P100 for bank transfer fee and P50 for online facility fee).
Then you can pay either SSS or Pag-ibig using the web interface.
The difference between the amount using bank transfer and credit card top-up is substantial. For example, you want to top up PhP 30,000 to your account. Using Philippine bank transfer, you pay PhP 30,150. If you are using credit card, you pay a total of PhP 32,466 (an exchange rate of $1 = 48.05 and a 4% credit card surcharge).
This is fine for a few contributions but definitely disadvantageous in the long term. Then wait from 3 days to 1 week for the contributions to appear in either Pag-ibig or SSS records.
In Kuwait, there is an online payment facility that is better than any payment facility offered by any Philippine company, except PayPilipinas.com. It’s called Kabayan e-payment services by onepay.com.kw. It uses local debit cards and locally issued credit cards to charge fees. It can be accessed through onepay.com.kw/kabayan. However, the exchange rate is substantially less than when paying through PayPilipinas bank channel ($1 = 45) but it’s still very convenient and very nice when you need to pay your fees fast especially if you haven’t paid the last 9 payments of your SSS and you are running out of time.
I also would like to take this opportunity to encourage people to use paypilipinas.com as it is a very convenient way to pay for SSS and Pag-ibig online, and the only facility that pays using pesos. I am afraid that with the emergence of PayRemit, Ventaja might dissolve PayPilipinas as a result. This would be disastrous for many of us who use online facilities as we have to physically go to a remittance center in a city everytime we need to pay our contributions if no online channels are available.
My accommodation is far away from the city and I only get to go to there once in about 3 months and I hate having to queue up and spend at least 30 minutes just to send money.
Use PayPilipinas to Pay Online SSS and Pag-ibig while Abroad