(Last of 3 parts)
The 1,030 pesos (25Canadian dollars) I sent to my brother was sitting in his Smart cellphone for more than a month now. Last week, we took his phone to a Smart Wireless center to finally encash it.
Before we went, I made an inquiry via the Smart Money hotline (15177 on a Smart cellphone). I was told that we can encash Smart Padala at any Smart Wireless Center or Smart Money Loading station. Kewl.
We went to Smart Wireless center in Gateway, Cubao. The cashier had to refer us to a customer service representative because my brother’s Smart Money hadn’t been activated yet.
Here’s an interesting feature of Smart Padala: the Smart Padala recipient does not need to have a Smart Money account. If the recipient is a new user, Smart Padala will create an account for the new user. But the account needs to be activated.
And activate the account we did. The customer service rep did this for my brother. My brother presented an ID, had to key in some keywords, send to a number, key in a PIN and the Smart Money account was activated.
Next, we went back to the cashier. The cashier explained that Smart Money encashes only in multiples of P100. Thus, my brother couldn’t encash the entire P1,030 ““ he could get just P1,000. The P30 remains in his Smart Money account.
This explains the feedback of Lhen in Canada (part 1 of this series) when she told of a story where the remittance recipient did not receive the entire amount.
The cashier asked for my brother’s valid ID. Then Kuya was given instructions on how to send the P1,000 Smart Money from his account to the wireless center’s Smart Money account. As soon as the cashier received the P1,000 Smart Money (my brother received a confirmation message as well), my brother was given P1,000 cash. Kuya had to pay P10 for the transaction. Smart charges 1% of the remittance amount as a processing fee.
Finally, my brother was also offered to personalize the account and get a Smart Money card. The card would allow my brother to withdraw a remittance via ATM, or make purchases with the card just as he would with a credit/debit card. There’s a P200 annual fee for the card.
What I wasn’t able to verify, though, was whether Smart in fact used the birthday of the recipient for security. You see, when I sent money via Smart Padala from Canada, I was required to give the birth date of the recipient. This was part of their security/validation.
The transaction was rather smooth. It took my brother around 20 mins to encash, including waiting in line for the cashier, activating Smart Money and going back to the cashier to exchange Smart Money for cash. No major kinks.
Comparing my brother’s Smart Padala experience to Migs’ G-Cash encashing experience, I’d say that for this round Smart Money did a better job in encashing the remittance.