All About Over-the-Counter Cash-ins (Palawan, Cebuana, Villarica, LBC, Robinson’s)

For some people, there is really a need for sending or receiving money via remittance outlets or pawnshops like Palawan Pawnshop, Cebuana, Tambunting and Villarica.

Typical send money form in Palawan Express

It is the bread and butter of OFWs and for the majority of people who don’t have any bank accounts. And they don’t really have a proper alternative.

But the fees they charge are really expensive. Each amount sent has a corresponding service fee. Here are a couple of examples:

Think about it, every 100 has a 3 or a 6 peso fee, which is in short 3 or 6% of the whole amount. Then of course you also have to wait in line just to remit and to claim the money. So much resource wasted.

For the common blue-collar worker, even the act of going to the pawnshop will eat up his time, and usually his time has an equivalent amount of money. Then he would spend a big chunk of his money to send or receive money using this method.

The Power of Digital Wallets

This is where the usefulness of digital wallets is proven. Cashing-in and sending money most of the time is free or has a minimal fee, given both the sender and the recipient are using the digital wallet. This can be GCash, Paymaya or Coins.ph. The only thing needed is a cellphone, which a majority of Filipinos have, no matter how rich or poor he is.

But an effect of this is you need to use the ecosystem of the digital wallet you’ve chosen. You need to use the money for the services supported by the wallet. For example, in GCash you would have the advantage of a lot of merchants supporting GCash QR payments.

Does cashing in have a fee?

For 7-11 cash-ins, there is a 1% fee of the total cash-in amount. For example, if you cash in Php 1000, the fee will be Php 10, and the total amount of Php 990 would be credited or added to your balance. This fee always comes first as it is a 7-11 collected fee.

GCash cash-in for partner outlets is free for the first Php 8000 per month. When the amount goes over the Php 8000 limit, it will incur a 2% fee. This limit refreshes every first day of the month.

For example:
Today, you cashed in Php 7000. There is no fee since it is still below the Php 8000 limit.

The next day, you cashed in Php 2500. Since you went over the limit, there is a fee included with the cash-in but only for the amount over the limit.

The cash-in that has the fee applied is the amount over 8000 this month:
Php 8000 - Php 7000 = Php 1000

Then we subtract from the amount you are cashing in:
Php 2500 - Php 1000 = Php 1500

The fee is 2% of the amount. 
Php 1500 * 0.02 = Php 30

So the total cash-in with the fee would be:
Php 2500 - Php 30 = Php 2470

Any later cash-ins for this month will have a 2% fee after this.

If you are cashing in 7-11, and you’ve exceeded the Php 8000 limit, the 1% fee goes first (7-11 fee), then the 2% goes after (GCash fee).

For example, if you are cashing in Php 1000 in 7-11 after exceeding the Php 8000 limit, the cash-in fee for 7-11 applies first:
Php 1000 - Php 10 (1% of Php 1000) = Php 990

Afterwards, the 2% fee from GCash applies:
Php 990 - Php 19.80 (2% of Php 990) = Php 970.20

The net cash-in amount is Php 970.20.

Once you are near the limit, you will be receiving an SMS and a notification in the app informing you of the charge once you go past the limit.

Please take note that this is only for manual cash-ins — remittances, online cash-in, and bank cash-ins are not included.

If you want to know how to circumvent this fee, you can refer to my fees page to see alternative solutions.

Cashing into GCash

I explained this topic more comprehensively here. For our post, we will focus more on the cash-in services of partner outlets.

There are three types of cash-in, the machine cash-in, the over-the-counter method, and the generate barcode method. There is also 7-11 cash-in since they have their own method as well.

Machine Cash-in

The machine cash-in method I’ve discussed in-depth here. There are two entities that cater to this method – which is TouchPay and eTap.

Over-the-Counter Method

The manual method entails filling up a form and showing a valid ID. Usually, you will also need to register if you are a first time user. This goes for any OTC partner outlet like Palawan Pawnshop, Tambunting, Villarica, Cebuana Lhuillier, and Robinson’s as well.

Basically you need to fill-up your name, the mobile number you are cashing into, the transaction amount and the type of transaction.

You would also need to show an ID. The list of valid IDs are here.

After processing the transaction, you would also receive an acknowledgement receipt of sorts, as well as an SMS notification.

Currently, the shops that are using the over-the-counter cash-in method are:

Generate Barcode Method

This involves showing the generated barcode from the GCash app. Take note that you can set the cash-in amount even before you leave home, since the validity of the cash-in is 3 hours.

You just need to show the barcode or the number code to the shop that supports it. Here is the list:

  • Bayad Center
  • ExpressPay
  • Jaro Pawnshop
  • Ministop
  • Puregold
  • Savemore
  • SM Department Store
  • SM Hypermarket
  • SM Supermarket
  • Tambunting
  • TrueMoney
  • Waltermart

7-11 Cash-in

For 7-11, they use the Cliqq machine to cash-in. You need to put in the amount and the GCash mobile number. After you get the slip from the machine, you need to queue up at the cashier to pay.

There is also a fee of Php 100 per Php 5000 cashed in. So it is better to break it up into smaller amounts if applicable.

What if I don’t get the cash-in from 7-11?

For a really quick resolution, you can call up ECPay support and not GCash. You need to have the receipt with you as they will verify the transaction using the details in the receipt.

How about the limits for cashing-in?

For Fully Verified GCash users, there is a limit of Php 100,000 per month. Once you’ve reached this, you cannot cash-in until the 1st of the succeeding month.

Unlocking Higher Cash-in Limits

You can unlock higher limits by linking your BPI/UnionBank or your Payoneer account/s and utilizing either GSave or GInvest with a Php 100 deposit or investment. As an alternative, you can also subscribe to GCash Pro 99 every month.

Once you do so, you will be able to unlock:

  • A bigger wallet limit – Php 500,000 maximum
  • Higher incoming limits – you will be able to receive up to Php 500,000 into your wallet and daily cash-ins have no limitations
  • Higher outgoing limits – withdrawals will have no limitations per month, and you can withdraw up to Php 100,00 per day

You will be receiving an SMS informing you of the increased limits.

Take note that once you’ve unlinked all of your BPI/UnionBank/Payoneer accounts, the limits will revert back to what it was before.

Summary

I described the process in cashing-in over-the-counter. There are four methods to this — manually, by machine, via generate barcode and through 7-11 Cliqq machine.

Manual cash-in means filling out some forms and having it processed. Machine cash-in uses automated machines to process your cash-in. Generate barcode cash-in is for some of the partners that use scanners to simplify the process. Lastly, 7-11 has his own method via Cliqq machine.

If you need more in depth explanation for cash-in and cash-out, please check my other post here.

If you’d like to learn more about GCash, I created a how-to on the basics of GCash.

Here is a list of links if you’re interested in the main GCash features:

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