All You Need to Know about Using QR Payments in GCash

GCash has made the QR code an integral part of its ecosystem. There are now more than 100,000 merchants using Scan to Pay as a method of payment.

Since GCash is partly Ayala owned, all Ayala malls have a requirement for their merchants to accept GCash. Other malls like SM and Robinson’s also supports cashless methods of payment that’s why you can readily see different QR standees on their cashier counters — GCash, Paymaya, GrabPay and Alipay.

Can you use QR Codes of the other digital wallet apps?

No, the QR code formats are unique to each digital wallet app. Basically a GCash QR code cannot be read by the Paymaya app, for example and vice versa.

There is a BSP mandate to standardize QR code formats, but this only covers what type of QR it is — the actual content still cannot be read by other e-wallet apps.

What are the different types of Scan to Pay?

When we look at the payment options in the GCash app, there are two options — Scan QR Code and Generate QR Code. The difference lies in the way the QR is scanned.

Using Scan QR, the GCash user scans the QR Code, this means that the merchant holds the QR code. The vast majority of GCash merchants use this method, since this is the simplest.

For Generate QR, it’s the opposite. The GCash user generates the QR Code that the merchant scans. This means that the merchants needs to have an actual scanner and be integrated with GCash to be able to use this method.

The two payment options – merchant presented QR (Scan code), or the user presented QR (Generate code)

How does Scan QR Code work?

The GCash user basically needs to scan the merchant presented QR Code, input the amount, then confirm payment. However, there are actually two types of Scan QR — Static and Dynamic.

What is Static QR?

Static QR means the QR code does not change. This is the most common one, since the QR Codes are printed on a piece of board or sticker. Usually the qr code contains the GCash merchant information.

The user experience for Static QR is the simplest to implement but is actually slow, error-prone, and has reliability issues as a payment method for GCash.

It is the slowest method among all of the GCash options because the user needs to input the amount to be paid, then needs to confirm the payment which in total costs two steps.

It is prone to error because you are relying on the user to input the proper amount and this can cause misclicks. Oftentimes, the GCash reference number needs to be inputted or written down by the cashier and this adds to the error factor.

It is unreliable because the merchant only relies on the SMS received on his GCash phone to verify the payment. If there is no confirmation SMS and the cashier does not know how to follow up via text, then the only way is for the customer to wait in most cases.

There are also cases when the cashier does not have the phone with him or the phone hasn’t any power at all which also takes up the queue.

But even if this is the case, this is still the most widely used because it is the simplest to implement. And most of the time, the merchants know their way around this already as GCash has become mainstream.

What does “Alipay also Accepted” mean?

It means anyone with an Alipay app can pay by scanning the GCash QR code. Alipay is one of China’s main digital wallet apps. It means there is interoperability between GCash and Alipay.

This also means that GCash is the tapping into the big Chinese market as well.

How do we pay via Static QR Scan to Pay?

We first select Scan QR Code, then use the camera to scan the code. After which we input the amount and verify the payment.

Where can I see the full Static QR merchant list?

The full merchant list can be seen from the side menu. After clicking it you will see different categories (Pharmacies, Supermarket, Food, Retail, Convenience Stores, Transportation, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Services).

When you click any of these, you will see the featured merchants and the full list for that category.

What is Dynamic QR?

Dynamic QR means the QR Code changes depending on the details included in the order. Usually the amount is already integrated with the order, that’s why the QR code is always unique every time it is generated.

Because of this, the merchant needs direct integration to GCash to be able to implement this. They also need a way to be able to show the dynamic code (usually an LCD screen).

Some notable Dynamic QR merchants include selected SM Department Stores (like SM Makati and SM Aura) and also all SM Hypermarkets / Supermarkets nationwide.

Here is an example of a payment terminal with GCash Dynamic QR in SM Department Stores
How do we pay for Dynamic QR?

The steps are similar to Scan Static QR above, but we remove the input amount step. This makes the whole process faster and also eliminates the error factor from the user.

Also, the merchant should know the payment results right away, which also removes the unreliability of SMS notification.

What are some issues with Scan QR?

For Static QR, the merchant is not integrated with GCash, that is why SMS notification is his only means of knowing whether the payment succeeded. This is why sometimes when there are issues with SMS sending merchants have no choice but to call the GCash hotline.

That is not the case with Dynamic QR, since the merchant can know immediately whether the payment succeeded or not.

How do vouchers work with Pay QR?

You can check first in your Voucher Pocket what available vouchers you have. Then it would be better to check for conditions first before using the voucher.

For example, there minimum purchase amounts or you can only use it with a specific merchant or you can only use it with a specific type of merchant (i.e., drug stores, food, etc).

To use the voucher, either click on the “Use” button in the voucher, or selecting the voucher from the payment confirmation page.

How does Generate QR Work?

Generate QR means the GCash user generates the qr code themselves. The merchant will be scanning the generated code using their scanner.

gcash pay qr
Generate QR in GCash app

This is the fastest mode of payment because the amount is inputted by the merchant and there is no verification part. You only need to have your code scanned. The GCash user will still be receiving a success page, and also an SMS notification.

Some Generate QR merchants are Puregold, Bonchon, BEEP and Starbucks.

QR Scanner that supports Generate QR in Starbucks

How do vouchers work in Generate QR?

Vouchers are automatically selected when you scan. There is no way manually to select which voucher you will be using for payment. It would be helpful to check first the conditions of the voucher you plan to use before paying.

What are some common issues encountered with Generate QR?

The main issue encountered is by far the “balance not enough” error. This is due to the fact that the GCash user cannot see his balance before paying.

Also, another is the “without available pay method” error. This usually means that you have GCredit selected but GCredit is unavailable due to downtime.

Can you use GCredit with both Scan to Pay and Generate Barcode modes of payment?

Yes, you just need to select it right before the verify page for Scan QR. For Generate QR, it’s right on the generation page itself.

Does this contribute to GScore and GCash Forest points?

Yes, GScore gets a snapshot of your money habits, so this definitely takes it into account. As for GCash Forest EPs, payments unfortunately do not contribute to EP generation.

How do I go about applying as a GCash merchant?

You can refer to what I’ve already posted here about applying for GCash acceptance and what to expect as a merchant partner.

Do you have a list of payment integrated merchants?

You can take a look at this page for the list of integrations in GCash.


We talked about the different methods of payment in GCash — via Scan QR or Generate QR.

Scan QR in turn comprises of Static QR and Dynamic QR. Static QR is the most mainstream and what most of GCash merchants use — this is where the QR code is printed in paper. Dynamic QR is a QR code that changes based on the payment information, and needs a screen to display the QR code. Some SM Supermarkets and malls have this payment method available.

Generate QR is a GCash user creating a QR and having it scanned by a merchant. The payment experience is fast, and is best for supermarkets like Puregold. Starbucks also has this method included as well as BEEP ticketing.

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

Here are a couple of more links if you’re interested with other GCash articles:

If you would like some tips on how to create a blog from scratch, I’ve created a resource page.

How do you like the article? Did I miss anything? Please add your comments and suggestions below!

22 thoughts on “All You Need to Know about Using QR Payments in GCash”

  1. Hi! We recently opened a donation drive. We opened a Gcash account so those who would like to donate can just send money to that Gcash account. Is there a way I can generate a QR code for that Gcash account so that I can share it to others to those who would like to donate?

  2. Hi! Someone send me money thru gcash, but my balance is still 0. He told me to have a gcash voucher first to complete the transaction and for me to receive the money. Is it true or not?

  3. Hi, is there any way that I can use my GCredit in paying but using other other banks QRCode? For example, if the store is not a partner/certified merchant but they have a QRCode of Metrobank or any bank. Can I use that QRCode using my GCredit to pay?

  4. Hi! I’m just wondering is Gcash for business is only for QR codes? What if the customer doesn’t know the process of QR code and just wanted to express send (type in the number). Will our corporate name appear or the name of the representative will appear?

    • For business QRs you cannot do express send, you can only do payment. And for businesses, the amount for the day is settled into the bank account.

    • nakasave po ang first 5-10 QRs for generate QR, no need for data; but if you are using globe no, data is nonmetered (or free) for any gcash feature (except those that call third party apps)


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