Commuters urged to 'take care' of Beep cards as global chip shortage persists

Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 05 2022 06:22 PM

MANILA - Commuters should take care of their existing Beep cards as there is a shortage of Stored Value Cards (SVCs) due to the global microchip crunch, its operator AF Payments Inc (AFPI) said Monday.

Beep--the cards used for cashless fare payments for rail lines and other public transport-- is operated by AF Payments Inc (AFPI), which is a consortium of the Ayala and First Pacific Groups. 

“Take care of your cards the way you take care of your wallets. That essentially is what it is," said Jonathan Juan Moreno, President and CEO of AFPI.

The company said it has taken steps to make lessen the number of inactive SVCs. Based on AFPI data, only 2 to 3 million cards have been used regularly out of 9 million issued SVC cards since 2014.

AFPI is also urging users to share their Beep cards with family members or friends they commute with to lessen the number of needed SVC cards.

In a statement, DOTr cited the “limited access to special gasses from Russia to manufacture NXP chips, the lingering repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic in major manufacturing hubs such as China, and increased shipment and logistics costs due to the global economic downturn as factors contributing to the supply shortage of stored value cards. (SVCs).” 

Because of this, the Transportation Department said Beep Card provider AFPI could not fulfill the delivery of 75,000 SVCs for July 2022 “despite its repeated and diligent coordination with card suppliers abroad.”

Moreno said the requirement is about 400,000. An order of 1.2 million was placed but there is no guarantee of how many will be delivered.

Last week, the Department of Transportation launched an EMV-enabled bank cards jeepney routes at PITX. The pilot route covers PITX to Quezon City and vice versa. 


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