MANILA - AF Payments Inc, the operator of stored value beep cards used by trains and buses, said Friday it was working with the government to improve the cashless system and that the cards at P80 each were selling "at zero-profit."
The new costs, which was implemented on Oct. 1, was also "partially subsidized" since the full cost upon turnover to the buyer is more than its value, AF Payments Inc said in a statement.
AF Payment said the cost of the beep cards were reduced during the initial phase from August to September to lessen the impact of the shift to cashless ticketing. It was initially sold for P50.
Monthly service fees for the first few months of beep card operations were also waived to help bus operators affected by lower utilization of vehicles due to the pandemic, it said.
"AF Payments Inc. (AFPI) is working closely with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), and the public transport operators, for the continuous improvement of the cashless implementation in EDSA. AFPI is committed to supporting the initiative of the government to promote the safety and well-being of the riding public," it said.
The operator clarified that it does not impose a minimum load balance. There are about 7 million cards in circulation to date, it said.
The Department of Transportation said Friday it wants stored value cards of the EDSA Busway to be given for free to provide relief to Metro Manila commuters.
The agency appealed to the company to make the cards free after commuters complained of added costs. The DOTr said it would meet with AF Payments to iron out the pricing issue.
The government earlier implemented the cashless payment system for the EDSA busway to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.