With thousands going back to the workplace in the Philippines amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the commuting public has to adapt to the new normal for their protection. The Department of Transportation has released community guidelines to address this, one of which is the mandatory use of cashless payments in public transportation. This has made contactless payment technology such as the TRIPKO transport card more important than ever.
Apart from the normal challenges of using public transportation, commuters must now also practice social distancing. They also worry about interacting with other people and touching shared items such as cash. This is why more Filipinos have embraced digital amid the pandemic. TRIPKO, which works in conjunction with the TICKETKO automated ticketing system, is geographically the most widely-accepted transport card in the country today. Using the TRIPKO transport card minimizes three main contact points. This allows transport companies to better protect the commuting public and their own employees.
“With TICKETKO and the TRIPKO card, there is no need for manual tickets, no need to hold money, and no need for manual logging in each and every trip manifest. The reloadable payment card is not new to the world, but the Philippines has been lagging behind our neighboring countries. Journeytech would like to contribute to nation-building with the TRIPKO card. Contactless payment is here to stay as our technology is able to address the general need for safety, hygiene, and ultimately convenience for the commuting public,” Journeytech Marketing Director Louise Yu told Digital Life Asia.
Complying with guidelines
TRIPKO is a product of Journeytech Inc. This 10-year-old information technology company focuses on digitizing the transportation payment landscape to promote security and efficiency to the riding public and transport operators.
Apart from protecting the commuting public and the transport companies’ employees, TRIPKO also makes contact tracing easy. Each TRIPKO cardholder registers their card online. Whenever a passenger taps the card, the system automatically has a record of who is inside the public vehicle. This complies with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board‘s new normal requirement to keep a trip manifest or logbook of passengers for contact tracing. TRIPKO does way with having to use pen and paper for manual logging onsite.
HM Transport was one of the few bus companies immediately allowed to operate during the general community quarantine. This is because of their ability to accommodate cashless payments. Since August 2019, HM Transport has used TRIPKO in two of their routes: Starmall Alabang-BGC and Pacita-BGC. This June, they commenced cashless payment in the Alabang Town Center-BGC P2P, and are also arranging other routes.
Last year, EcoDyip with its DyipKo modernized jeepneys offered the TRIPKO payment option in their PITX-Lawton route. In February 2020, it was launched in the Bahaghari Kapit Bisig Transport Cooperative in Mindoro. Other TRIPKO clients include JAM Liner, Cher Transport, AB Liner, Basicano Transport, and Ilagan Public Utility Transport Cooperative, among others. At least 50 more routes are underway as TRIPKO continuously deploys the system to other transport companies nationwide.
The journey to TRIPKO
Donavan Yu, the CEO of Journeytech, founded the company in 2010.
“He was previously the country manager of Aviva Insurance Philippines and he has extensively held regional management roles across Asia. I, on the other hand, handle marketing activities, owing to my strong background from Ayala Aon Corp. Procter & Gamble, and Fonterra Brands,” Yu said.
“We established Journeytech to be the pioneer in providing the best risk management tool for the logistics industry, MARK GPS Tracking Solutions. We then ventured into the transport industry when we launched TICKETKO, the automated fare collection system for PUVs. It is the most complete transport ticketing system that integrates web, mobile, and RFID technology,” she said.
In August 2019, Journeytech launched TRIPKO, initially with HM Transport. Yu said the “TRIP” in TRIPKO stands for Transport, Recreation, and other Interests Purchase.
“Alongside assisting transport companies in managing very challenging and highly dynamic operations, we realized the need for a more convenient, hassle-free trip for the commuting public. It was meant to alleviate the daily woes of commuters. How they cannot rest during the trip because they are scrambling to prepare the exact fare. Or they are waiting for their change, which sometimes they don’t really get anymore. Plus the fear of their wallets being stolen, as well as budgeting concerns.
“Moving forward, the TRIPKO card, as its complete name suggests, would be used beyond transportation needs. Just like the Octopus card in Hong Kong, or the other tap cards in the world, TRIPKO can be used for other purposes such as food, shopping, and so on,” Yu said.
So, are you ready for contactless payment? Use TRIPKO on your next trip.