AF PAYMENTS, Inc. (AFPI) said on Monday that it will deliver more reloadable cards to rail operators before the end of the year to address the surge in demand.
“This week, AFPI has delivered a total of 150,000 cards to the rail operators, effectively supplying 80% of the total orders … for 2022,” the company said in an e-mailed statement.
“We are awaiting the delivery of our additional orders in the next few weeks, to be able to supply the balance of 20% before the year ends,” it added.
AFPI, a consortium between the Ayala Group and the First Pacific Group, is the company behind stored-value or beep cards used in rail lines, buses and modern public utility vehicles.
Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Services, previously asked the Transportation department to come up with a solution to address the shortage of beep cards affecting commuters in Metro Manila.
The department said it would study other cashless fare payment methods such as QR codes, ATM, credit cards, and cellular phones.
“As a response to a strong clamor from our customers to make beep card available online, AFPI allocated 1% of its inventory for online sales. We estimated that this should be enough to fulfill the demand for online customers until the end of the year,” AFPI said.
“However, as of this writing, we may have to discontinue online selling anytime now as we are about to reach” the 1% allocation, the company added. “We have not anticipated that the demand for cards online would be this strong.” — Arjay L. Balinbin