Spending money virtually seemed terrifying a year ago, but 12 months under quarantine forces you to get creative with how you save and spend. Almost everyone got a bank app or virtual wallet to make spending easier and safer during pandemic year 2020 and while 2021 offers hope with vaccines, digital financial services may stick long after the quarantines and face masks.

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Going all-out online banking may seem farfetched, but it does have its perks like time saved and lines avoided. Getting smart with your usage can also save you money in the long run.

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Here's are ways to save money by going all-out online banking:

Stay at home

Thinking about itno need to spend for parking or gas and you can transact on the go even from the comfort of your own home. You don't even have to trudge back inside in case you forget to grab your trusty face shield and mask combo.

It might not seem like much now, but skipping any lineor parking ticketis money saved.

Going online is free

Transitioning to mobile or virtual banking is free. Apps tied to your bank are available for download on the app store for both Apple and Android devices. Mobile wallets like GCash and PayMaya only require a phone number to start an account.

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Pre-pandemic times meant having to sign up for these online accounts at the bank, but we're in an ongoing health crisis now, and most of it can be done online as well.

As for mobile wallets, you may need to submit proof of identity to enjoy the full list of services which include sending money to another account or cashing in via your preferred bank.

This too can be done online. Just snap a photo of your government ID. Approval takes up to a day at most.

Rebates and promos abound

Choosing to pay for your utilities virtually cuts your waiting time at a line and could earn you discounts in the future.

Payments made using your banking app or mobile wallet can be a way to work towards rebates. Discounts on load and bills are offered periodically on the GCash app, and the same is true for PayMaya. Transacting using the app can also earn you a raffle entry to giveaways hosted, usually during special events or holidays.

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Bayad, the mobile app of physical payment channel Bayad Center, offers some rebates when you pay your bills. You can use these rebates to pay for future bills.

You can get free shipping coupons

Take it from me, a self-proclaimed Shopee free shipping voucher collector. Saving P50 to P100 makes a difference if you're ordering a lot of things-be it essentials or a well-deserved splurge.

Earlier this year, I put in a reasonable amount of money in my Lazada wallet from GCash and got P500 Lazada credits. Last 3.3, I loaded up my ShopeePay from my GCash and got free shipping vouchers for all my orders.

A QR code is your friend

Banks like BPI allow their clients to receive and send money by scanning QR codes. BPI to BPI transactions inputted manually will deduct a P10 service fee, but you can keep your money if you pay via QR code scan.

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Other banks such as Unionbank and Robinsons Bank also let you transfer funds by QR code. GCash and PayMaya have a scan QR function which allows you to pay for that food order minus the hassle of digging for loose change in your wallet.

InstaPay and PESONet are free for some banks

Additional transaction fees for bank transfers weren't made up during the pandemic. They've always been around, but seeing anywhere from P10 to P15 get deducted from your precious savings during a tough time can dampen your mood, especially if you just scored a brand new air fryer you've been waiting to go on sale for months.

Interoperability comes at a price, but some banks have chosen to waive those transfer fees during the pandemic to give relief to clients and consumers.

Here are banks waiving fees for InstaPay and PESONet for now:

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