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GrabPay expands its cashless payments

You can now pay for bills, groceries with GrabPay

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The enhanced community quarantine for high-risk areas in the Philippines has been extended until May 15. With strict stay-at-home directives, delivery services saw a notable increase as Filipinos buy essential goods online. Grab expands its GrabPay service to include payments for these goods in order to simplify the delivery process.

Cashless payments for grocery items, bills payment, and more

Responding to the needs of the times, Grab launches GrabMart — an on-demand grocery shopping service. GrabPay is available for items purchased from retailers like Robinsons Supermarket, Great Deals Ecommerce Corporation, FamilyMart, Starbucks,  ASSI Fresh Plaza, Fetch! Naturals, Freshmart, and more. It will also expand to include medicines in the future.

There’s a special promo for those who use GrabMart too. To get a PhP 100 discount, users can use the promo code MART100 for purchases with a minimum spend of PhP 1,000. Meanwhile, MART150 applies a PhP 150 discount for purchases with a minimum spend of PhP 2,000.

Grab users have more reasons to use GrabPay too as it expands to include bills payment for the following:

  • Meralco
  • Manila Water
  • Maynilad
  • Sky Cable
  • Destiny Cable
  • Cignal TV
  • Cable Link
  • PLDT
  • Smart
  • Sun Cellular
  • Smart Bro
  • Globe
  • SSS
  • DFA
  • NBI
  • PhilHealth
  • Unicef
  • VECO
  • Metro Water
  • Auto Sweep
  • Pag-Ibig fund
  • MMDA

Meanwhile, those use GrabFood and GrabExpress delivery service are encouraged to use GrabPay. This will eliminate the need for paying cash and promotes non-direct contact with riders. It also ensures a seamless delivery process and proper social distancing.

Send money to others and pay in physical counters

GrabPay users can also send money to other GrabPay users within the app. Simply go to the Payments tab and tap on the “Send” button. They can then input the desired amount as well as the recipient’s contact number. The amount sent is automatically added to the recipient’s GrabPay balance.

For items available only at a physical store, GrabPay now supports scan-to-pay service to facilitate contactless payments. From the Payments tab, tap the “Pay” button to scan the QR code in a check-out counter. Supported establishments and stores include SM and Watsons. There’s a GrabPay Green Lane for faster checkout in some SM stores as well.

To reload a GrabPay balance, users can top-up from convenience stores or Grab riders or cash-in with their debit or credit cards.

Grab assures its GrabPay users that the payment service is secure and private. The service automatically encrypts and protects personal information and transactions. Users can see all their transactions in a real-time manner and report any problems to Grab.

With the additions to GrabPay’s capabilities, paying digitally is now quick and easy. These new additions are also helpful during these times when social distancing is encouraged to stop the spread of COVID-19.


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

Apps

How to get NBA League Pass with your telco provider

There are two package options

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NBA action is in full swing. In fact, it has been since August when the season restarted following a shut down that was caused by the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic. As of writing, we’re in the thick of the Conference Finals series. If you want to catch all the action, here’s how you can get NBA League Pass through different telecomm providers in the Philippines.

It’s now easier than ever to get access to the games legally. All of Smart, PLDT, and Globe are offering the same price packages.

PhP 85 — Watch any three games of your choice
PhP 485 — 30-day pass for all games including live and on-demand

Here’s how to get the subscription for each provider.

Smart Postpaid and Prepaid
(Also works with TNT and SUN Postpaid)

  • Download the NBA app (iOS / Android /APKPure)
  • On the app, click on the icon at the top-right corner
  • Click sign-in
  • A banner on top of the page will appear for Smart, Sun and TNT subscribers
  • Click ‘Get Started’
  • Enter mobile number for verification and a one-time PIN which will be sent to your mobile number
  • Choose your provider: Smart, TNT or Sun.
  • Choose your NBA League Pass Package (3-game or 30-days) and enter mobile number
  • Confirm your payment by entering the one-time PIN sent to your mobile number
  • Click NBA logo and start watching

PLDT Home

  • Go to pldthome.com/nbaleaguepass
  • Select your preferred package
  • The amount will be added to your next bill
  • PLDT will give a voucher
  • Download and sign-in to the NBA app
  • Enter the voucher in the promotion code field
  • Click NBA logo and start watching

Globe

  • Open the GCash app
  • Go to Buy Load
  • Look for the PayTV tab
  • Choose your preferred package. (Note: The chosen package is valid for 90 days).
  • Confirm payment
  • Open the NBA app and enjoy!

As mentioned earlier, we’re no in the Conference Finals with four teams remaining. Dueling in the West are the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. Meanwhile in the East, it’s a battle between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics.

A new NBA champion will likely be crowned in the next 30 days so now is the best time to subscribe!

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Twitter is probing its AI’s racial bias in picture previews

They’re working on improving it

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Twitter uses a neural network to show you relevant previews of all the pictures that are posted on the microblogging platform. If the image contains text, the area is prioritized for a preview. Similarly, human faces are also given preference.

The preview makes it easier for the viewer to get a gist of the tweet without the compulsion of opening the entire picture. Although, the feature isn’t up-to mark since a lot of users have complained about the AI’s racial bias.

Several users posted a picture that has both, a white man and a black man’s face. But the preview often shows the white man’s face only. Users noticed the difference after a similar anomaly was observed on Zoom, where the facial recognition technology failed to identify a black man’s face, but had no trouble when the skin tone was changed.

 

Liz Kelley from Twitter’s communication team said they had tested the neural system for bias, but didn’t come across gender or racial bias during testing. She also confirmed that they’ve got more analysis to do and shall be open-sourcing all the work for others to review and replicate.

Twitter’s Chief Design Officer Dantley Davis and Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal were quick to acknowledge the shortcoming and said they’re “investigating” the neural network.

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TikTok and WeChat will be banned from app stores in the US

So, did the Oracle deal go through?

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After months of escalating, the US Commerce Department has announced it’ll ban business transactions with TikTok and WeChat. The two apps are owned by Chinese giants ByteDance and Tencent, respectively.

Practically, you won’t be able to directly download the app via stores like Play Store and App Store. Furthermore, companies are also barred from hosting these apps in the US. Essentially, the user won’t be able to download the app from third-party websites that are hosted in the US.

It also blocks US companies from providing services through WeChat “for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.”

However, it remains unclear whether the announcement means the Oracle-TikTok deal won’t be going through. The Trump administration wanted ByteDance to sell its local TikTok operations to an American company.

In the last few months, multiple American giants like Walmart, Twitter, and Microsoft were interested in getting their piece of TikTok. But things haven’t moved smoothly and the Chinese government isn’t keen on handing over TikTok’s algorithm to an American company.

While Oracle has been chosen for a deal with ByteDance, the latter continues to maintain that the ongoing process isn’t an acquisition and Oracle shall be a technology partner. This is in stark contrast to what President Trump envisions as a business takeover.

The app ban could be a tactic to pressure the Chinese, but we can’t be certain of that right now. Going by the latest statements, it’s clear that the administration wants to completely block user’s access to these apps and is willing to go the extra mile.

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