Are Stored Value Cards (SVCs) Different From Beep™ Cards?

The old Stored Value Cards (SVC), tailored for specific rail systems, is, in fact, different from the Beep™ cards we now currently use, but they actually also share some similarities. However, it’s more precise to view the Beep™ card, with its MIFARE DESFire EV2 and NFC technology, as an upgraded and improved version of the traditional SVC with magnetic stripe. It is, in fact, a more modern iteration of the old SVC, modified with new features and functions for interoperability. 

While the old SVC served its purpose within designated rail lines, the Beep™ card transcends these boundaries, offering the same seamless access across the different train lines. With its upgraded technology, the beep™ card also represents a leap forward in urban transportation payment systems, catering to the evolving needs of modern commuters for enhanced convenience and efficiency. Plus, it works as the same payment option in other industries, too, including ferries, buses, and even some retail establishments. For a closer look at how the old SVC fare in comparison with the beepTM card, keep reading this guide.

Stored Value Cards (SVCs) vs Beep Cards

Stored Value Cards (SVC) vs BeepTM Cards

One of the most notable developments in the history of the urban transportation systems of Metro Manila is the change in the payment systems used in the train lines from the old SVCs to the contemporary beep™ cards. While the old SVCs serve well as a ticket to specific rail stations, beep™ cards serve as a versatile payment solution that extends beyond transportation. BeepTM cards users can also use it to make purchases in various retail terminals and earn rewards points from loyalty programs with ease. This multi-functional approach enhances the utility of beep™ cards, providing commuters with a seamless and rewarding experience both in transit and during their everyday activities.

Photo credit: Swift Foods Corporation/ Facebook

If you are wondering how these two systems differ, then here are some of the main differences between the old SVCs and the more modern beep™ card:

Flexibility of Card Use (Where to use)

SVC with Magnetic Stripe: Line-specific, limited to particular rail lines where it was purchased

Beep™ Cards: Valid across all three major rail lines – LRT-1, LRT-2, and MRT-3  

While the old SVC constrained commuters to the specific rail line where it was bought from, the beep™ card revolutionized urban commuting by offering seamless access fare cards across all major rail lines and some, enhancing flexibility and convenience for commuters.


SVC with Magnetic Stripe: Single fixed denomination of P150

Beep™ Cards: Can reload varying amounts, from P12 to P10,000 with a one-time fee of P30 to P50

The old magnetic stripe SVCs used to be offered with a single fixed denomination of P150, limiting flexibility for commuters. Conversely, beep™ cards allow users to load varying amounts, ranging from P12 to P10,000 from various reloading places, accommodating diverse budgets and travel frequencies.


SVC with Magnetic Stripe: Three (3) months

Beep™ Cards: Four (4) years with option to extend for one (1) more year 

SVCs have a limited validity of three months, with unused value becoming void after this period. In contrast, beep™ cards boast a longer validity of four years, with the option to transfer unused value to a new card. The extended validity period feature of beep™ cards contrast sharply with the short validity and non-transferability of old SVCs, offering commuters greater peace of mind and cost-effectiveness.

Post-Consumption Convenience

SVC with Magnetic Stripe: Needs to be surrendered when used up  

Beep™ Cards: No need to surrender after consumption

Unlike SVCs, beep™ cards do not require surrender after consumption of the loaded value, offering added convenience for commuters. This feature enhances the overall user experience, making beep™ cards a more practical and user-friendly option for urban commuters.

Point of Purchase Accessibility

SVC with Magnetic Stripe: Available at train stations

Beep™ Cards: Available at train stations, selected bus stations, and external merchant partners.

Unlike the limited availability of old SVCs at train stations, beep™ cards offer greater convenience with multiple purchase points, including bus stations and external merchant partners like fast food outlets, convenience stores, toll ways, parking, etc., catering to commuters’ diverse needs and ensuring wider accessibility.

Load Transferability

SVC with Magnetic Stripe: Non-transferable, becomes void upon card expiry

Beep™ Cards: Allows transfer of remaining value to a new card

The extended validity period and transferability feature of beep™ cards contrast sharply with the short validity and non-transferability of old SVCs, offering commuters greater peace of mind and cost-effectiveness.

Exclusive Use vs. Multiple Applications

SVC with Magnetic Stripe: Exclusively for rail line access.  

Beep™ Cards: Offers multifaceted applications beyond transportation, including purchasing goods and services from various merchant partners.  

While old SVCs served a singular purpose and were restricted to particular rail lines, beep™ cards expand possibilities with applications beyond major rail lines such as LRT-1, LRT-2, and MRT-3 and other transportation systems like buses and ferries, by also allowing it to be used for paying for purchases from merchant partners, granting unparalleled flexibility and convenience.

Card Types

SVC with Magnetic Stripe: Offered limited options – Stored Value Cards (SVC) with fixed denominations

Beep™ Cards: Can be reloaded with amounts ranging from P12 to P10,000

SVCs typically offered fixed denominations, providing commuters with limited flexibility in managing their travel expenses. In contrast, Beep™ cards empower users with the freedom to load amounts tailored to their budget and commuting needs, ranging from minimal fares to larger sums, catering to a diverse range of budgets and travel frequencies.

Video: Benefits and Features of Beep™ Cards

For more detailed information on how beep™ cards work as well as the different features and its benefits to you as a commuter, you may check out this video from Beep Commute:


The transition from old SVCs to beep™ cards represents a significant leap forward in urban transportation payment systems. With enhanced flexibility, accessibility, and functionality, beep™ cards embody the evolving needs of modern commuters, ushering in a new era of convenience and efficiency in urban commuting. As urban landscapes continue to evolve, so too will the beep™ cards, promising a more seamless and interconnected commuting experience for all.

error: Content is protected !!