The city government of Makati City in Philippines (a part of Metro Manila) has launched a pilot of the Makatizen Card, which will allow the city’s 500,000 residents to access city government services and transact with the city government. They can receive cash allowances, stipends, and other cash benefits using the Card. They can also use their cards to pay fees and taxes, as well as for personal remittances and other financial transactions. City government employees can use their Makatizen Card to receive salaries and allowances.
The Makatizen Card was launched in collaboration with Globe Telecom, its subsidiary G-XChange Inc. (GXI), and iBayad Online Ventures Inc., a FinTech start-up company in the field of mobile payments and e-commerce. Around 1,000 functioning sample cards were launched and tested
The card also functions as an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Card and it is a valid government ID card. It comes with a Near-Field Communication (NFC) feature that allows city offices equipped with iBayad machine readers to verify the identity of residents and Makati City employees in a single tap. It stores the information for easy identification of the the card holders, so that they can access various city government services without the need to present additional documents.
GXI will serve as the financial service provider for the Makatizen Card while iBayad will deploy the mPOS terminals and build the merchant network where the cards will be accepted.
The Makatizen Card is linked with the the GCash mobile wallet. The card will also be used for direct and real-time crediting of salaries and benefits to the GCash wallets of employees, health beneficiaries, senior citizens, and students to improve operational efficiency and tracking of cash flow.
Cardholders can take advantage of the different financial services of GCash and the merchant network support of iBayad to pay government institutions, hospitals and merchants. They can also transact with Jollijeeps (mobile food-sellers), sari-sari stores (neighbourhood convenience store), and itinerant vendors for easier and safer transactions.
A “Makatizen Loyalty and Rewards Program” for Makati City residents and employees will be implemented by iBayad to promote continued use of the card. They can earn loyalty reward points and use them to purchase items.
Makati Mayor Abigail Binay said, “The wide range of digital and mobile services offers the people of Makati more convenient and cost-effective ways of meeting their day-to-day needs and obligations”. She added that this collaboration “takes us a step nearer to achieving our goal of empowering everyone, including those in the marginalized sectors of society, to enjoy a better quality of life.”