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Makatizen Card Launched – Makati to become Country’s First Connected City

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The Makati City government launched yesterday the Makatizen Card which will allow the city’s 500,000 residents to access city government services and transact with the LGU – receive cash allowances, stipends, and other benefits – while allowing the cardholders to pay fees and taxes, remittances, and other financial transactions. The Makatizen Card also functions as an ATM card and is considered as a valid government ID card. The Card is in collaborations with Globe Telecom, GCash (G-Xchange Inc. or GXI), and iBayad Online Ventures.

Around 1,000 functioning sample Makatizen Cards were given out and tested yesterday morning. Beside the city residents, Makati City government employees can use their Makatizen Card to receive salaries and allowances.

The Makatizen Card 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 which easily identifies the card holder availing of various city government services without the need to present additional documents.

GXI (GCash) 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.

Makati Mayor Abigail Binay: “The Makatizen Card goes beyond providing Makati citizens with instant access to essential services of the city government, which in itself is a major leap forward for the city. 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.”

Ernest Cu, Globe President and CEO:For the Philippines to truly become a digital nation, we need to fully take advantage of new digital opportunities and innovations to enable growth in every corner of our country.  We laud the vision of the Makati City government whose support of this initiative is critical to build the city-wide digital ecosystem, a step towards the realization of our dream for the Philippines to become an admired nation.

Albert Tinio, President of GXI (GCash):Each Makatizen Card carries the features of the GCash mobile wallet but is also customized to be used in the city-wide local merchant network.  All services that they will get in Makati City, whether it is payment of taxes, cash allowances for health and other benefits, etc. will be directly credited to this GCash wallet that is linked to  the card.  They don’t have to carry anything except this ID and their mobile phone.

iBayad Founder and CEO Paolo G. Saycon: “For us, the Makatizen Card Project is as much a social endeavour, as it is a business venture. This undertaking is aligned with iBayad’s purpose of developing socially relevant and meaningful financial innovations that will transform the way people pay. Our objective is to accelerate the adoption and transformation of every consumer’s traditional spending behaviour from cash-centric to electronic payments.”

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More on Globe Telecom

Globe has been ramping up network investments in a bid to amplify benefits of its new spectrum assets and enhance mobile services particularly for data. The company has announced a capital spend of $750 million for the year in an effort to continuously improve mobile and data services.  Globe is also aggressively building on its fiber broadband services, aiming to create an internet super highway nationwide. The company aims to deploy fiber optics in 20,000 barangays by 2020 which will provide ultra-fast internet access to around 2 million homes nationwide.

Globe Business, the enterprise information and communications technology (ICT) arm of Globe, is leading the way in encouraging local government units like Makati City to adopt the integration of ICT and governance as a means of improving the delivery of government services and exchange of information.  The said initiative supports Globe’s drive to transform the Philippines into a digital nation by instilling the importance of eGovernance to offices ranging from the local government units up to the national government.

One of the capabilities derived from an improved mobile and broadband infrastructure is the creation of a city-wide cashless ecosystem wherein e-payment methods such as e-money and debit/credit cards are utilized instead of physical cash.  This will benefit not only the residents but also schools, hospitals, government offices, transportation facilities, and other micro, small, and medium-size enterprises.

The Makatizen Card is a product of the Makati City government, Globe Telecom, GCash (GXI) and iBayad, as part of the thrust of Makati City to be the first connected city.

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Source: Press release from Globe Telecom Corporate Communications

Photos from source.

Title photo caption: (L-R): Makati City Vice Mayor Monique Lagdameo; SVP for Enterprise Peter Maquera; Chief Commercial Officer Albert de Larrazabal; Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu; Makati City Mayor Abby Binay; GXI President Abet Tinio; Makati City Administrator Claro Certeza; iBayad CEO Paulo Saycon.

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