[widgetkit id=”576″ name=”Buy fish balls with a card? Possible, if you’re from Makati”]
For a growing number of Makati residents, all it takes is a swipe of a card to pay bills, transact with City Hall, and buy groceries and even fishballs from a street vendor.
Around 10,000 residents have received and activated their Makatizen Card, a unified, multipurpose citizen identification card. The city is on track with project implementation, with data capture conducted on over 120,000 residents to date, and around 25,000 validated and cleared for card printing.
The flagship project is a major initiative among the Makati city government, Globe Telecom, and iBayad Online Ventures, under the city’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) program. “With the Makatizen Card, the city government has taken the first step toward building a cashless ecosystem for our citizens,” said Makati mayor Abby Binay.
So far, 31 payment centers for the Makatizen Card are already available in the city. These @urSerBisBayadCenters are located in 28 barangay halls, at the Ospital ng Makati, University of Makati, and the Makati City Hall.
Makatizen cardholders can pay their utility bills and do other transactions, including prepaid loading and e-money loading for their GCash accounts. “As we have promised, we will make transactions more convenient for Makatizens through the Makatizen Card. With these facilities now within their reach, cardholders can already experience the benefits of the ongoing digital transformation of the city,” Mayor Abby said.
Centers accept payments for Globe, Meralco, Manila Water, Maynilad, University of Makati, Bayan Telecommunications, Bank of the Philippine Islands, PLDT, SMART, Equicom, and Manulife. Also included are Cocolife, Sun Life Financial, Fortune Care, Manila Memorial Park, Eternal Plans, Inc., Innove, Sky, Magnificat, UNICEF, Asian Vision Cable Holdings, and Home Credit.
There’s an added bonus for using the card. For every one peso paid through the Makatizen Card, the cardholder will earn one Makatizen Loyalty Point. These points can be redeemed for special products and services from the Makatizen Rewards Program. Makatizen Loyalty Points can also be converted to GCash and can be added to the Makatizen Card mobile wallet.
Meanwhile, Cash-IN via Globe Partner Outlets and withdrawals using the Makatizen Card at LandBank ATMs are free of charge. For withdrawals at other local banks and overseas banks using the card, local bank standard rate and international bank standard rate will apply, respectively. For Cash-OUT via Globe partner outlets, two percent of the amount will be charged to the cardholder.
For the city government, the mayor says the Makatizen Card is expected to improve operational efficiency and the tracking of cash flow. “The card will be used for direct and real-time crediting of salaries and benefits to the GCash wallets of employees, distribution of cash gifts for senior citizens, providing health card beneficiaries with instant access to services, and remitting allowances of students and scholars,” she explained.
Makatizen card holders can also take advantage of the different financial services of GCash and the merchant network support of iBayad for a wide range of payments. These include government institutions, hospitals, merchants, food operators such as the Makati jollijeeps, sari-sari stores, and even ambulant vendors.
Under the PPP agreement, Globe’s GCash will serve as the financial service provider for the card. On the other hand, iBayad will deploy Point of Sale or POS terminals and build the merchant network where the cards will be accepted.
Speaking before a recent Governance Forum at the University of Makati, the mayor expounded on the benefits of going cashless. “Aside from making day-to-day tasks much more convenient for Makatizens, the project also allows greater transparency in the implementation of the city’s various social welfare programs, thereby ensuring that the right people receive the right benefits in the most efficient way,” the mayor said.
If the cardholder is a city employee, his or her salary will be disbursed through the card, and can be withdrawn from any Landbank ATM, free of charge.
The GCash credited to the cardholders’ digital wallet can also be used for cashless transactions involving daily necessities and bill payments anytime, anywhere. They can also send money to their relatives in the provinces using the iBayad platform, for free. The Makatizen Card can be used for health services at the Ospital ng Makati and free medicines under the Makati Health Plus Program. Through MasterCard, citizens can also shop online and earn loyalty reward points, which can be used to purchase items.
The mayor added: “Since the Makatizen Card is an official government ID, citizens need not present a host of IDs and documents when transacting with the city government. City offices will be equipped with machine readers to verify the identity of Makati residents and city government employees with a single tap of the Makatizen Card.”
For the mayor, the Makatizen Card underscores her administration’s efforts to harness technology to improve governance and to bring government closer to the citizens.
“Technology will also allow us to improve our services, and connect directly with our citizens. By employing technology to create a digital community of Makati citizens—or Makatizens—we aim to remove the traditional bureaucratic boundaries between government and the people; between us, the public servants, and the public we serve,” she said.