Makati residents can pay taxes, buy from food stalls with new ‘Makatizen card’
In Makati, residents will soon be armed with a card with which they can do a wide range of city transactions—from paying their taxes to getting their meals from “Jollijeeps.” City government employees will also be receiving their salaries from the same card, while those who frequently use the card will earn points they can save and spend.
It’s all part of a plan to encourage the residents to shift from the old ways of cash transactions to the more convenient modes of electronic payments. Fulfilling its vision to become the first ever digital city in the Philippines, the Makati local government has partnered with Globe Telecom, its subsidiary G-Xchange (GXI) and iBayad Online Ventures Inc. to launch the groundbreaking “Makatizen card”.
The prestige pass will provide Makati’s 500,000 residents a centralized medium to access city government services as well as everyday transactions within the municipality.
Speaking to esteemed guests and members of the local press during the Makatizen Card launch at the Makati City Hall on Tuesday, Mayor Mar-len Abigail Binay credited the innovation as a “major leap forward” for the city of Makati.
“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 life,” Binay said, who also revealed that her father, longtime Makati mayor and former Vice President Jejomar Binay, has always wanted a unified form of payment for the city.
“We view this unsolicited project proposal from Globe, GCash and iBayad as the springboard for the rabid transformation of Makati into the country’s first digital city, where citizens and civil servants are able to experience the optimum benefits of the latest innovations in information technology,” she said.
Moreover, the Makatizen card—which would be credited as a valid government ID—could also be used by cardholders as means to receive cash allowances, stipends and other cash benefits.
Makati government employees, meanwhile, could use the card to receive salaries and allowances, as it also functions as an automated teller machine (ATM) card.
Innovation at one swipe away
To accommodate the city’s ambitious goals to become the country’s first “connected city,” Makati officials enlisted the aid of the top-tier technology titans in the industry today.
Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu took part in the launch and explained the unlimited possibilities in store for the country in the coming years.
“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,” the telco executive said. Cu praised the Makati City government for its “support of this initiative (which) is crucial to build the city-wide digital ecosystem.”
Aside from easier access to government related transactions, the Makatizen card will also allow users to purchase goods from a large local merchant network.
Through the features of the GCash mobile wallet of iBayad, cardholders may transact to a wide array of institutions—including local shops around the University of Makati, as well as hospitals in the area.
The card payment option will even be available for small businesses like sari-sari stores, ambulant vendors and even the city’s “Jollijeep” food stalls.
— Khris Ibarrola (@KIbarrolaINQ) May 30, 2017
GXI will make this service possible by distributing several mPOS (mobile point-of-sale) terminals to establishments, and aims to build a larger merchant network over time.
“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.” Albert Tinio, President of GXI, explained the slick new feature.
“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 echoed his sentiments and said: “Our objective is to accelerate the adoption and transformation of every consumer’s traditional spending behavior from cash-centric to electric payments”.
Furthermore, iBayad will also be implementing the “Makatizen Loyalty and Rewards Program” which would give users loyalty reward points to purchase items.
Upcoming perks will also include free movie passes and a shuttle service from the city hall to Brgy. Pembo and Brgy. Bangkal.
Currently, the Makatizen cards are being rolled out to Makati government employees and senior citizens, while the rest of residents will be able to avail in the coming days. JB
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