By Rizal Raoul Reyes
The city government of Makati, in partnership with Globe Telecom subsidiary G-Xchange and iBayad Online Ventures, launched on May 23 the Makati Netizen Card to boost financial inclusion to the residents of the city.
?The launch of the Makati Netizen Card is a step closer to the empowerment of the citizens of Makati especially to the ones belonging to the marginalized sector,? Makati City mayor Abigal Binay-Campos said during the event held in the Makati City Hall.
Binay-Campos said the card will enable the 500,000 residents of Makati to access city government services and allow them to transact with the city government.
Furthermore, the card will allow residents to pay fees and taxes, as well as for personal remittances and other financial transactions.
Meanwhile, Binay-Campos said city government employees can use the card to receive allowances and salaries. The card also functions as an automated teller machine (ATM) card and as a valid government ID card.
?I urged you not to pawn the Makati Netizen Card because this has many purposes,? Binay-Campos said.
Binay-Campos also stressed the Makati Netizen Card also signifies a major leap for the city in its objective to become a smart city in the future.
She added 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.?
?With confidence and optimism, we view this unsolicited project proposal from Globe, GCash and iBayad as the springboard for the rapid 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 communications technology,? she added.
On his part, Globe Telecom president Ernest Cu said local government units (LGUs) around the country must utilize and harness the benefits of ICT to achieve growth.
?For the Philippines to truly become a digital nation, we need to fully take advantage of new digital opportunities to enable growth in every corner of our country,? Cu said in his remarks.
He also commended the leadership of BInay-Campos for initiating the move to make Makati City a smart city.
GXI will be the financial service provider for the Makatizen Card while iBayad will install the Mpos terminals and develop the merchant network where the cards will be accepted.
Furthermore, the card has a Near Field Communication (NFC) feature that enables city offices stocked with iBayad machine readers to authenticate the identity of residents and city government employees in a single tap.