Title of Productivity and Innovation Initiative:
Improving the Efficiency of Transactions through the Makatizen Card
City Government of Makati
May 30, 2017 – present
Digitization & New Technologies; Perspectives on Productivity, Governance, and Development
The Makatizen Card project is a government-issued ID card that consolidates financial and social benefits for the city’s constituency, while also functioning as an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card.
Background and Problems
The City Government of Makati’s efforts to improve the delivery of government services to its constituents has always been open to innovation, most recently evidenced by its usage of card programs to streamline delivery of health benefits as well as that of senior citizen benefits. Engaging a tech-savvy constituency requires that current programs are streamlined and consolidated, a task which necessitates a centralized and efficient method of documentation and delivery of benefits. A persistent concern with many IDs issued by government agencies is the lack of verified information, which hampers the delivery of services by the LGU.
Solution and Impact
The City Government, in partnership with Globe Telecom and its subsidiary GXI and iBayad Online Ventures, launched the Makatizen Card on May 30, 2017. The concept of the initiative is to unify and centralize the following key services in one card:
- Government-Issued ID System: The Makatizen Card is considered a valid government-issued ID that utilizes near-field communication (NFC) technology, allowing for city offices equipped with infrastructure to verify the identity of residents and city government employees. The issue of data gaps is addressed by requiring the card applicants to meet the KYC (Know Your Customer) minimum standards before they are verified by the local government unit. As a result, the process meets standards set by the Central Bank of the Philippines in identification. This practice aims to eliminate the need of bringing additional documents for identification, enabling ease of access in government transactions. The card contains key information such as the bearer’s address, gender, blood type, and emergency contact number.
- Access to Government Services: Aside from being a valid identification card, it is integrated with Globe Telecom’s digital payments platform GCash, which gives the card the functionalities of a virtual wallet. The card itself consolidates the functions of previous programs such as the healthcare Yellow Card, as well as the senior citizen-centered Blu Card. Once a constituent is covered by a social service program, the citizen’s information is updated or saved in the Makatizen Card. Furthermore, it covers services involving monetary transactions, including payment of fees and taxes such as personal remittances, as well as allowing cardholders to receive allowances, stipends, and monetary benefits. The Makatizen Card website stresses that constituents are not required to carry anything except the ID.
- ATM function: The card functions as an automated teller machine (ATM) card linked to the constituent’s GCash account, allowing use at ATMs and mobile points of sale (mPOS) as well as merchant network partners allowing for its use. Even ambulant vendors in the city make use of this function.
- Loyalty and Rewards Program: It provides a return on consistent use of the card for transactions, providing points that may be exchanged for items under the program.
Several Makati constituents show off their newly acquired Makatizen Cards
(Source: The Manila Times)
As of 2021, Makati City government employees make use of the Makatizen card to receive their salaries and allowances, through an integration between the card’s GCash functionality and Landbank. This functionality has allowed the Makati City government to disburse cash assistance to Makatizen cardholders as immediate aid during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The integration of the Makatizen Card with the Makatizen App has created a digital ecosystem where the functionality of government and its provision of services is through an entirely digital and contactless medium. As of 2018, over 100,000 Makatizen Cards have been issued for a population of nearly 700,000, including non-residents.
The Makatizen Card project was recently lauded as the overall winner in the Best in eGov Customer Empowerment (G2C) category of the 2019 Digital Governance Awards held last November 25, 2019, at the Philippine International Convention Center.
On August 12, 2021, in light of the enhanced community quarantine measures employed to address the spread of COVID-19, the Makati City government was able to distribute financial assistance to 233,679 residents (about 52 percent of Makati’s total residents) in just one day. The city government was able to deploy the aid quickly but without compromising people’s safety by partnering with GCash, a digital financial services provider.
Sample of the Makatizen Card (Source: Makati LGU)
City Mayor Abigail Binay during the launch of the Makatizen Card (Source: Rappler)
City Government of Makati. (n.d.). Unified ID for Makatizens. Makati Portal. Retrieved May 4, 2021, from https://www.makati.gov.ph/makatizen
Arcilla, J. (2019, December 2). Makati tops digital governance awards. The Manila Times. https://www.manilatimes.net/2019/12/02/news/top-stories/makati-tops-digital-governance-awards/660645/
Kabagani, L. J. (2021, August 12). 52% of Makati Ecq Cash Aid transferred digitally in 1 day. Philippine News Agency. Retrieved October 11, 2021, from https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1150236. Makati working student makes takes the cashless life thru Makatizen Card. (2019, November 7). Wah Pinas. http://www.wahpinas.com/makati-working-student-makes-takes-the-cashless-life-thru-makatizen-card/