Unlike others, 19-year-old Jhay-Anne Cordova doesn’t need to scramble for change when she grabs her after-school snack. It’s with a quick swipe of her Makatizen Card that gets her through the day.
“I use my card to pay for transactions in malls when I go to the cinema or the grocery,” Cordova says.
Launched in 2017, the Makatizen card is a shared initiative by the City Government of Makati, in collaboration GCash, Globe, and iBayad. The card allows thousands of Makati residents and employees to go cashless and digital.
In her second year at the University of Makati, Cordova finds it easier to accomplish her day-to-day activities with her Makatizen card. It comes in handy when she pays for her various array of books, pens, and notes — tools necessary for her to finish the activities for her courses in tourism.
Two years after its launch, the Makatizen card continues to be a staple in every Makati resident’s life.
Mayor Abby Binay saw the service as a stepping stone toward achieving the goal of empowering everyone, including those in the marginalized sectors of society, to enjoy a better quality of life.
Makati residents who own a Makatizen Card have easy access to government services such as cash allowances, stipends, and other benefits. Cardholders can also easily pay their fees and taxes, including personal remittances and other financial transactions.
As a working student, Cordova finds herself with a busy schedule. Her daily routine includes adapting to her work as a barista in Taguig, a couple of miles away from her school.
“I find it easier to make transactions,” she explains. The Makatizen card can also be used to withdraw from any automated teller machine (ATM) and is a valid government ID — two functions that students really need.
Most students need to obtain various papers to be able to open accounts at banks. Valid IDs are also hard to come by since students often lack the time to apply for them.
“I don’t need to go to the bank anymore, it’s less of a hassle for me,” Cordova explains.
For students, the Makatizen Card functions as an easy alternative to a bank-issued ATM. Cordova specifically focuses on her savings, using her Makatizen card to manage her finances on GCash, the Philippines’ leading digital wallet.
“I find it easier to save and keep track of transactions as it is connected with the GCash app,” she says.
Every Makatizen Card comes with a GCash mobile wallet, with features customized to accommodate Makati City’s expanding local merchant network. Each card is linked to a user’s GCash wallet, making transactions easier as all they need to carry is an ID and mobile phone.
“I don’t leave money on my debit card, I transfer it to my Makatizen Card, and I feel safer when I use it,” Cordova explains.
Although her parents still give her allowance, Cordova does her best to lessen their burden. One of her biggest splurges was when she used her Makatizen card to save up for a flight ticket to Mindanao.
“The Makatizen Card really brings great value into my life, especially since I have access to many government services, while also empowering me to make transactions, save up, and many more,” Cordova says.
For Makati residents like Cordova, the ease of having a digital wallet rings true. She is able to maximize and use its features to the fullest, with the help of the latest innovations in financial technology brought to the country by GCash.
The Makatizen Card, according to Binay, would help “springboard for the rapid transformation of Makati into the country’s first digital city.”
GCash affords users the ability to fully participate in the financial system. It offers users various financial tools under one app, such as savings via GSave, credit line via GCredit, insurance via G Insure, and investments under Invest Money. GCash also allows users to transact both online and offline, process bills payment, and even support causes through mobile donations.
“We believe in partnerships that bring great value to the lives of Filipinos. Apart from enabling more people to participate in the formal financial landscape, GCash is in the business of creating new possibilities for everyone — especially the marginalized,” GCash President Anthony Thomas says.