Citi has launched the Pag-Ibig Citi prepaid card in the Philippines, which the group said would enable more than 12 million Filipinos to use its electronic payments (e-payments) platform.
The launch followed the signing of an agreement between Citi and its first public sector client for prepaid
cards, the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) – also known as the Pag-Ibig Fund -late last year. HDMF is the country’s provident financial institution (FI) and membership is mandatory for all Filipino employees, both onshore and offshore.
The new card is initially being offered to fund members onshore and HDMF will offer it as an option to members for the disbursement of proceeds of multi-purpose loans or calamity loans. The latter allows members who live in an area stricken by natural disaster such as typhoon or flood to borrow up to 80% of their total savings. The card is being promoted to members as a faster, more convenient and safer way of receiving and using their loan proceeds, and members may sign up to avail of the card upon filing their loan applications.
At the launch, Pag-IBIG lauded the partnership with Citi Philippines, as well as issuer Visa, commenting “this is the kind of beneficial consequence that results when government and the private sector work towards a common goal.”
However, a London summit on the industry’s introduction of the technology cautions that testing and acceptance are still at an early stage and firms should proceed with caution.
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