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New Citi prepaid card aimed at public sector in the Philippines

Citi has launched the Pag-Ibig prepaid card in the Philippines, which it says will allow more than 12m 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 in the Philippines - late last year. HDMF is the country’s provident financial institution (FI) and membership is mandatory for all Filipino employees, both onshore and offshore, giving the project large scale.

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.”