Makati City Leverages Fintech to Distribute Financial Aid to Students
Loyal to its mandate to help its citizens in times of crisis, the City of Makati will disburse financial assistance to 12,000 students and scholars via GCash, the leading mobile wallet in the Philippines, despite the suspension of onsite classes in Luzon.
Each student will be receiving P1,000 cash assistance through their Makatizen cards and GCash accounts.
Makati is the first city in Metro Manila to implement contactless financial assistance through GCash and the Makatizen Card. Only recently, the city government also distributed financial aid to over 8,000 drivers who are part of the Makati Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association (JODA) through electronic means.
“While it is not required for us to be productive, it’s always wise to grow our knowledge. Students can use the allowance to subscribe to digital educational platforms during the quarantine,” said GCash Chief Technology and Operations Officer Pebbles Sy.
Since the widespread implementation of preventive measures to avoid the risk of contracting COVID-19, experts have also warned of possible transmission through paper money. Thus, it is encouraged to resort to digital or cashless transactions to promote public health.
The Makatizen card was launched in 2017 as a shared initiative by the City Government of Makati, GCash, Globe, and iBayad. The card allows thousands of Makati residents and employees to go cashless and digital. Students found it to be an easy alternative to ATM cards since it can easily be accessed through their smartphones.
Each card comes with a GCash mobile wallet, which means that users can use these to purchase groceries, pay bills, and even use it as the mode of payment for their online subscriptions. With roughly 70,000 partner merchants across the archipelago, GCash users would not have difficulty finding stores and services which can accommodate this safer alternative to paper bills.
This means that students can use the cash grant from Makati for e-learning and expand their knowledge to purchase educational materials online. They can top-up their mobile load credits to gain greater access to various information and services that are accessible online. Given that schools are shifting to virtual classrooms, having an e-wallet is more crucial than ever.
Aside from their educational expenses, students can also use their GCash account to buy food, medicines, and other products from grocery stores, convenience centers, and even pharmacies to help out in the family. GCash helps them to continue on with their daily responsibilities while allowing them still to do their part in flattening the curve and staying in line with social distancing protocols.
“GCash is proud to be part of the initiative to help students adjust to the demands of life during a pandemic. The new normal is driven by the digital arena and having access to financial technology could help students to be in tune with the rapid changes that we are experiencing today,” Sy said.