Citi, Visa Launch Prepaid Card in Philippines (Jan. 30, 2013)
Jan. 30, 2013
Citigroup Inc. and Visa Inc. are joining forces in the Philippines to launch the new Pag-IBIG Citi Prepaid Card, which could reach as many as 13 million Filipinos through its link to the nation’s social security program. The reloadable Visa card is available to all citizens who belong to the Philippine government’s Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) and receive approval for loans through the fund, according to an announcement from the government-sponsored Pag-IBIG Fund. Visa in recent months stepped up prepaid and debit card development in the Philippines and MasterCard launched a prepaid card there in 2011 with the Philippines Savings Bank.
All employed citizens of the Philippines under the age of 60 are required to contribute between 1 and 2 percent of their incomes to the HDMF each month toward future social security benefits, which employers match. HDMF members who make at least 24 monthly contributions are eligible to apply for a loan through the fund for disaster assistance, health, education or home improvements, according to Pag-IBIG. Consumers may apply for the loans at Pag-IBIG branch offices. When applicants’ loans are approved, they will receive a Pag-IBIG Citi Prepaid Card enabling them to withdraw cash from local banks’ ATMs and also make purchases anywhere Visa cards are accepted, the announcement said.