Prepaid card hatched to aid ‘Sendong’ victims wins global awardBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines–A prepaid card solution hatched by Citibank in partnership with international humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger (ACF International) to better disburse emergency aid in the wake of Tropical Storm “Sendong”–which triggered catastrophic floods in Cagayan De Oro and Iligan cities in December 2011–has earned a key global citation.
The partnership between Citi and ACF International that customized a prepaid card solution for a cash-based emergency intervention program was recognized as the “Judges’ Choice” at the 2013 Paybefore Awards, an annual awards program which honors excellence in the worldwide prepaid and emerging payments industry.
In aftermath of Sendong, ACF approached Citi for a solution to provide emergency aid to over 2,000 affected families. Contributions from ACF’s major donors must be used exclusively to purchase food items in order to ensure that the financial aid was channeled towards alleviating hunger in a crisis situation. ACF wanted to ensure there would not be misappropriation of funds from its donors.
Heeding ACF’s call, Citi came up with “Citi ACF International: Action Against Hunger Prepaid Card” which supported ACF’s high standards of accountability and transparency. Citi established a “closed-loop” system that enabled ACF to disburse the funds within a month of the calamity.
“It was a great opportunity for Citi to leverage our platform in the assistance of disaster-stricken beneficiaries. We were able to develop and implement the program in a short two weeks and the acceptance rate for all issued cards was 100 percent, providing essential support for vulnerable families,” Citi’s new country officer for the Philippines Batara Sianturi said in a press statement.
Siantura, an Indonesian national, assumed office as the country chief for the Philippines effective June 1, taking over the post formerly held by Sanjiv Vohra.
Demosthenes Militante, Food Security and Livelihood Coordinator for ACF International, said: “Having experienced some challenges in the use of prepaid cards in the past, we have been very impressed by the reliability of Citi’s program–the specific customization and the speed of implementation.”
Citi is working on innovative payment delivery across private and non-government organizations through its prepaid card solution in the Philippines. Earlier this year, the Pag-IBIG Citi Prepaid Visa was rolled out in a bid to provide over 12 million Pag-IBIG members a faster, more convenient way of receiving and using their loan proceeds. The Pag-IBIG Fund is Citi’s first public sector client for prepaid cards in the country.