MasterCard names 27 Thai cities to its smart city program

United States-based MasterCard will work with 27 Thai municipalities to transform them in smart cities as part of its City Possible program under an agreement signed last week with the Thai government.

“Creating smart cities is a long-term commitment,” said Miguel Gamino, Executive Vice-President for global cities at MasterCard, who signed an agreement with the government’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency last week to work with Thailand to develop smart cities.

In addition to digital and technical support, MasterCard’s City Possible program will provide Thai municipal leaders with access to a global community of urban leaders, businesses, NGOs, and academics who can share their knowledge through several related forums.

The Thai government is committed for both the long term and also aims to move quickly. In March, the government’s National Smart City Committee said that it would seek to turn 30 cities in 24 provinces into smart cities by next year and support 100 cities to achieve that status by 2022.

Government officials are determined to see Bangkok, Phuket and Khon Kaen move into the top 20 in the global smart city rankings by 2022.

The government has launched a City Data platform intending to provide 100 e-services to city residents by 2022. Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Juntong said that building smart cities nationwide is a government priority. The plan is to make existing cities smarter with modern design and intelligent technology.

MasterCard’s Gamino said, “In Thailand, MasterCard is keen to explore the implementation of City Key, a platform launched in partnership with Honolulu.

“City Key combines a universal municipal identification with payments functionality, helping cities engage residents more inclusively and cost-effectively,” he said.

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