The London borough of Westminster is rolling out a new digital card which residents will be able to use to access a range of local services. It is understood to be one of the first multi-service digital cards to be implemented by a UK local authority.
The card, which works in conjunction with the new MyWestminster portal, can be downloaded to both Apple Wallet and Google Pay. It will enable residents to access services run by Westminster City Council without needing to remember a physical card or repeatedly prove eligibility.
Initially, the digital card will provide access across Westminster’s library services. It will also be compatible with the free-to-use City Save scheme, which offers residents discounts on select local services and attractions, including galleries, food and drink, and leisure.
Councillor Paul Swaddle, Cabinet Member for Finance and Smart City at Westminster City Council, commented: “The new MyWestminster portal is a key example of how we plan to make Westminster a world-leading smart city with people at its heart and marks a key first step in our digital journey.
“The portal makes accessing services simpler and more intuitive, and our digital card will offer a technology-driven, environmentally-friendly experience sitting alongside other cards in your Apple or Google Pay wallet.
“London is the fintech capital of the world and so it’s absolutely right that residents in the city centre are able to harness technology to navigate Westminster with ease. We look forward to opening up access to a range of services, from local swimming pools to gyms – watch this space.”
Residents will be invited to submit feedback on the card, including which services they would like to see added next and ideas for improvements.
Workshops will also be offered, in partnership with library teams, for those residents who are less confident with laptops or mobile phones.
Smart city strategy
Aruj Haider, Westminster’s Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, commented: “For us, a truly smart city puts the needs of its residents at the heart of how services are designed – the launch of the MyWestminster portal and card puts this strategy into action. As we add services to our digital card, we hope our city will become even more accessible for the benefit of all.”
US cities including New Orleans and Los Angeles have also launched multifunctional city card programmes – with a focus on financial inclusion.
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