Citibank is one of the most active larger banks that actively tries to follow the trends and the demands of their customers and for the longest time, the prime request for their customer has been more present in fintech. Last year Citibank was involved in
one of the biggest fintech projects,
partnering up with Google on Google Pay and backing all the financial procedures conducted on this platform. The bank has mapped out its future strategy to be very tech-oriented and embrace all the perks that come with having access to the tech-savvy consumer
The international presence of Citi accelerate
Now Citi banks are branching out and will be helping out fintech internationally. Citi accelerator which ci a program that focuses precisely on developing fintech strategies and helping local startups with the resources to make their ideas come to life.
The fintech scene has been developing a bit unconventionally, taking off in unlikely places and bringing innovation to the countries that aren't necessarily on the frontlines of the tech scene.
The greatest example of that would be fintech in Africa, where they are far more frequent than in other more developed parts of the world. The need for frictionless payments and the lack of conventional services has created a demand for these changes and
the urgency of the situation has kept the young entrepreneurs motivated to keep on creating.
The west is definitely not the hotspot for fintech and Citi accelerate is looking outwards to find markets with a lot of potential and motivation to grow and develop.
Promoting local startups
In their most recent endeavor, Citi published a list of the most promising Israeli, with
Robin getting most of the attention. The goal was to give startups more exposure and hopefully attract more investors to help accelerate the process of their advancement. Citi bank was not alone in this and worked together with Israeli Discount bank, Intuit
and Visa to celebrate the outstanding fintech startup among the 700 of them operating in Israel right now. Venture capitals like Viola, Pitango, Team8, Qumra Capital and Entree Capital were asked to select their favorite startups to help get them on the list.
This is a great deal for startups to be involved and backed up by groups as big and powerful as Citi. The Citi accelerator is establishing itself as one of the prominent players in the fintech scene, not shying away from investing less “safely” and allowing
younger companies to get a chance to create and promote their product through Citi’s service and their connections.
The list was quite diverse including startups focusing on payment solutions, cybersecurity, loans and credit, and even trading.
Potential of Isreali startup scene
Isreali startup market has had a wonderful year in 2019. As highlighted at the panel held at Citi’s fintech innovation lab located in Tel Aviv. The Isreali startups are getting substantial because investors believe in their products. They have one of the
most diverse and efficient loans and payment systems and they usually operate with the help of AI, the technology that is very well adapted by the Israeli innovators.
Israeli startup market has been growing consistently over the last few years and the investors and venture capitals are confident that
this trend will continue further. As the funds keep pouring in and local startups have more resources to develop cutting edge services, the fintech scene in Israel could soon become the next big thing.
Citibank wants to ensure that it invests ahead of time in the markets that will definitely be growing in the future. This is why Citi accelerates is putting so much effort into their particular market and why they are willing to give exposure to these startups
while also investing in them.
The next stage for this partnership is creating close ties between banks and fintech, a challenge that is universal to all countries and fintech scene because the two don’t seem to mesh well naturally. But since Citi’s partnership with Google turned out
to be successful even despite the controversies surrounding the company’s abuse of the AI and customer privacy, Citi now has more experience than many the similar banks and knows how to create harmony between the decentralized and customer-oriented fintech
and age-old financial institutions that are in a desperate need of a tech update.