Citi bids for online auctions with free P2P payments

Citi bids for online auctions with free P2P payments

Citibank is cutting fees for its c2it person-to-person (P2P) payment service in a bid to muscle in on the online auction market, currently dominated by independent operator PayPal.

Effective immediately, c2it has removed the transaction fee charged to its customers to send money online in the US. The bank is promoting the benefits of the revised pricing structure to online auction users, who are among the most active users of e-mail-based payments services. Now, buyers using the Citi system for online auctions will no longer be charged a transaction fee by c2it to pay for their items. Online auction sellers, like all recipients of funds through c2it, will continue to be able to receive funds online without a fee.

In addition, c2it is offering online sellers the opportunity to earn an additional $5 for every new user they refer to c2it. When a seller includes the c2it logo on the item for sale, or on his or her Web site, and a user clicks on the logo and successfully enrolls in c2it, the seller earns the $5 referral bonus. Citi says the referral programme is unique in that all c2it members are eligible to earn the bonus, plus there are no limits to what an individual may earn.

Citi already has an established relationship with AuctionWatch, a provider of sales solutions that support sellers using fixed-price online marketplaces. But if the bank really wants to penetrate the online auction market it will have its sights set on eBay, where it will come up gainst the popular PayPal and a rival joint venture service provided by the auction house in association with Wells Fargo.

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