Citi (NYSE: C) today announced that it will begin testing a new mobile peer to peer payment service with leading mobile payments provider Obopay.
The mobile payment service-offering instant money transfer via mobile phones will be offered initially to select new and existing Citi customers as part of a limited consumer trial in Chicago.
"We continue to innovate and test new things to transform traditional banking," said Darryl Hendricks, President of Citibank Illinois. "For this trial, we are working with Obopay to address our customers' emerging lifestyle needs and support them in accessing their money in a fast, convenient, and secure manner through something they always have with them-their mobile phones."
"Chicago is a great place for this first-ever Citi Obopay trial," said Chicago resident Jeff Semenchuk, Executive Vice President and Head of Growth Ventures and Innovation for Citi's Global Consumer Group. "We chose the Chicago area because those of us who live here are forward-looking and technology savvy, diverse, and we all tend to pretty quickly sort out whether something new is useful or just a lot of hot air. If Chicagoans tell us we're on to something important, that will mean a lot for the potential of mobile payments and banking across the US and internationally."
From parents sending money to a daughter or son in college to a friend reimbursing a friend for dinner, peer to peer payments allow consumers to instantly, conveniently, and securely send and receive money via their mobile phone. Citi customers participating in the trial can open and add money to this new mobile payment account via citi.obopay.com through credit card or electronic bank transfer. Then, using the Obopay mobile application, their mobile Web browser or text messaging, Citi customers can manage this account directly from their mobile phone.
Trial participants will be able to check account balances, view payment histories, and add funds to their mobile payment account. Funds in the Citi Obopay account can also be used through a companion debit card that enables cash withdrawals from ATMs or payment at any store or merchant that accepts MasterCard.
"Together, Citi and Obopay are giving American mobile consumers power over their money no matter where they are," said Obopay CEO Carol L. Realini. "This service is built for today's mobile lifestyle, making cash available to consumers anytime they need it. We're excited to bring this innovative service to new and existing Citi customers in the Chicagoland area."
Chicago area residents can sign up for the service online, and through a special van and support team that will be making stops along the lakefront, in parks, at community events, and in front of some Citi branches in the coming weeks. Consumers can also pick up information about the trial at select Citi branches in the greater Chicago area.