Citi launches m-banking in Singapore

Source: Citi

Citibank Singapore Ltd has launched a comprehensive Mobile Banking solution that provides customers with transactional banking services and real-time information on their mobile phones.

Citibank customers will be able to bank while on the move via two key platforms - Citi Mobile and Citi Alerts.

Citi Mobile allows all customers who have internet access on their mobile phones to carry out transactional activities, including funds transfers and bill payments via their handheld devices. It is browser-based, requiring no registration or software download. Citi Alerts is an SMS service that notifies customers automatically when a banking activity such as a salary credit or a credit card charge occurs. It also allows customers to access their banking and card information on-demand via two-way SMS.

Together, Citi Mobile and Citi Alerts provide customers with a seamless mode of banking that is truly on-the-go. For example, if a customer is awaiting his salary credit in order to pay his credit card bill, he can request to be alerted via Citi Alerts when a GIRO payment is made to his account. Once he receives the SMS alert via his mobile phone, he can login to Citi Mobile to make his credit card bill payment. When his transaction has been completed, Citi Alerts will send him a notification SMS to inform him that payment for his bill has been received. The entire transaction can be made securely while a customer is on-the-go, enabling him to better manage his cash flow.

Daniel Li, Director of eBusiness, Citibank Singapore Ltd., explained: "The rapid adoption of data plan subscriptions and web-enabled smartphones in Singapore has fueled the interest and appetite for mobile banking, which is why we have come up with an all-encompassing mobile banking solution. Citi's Mobile Banking platform represents a major milestone in our quest to make banking more accessible and convenient for our customers. It is seamless and convenient, requiring neither enrolment nor software download."

Singapore currently has the highest rate of mobile phone ownership in the world (The Nielson Company, January 8, 2009) with a mobile penetration rate of greater than 130 percent. Over the past three years, 3G mobile subscriptions jumped nearly eight times to more than 2.6 million in the first quarter of this year, according to the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.

Citi Mobile
With Citi Mobile - a customized version of Citibank Online optimized for standard mobile devices including the iPhone - Citibank customers can use the same Citibank Online login access with their card number and PIN to manage their bank, card, and investment accounts through their mobile phone. Information on FX rates, Citibank ATM and branch locations, and the best Gourmet Pleasures dining, and other deals available with Citibank credit cards can all be found on Citi Mobile.

Banking with Citi Mobile is a secure process with end-to-end encryption. Transactions are protected with the One-Time PIN (OTP), which is sent via Flash SMS to provide superior usability. Flash SMS works similarly to the normal SMS, but is sent as a layer on top of your browser, saving you the hassle of closing your browser to retrieve your OTP from your SMS inbox.

Citi Alerts
Citi Alerts consists of two types of notification services, Alerts on Demand, and Alerts.

* Alerts on Demand - Customers can request for a variety of information via an SMS to a pre-set number, including their account balance, outstanding credit card bill, and last four credit card transactions.
* Alerts - Customizable Alerts that Citi Mobile offers include SMS notifications when you receive a GIRO credit of a specified amount, or when a charge above a pre-set amount is swiped on your credit card.

"In less than five years, the number of SMSes sent and received in Singapore has tripled. We are seeing a surge in demand and reliance on mobile phone technology. Customers, especially the young and tech-savvy, are increasingly on the move, and are demanding to be connected anytime, anywhere. This is why Citi Alerts is an important component of our Mobile Banking platform as it provides customers with the ability to keep track of and monitor their finances through a convenient and popular communication medium," said Daniel.

The Mobile Banking platform was developed in partnership with Mobile Money Ventures, LLC (MMV), a Californian-based joint venture between Citi and Korea-based mobile service provider SK Telecom. In addition to the Singapore offering, Citi and MMV have worked together to deploy mobile banking services for customers in Hong Kong, the United States and the Philippines, and will have developed such services in a total of 12 countries by the end of the year.

"3G mobile phone data plans are getting more affordable, especially on the back of the iPhone launch. In addition, the technology is also superior to what was available a few years ago. With the current infrastructure and environment, we expect to see growing adoption of mobile banking services, with more than one in two of our current online customers performing banking transactions on their mobile phones within the next two years," shared Daniel.

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