Citi: Transacting the equivalent of US annual GDP

On a given day Citi transacts the equivalent of $3 trillion and on a peak day about $9 trillion. Therefore within a span of 3-5 business days Citi transacts the equivalent of USA's GDP. All of this is done digitally and in a cashless manner.The society is slowly moving to less cash transactions & markets if not to cashless transactions. All the B2B connected devices allow these cashless transaction and hold the promise for more efficiency, low cost and transparency. The debate is therefore about what the economies and global markets need to transact more effectively.

The business is responsible for the digital agenda for Citi across 100+ countries and 40+ consumer markets. Greg Baxter, the global head of mobile and digital strategy at Citi speaks of the company's digital strategy:

Digitization is driving a globalization trend- consumers want to undertake commerce on a global basis.Citi is excited about this digitization opportunity due to a few key reasons:

  • Firstly, digitization can create a global platform that can connect all the key players.
  • Secondly, Citi is present in 40 odd consumer markets or 100 odd countries and though subscaled in those markets, Citi is globally one of the biggest banks in the world. And in a global market , global scale takes precedence over local scale.The footprint is not required as much in a virtual world.
  • Also with the reduced amount of cash through the system it means that there is lesser fixed asset base than some of the other players have.This plays upto Citi's strength and also the challenge that Citi had in some of the subscaled markets.

Citi is launching a new product on these lines in the market in the coming month called Citi Commerce services.This will bring together Citi's card business with the corporate banking and cash collection businesses. Citi's pitch is that this will allow them to collect by any payment mechanism in any part of the world. Citi sees a digital future but with cash and cashless transactions together and Citi endeavours to build its products around both these segments.

The product - Citi Commerce services will provide a single integrated platform to service the customer payment needs. The architecture of this product allows all the payment requests to be routed from the merchant website to a Citi Commerce services gateway.

Thereafter depening on whether the card transaction is a card or non-card transaction the request is routed to a local card acquiring platform or to a local online and offline payment platform respectively. The platform enables global payment acceptance and makes the process of digital purchasing more available and convenient.

Recently (October 31st 2013), Citi rolled out an NFC based mobile wallet in Hong Kong in collaboration with 3 Hong Kong, the mobile arm of Hutchison Telecommunications Holdings Ltd. The wallet includes transaction history, mobile payment capability, a search function that directs customers to the best deals within their vicinity and a location-based special offer service. It also works with the region's 9,000 Visa PayWave readers.