Citi trialling SMS credit card purchases in the Phillipines
We are bringing you this story because it is to do with payments and mobile phones, and where these two come together, loyalty and rewards inevitably follow….. The Philippines is the debut market for Citibank’s latest banking innovation, Citi Mobile which enables remote credit card payment, as well as overseas remittance.
Launched yesterday, the scheme enables Citibank credit cardholders to authorize these transactions and services via their mobile phones:
* Order food and flowers for delivery to another location
* Reload prepaid phones for family and friends
* Buy prepaid Internet loads
* Pay utility bills and charge to their card without swiping the plastic.
Country Business Manager Mark Jones said, “Given our reputation as the unofficial ‘text capital’ of the world, the service is tailor made for the Philippines and we are delighted to be the first market in the world to launch this. “With this innovation, our more than one million cardholders can now charge payments to their Citibank credit cards using their mobile phones.”
Cecille Fonacier, Citi Philippines’ eConsumer Business Director noted, “With the enhanced convenience of this feature we expect many customers will begin to charge simple day-to-day transactions to their Citi card using their mobile phones.
“For example, once enrolled, our credit cardholders can start ordering food and flower deliveries from merchants such as McDonald’s, Shakey’s and She Likes Flowers. They can also buy prepaid Internet loads from Blast and prepaid cellular phone loads from Globe, Smart and Sun, and also pay their postpaid Globe bill.
“As the service gains popularity, we will bring in more partners to give our customers more and more reasons to use Citi Mobile.”
Speaking about the development process, Bea Tan, Citi Philippines’ Cards Business Director said: “We have been testing the service for a few months now, and our employees and their families who have tried it have really embraced it.
To encourage cardholders to enroll, Citi will be giving away 100 mobile phones including the Nokia 6500 featuring dual band 3G technology, a 2 megapixel camera and 1-gigabyte internal memory. To qualify for the raffle, cardholders must enroll from May 15 to August 31, 2008.
Citi has some 1.2 million credit card customers in the Phillipines and eight products in its portfolio including the newly launched Citi PremierMiles for frequent travelers and Citi Shell for motorists. Before the year ends, Citi will launch two new products to round off its offerings to an even ten.
“We continue to be bullish about prospects in the financial sector, and in the credit card industry in particular. We are relentless in our commitment to giving our customers the best products and services, and we will continue to raise the bar whenever possible,” Jones concluded.
The enrollment process:
Step 1: Enroll by calling the 24-hour CitiPhone at 995-9999 in Metro Manila, 234-9999 in Metro Cebu and 1-800-10-995-9999 in other provinces.
Step 2: You will receive a text message to confirm your enrollment, which will contain your temporary Citi Mobile Personal Identification Number (PIN).
Step 3: Reply to change your temporary Citi Mobile PIN with your preferred Citi Mobile PIN, using six characters and a combination of letters and numbers.
Step 4: You will receive another text message to confirm your new Citi Mobile PIN and you’re ready to begin using Citi Mobile.
For remittances, Citi is working in the Phillipines with DiGiRemit the transfer of money using mobile phones from anywhere and at anytime to the widest distribution networks in the three recipient countries.
More recipient countries will be included later. DiGi provides the service, as a remittance agent of Citibank Berhad, to individual DiGi prepaid and DiGi postpaid customers who can register at any of the 47 DiGi centers and DiGi service counters nationwide. The service offers multiple payment delivery options, including direct credit to accounts with local banks in the beneficiary’s country and cash pick-up at designated agents.
The distribution network is managed by Citi’s global transaction services. Albern Murty, DiGi’s head of product management, said: “DiGi is ready to lead the change for people to use the mobile phone as a financial tool with value propositions that are hard to ignore. We want to make it truly easier and more convenient for our customers.
“Citi has invested heavily in mobile banking and has embarked on a number of initiatives including the establishment of a joint venture with South Korea’s SK Telecom which is developing a mobile banking platform that will be compatible with Google’s new Android system.
In the US, the bank teamed with m-banking outfit Firethorn earlier this year to provide its credit card customers with access to real-time account information via their handsets. Citi has also teamed with California-based start-up Obopay to launch a pilot person-to-person mobile payment service for its credit and debit card customers.