New service enables Citi Singapore customers to shop at US websites
Citi has launched a service enabling its Singapore customers to make purchases from US e-commerce sites.
The bank says its Globeshopper service will expand choice for its payment cardholders as most US internet shopping sites do not make shipments to non-US cardholders.
Citi says that if non-US cardholders had previously tried to shop on US websites, they would not have been able to make purchases unless they had a delivery address in the country (required by most US online businesses).
The new service is claimed to bypass problems with shipping duties and customs requirements by offering users a US-Singapore shipping option and free concierge service that buys products on behalf of the customers on sites that do not accept foreign credit cards.
The Globeshopper service is being operated for Citi by e-commerce company Borderlinx and mail firm DHL. Citi says the service provides its Singapore card customers with access to almost all of the more than 300,000 US shopping websites.
Users sign up for the service online and receive an ID and US shipping address. They use this as their delivery address before the goods are shipped to Singapore via the Globeshopper service. Any border taxes and duties are added to the final bill that the user receives, and Borderlinx charges a fixed price for shipping the goods based on weight.
Citi says the service comes at a time when online shopping is a fast-growing trend in Singapore. It adds that more secure shopping websites and a favourable US currency conversion have helped to boost the popularity of such services. A recent Nielsen survey showed that eight in ten Singaporeans shop online.
The US websites selling apparel, gadgets, books and cosmetics seem to be the most popular amongst Singaporeans. ”We want to be able to capture and enlarge this already growing segment by making it easy for our customers to shop and ship from US as they would from a local merchant” said Radha Suvarna, director of portfolio management & cross-sell. Shoppers can make savings on shipping charges if they opt to consolidate their shipments from various merchants and ship them to Singapore in bulk, a feature which is available free for up to a month.