How CitiBank Is Striving To Remain 'Digitally' Relevant

by CXOtoday News Desk    Aug 31, 2015


Tech-savvy consumers are now looking towards alternative financial solutions that have the potential to significantly disrupt traditional banking. Concepts such as mobile wallet and payment banks are creating pressure on these banks to remain digitally relevant. Global financial giant, Citibank, has launched a corporate accelerator program ‘Citi Mobile Challenge’ for the Asia-Pacific region to engage actively with startups from countries like India.

Citibank announced that it is creating a platform for innovation, which is part of Citi’s drive to foster digital and mobile innovation in banking, payments and ecommerce ecosystem in collaboration with leading companies as sponsors. For this, Citibank is partnering with a number of Indian and multinational corporate like IBM, Google, Amazon Microsoft Ventures, PwC, Wipro and Nasscom’s 10,000 startups to help handpick startups in ecommerce and payments domain.

The Citi Mobile Challenge will run for eight to ten weeks that will combine a virtual hackathon. This will have developers from all across the region to participate in the program. Citibank has allowed participants from genres like startups, developers, tech companies and students, to create solutions across the ecosystem which is supportive to the government’s focus on several key programmes aimed to digitise the economy.

Citibank India’s head of consumer banking Kartik Kaushik said that the bank is already engaged with a number of startups in India. He added, “Indian banking is at the forefront of leading this digital wave across payments and ecommerce transactions. The Citi Mobile Challenge is aimed at harnessing the talent and agility of the developer and startup community in India to create affordable, accessible and transparent solutions for consumers. This is the first time we’re opening up APIs.”

Prior to this, HDFC launched its PayZapp app that combines deals and offers from online retailers with its payment solution. Also, HDFC picked up minority stake in auto portal Cardekho. SBI also recently partnered with Amazon for frictionless payments and commerce solutions for customers and small businesses and launched its mobile wallet app SBI Buddy to compete directly with ICICI Bank’s Pocket and HDFC Bank’s PayZapp.