Citibank (NYSE:C) has become the first foreign bank to offer mobile services to its customers, providing a suite of services to those always on the go, a bonus in hectic Bangkok with its huge traffic jams.
Citi Mobile, full service banking via your mobile phone is included, such as paying your bills, transferring money and having access to your account information while on your mobile phone.
The Citi Mobile service has four categories. Citi Mobile Banking, Citi Mobile Payments, Citi Mobile Enquiry and Citi Mobile Alerts.
In a press release this week, Yuenyong Ken Songsiridej, Thailand National Marketing Director, Citibank, said : “The launch of Citi Mobile reaffirms Citibank Thailand’s program of ‘3 C – Convenience Redefined’ where we aim to serve customers through ‘Click’, ‘Connect’ and ‘Celebrate’ themes. With Citi Mobile, the ‘Connect’ theme is enhanced as our customers can now enjoy greater convenience and access to banking. We are pleased to be the first foreign bank to bring added convenience to our customers. We believe this is the right time to introduce mobile banking as Thailand is at a mature stage in terms of the number of mobile phone users and the mobile phone non-voice service is growing rapidly".
“We are confident that Citibank customers will quickly adopt the use of Citi Mobile services as the number of our Internet banking customers has sharply increased and more than doubled in two years. Hence, the extension of the service from Internet banking to mobile banking will be well received.”
Citibank will offer through Citi Mobile:
Citi Mobile Banking
Transactions for up to 90 days can be viewed with this part of the Citi Mobile service, and balances summarized for customers’ loans, credit cards, checking and savings accounts can be accessed at any time.
Through the secure encrypted service you can also transfer funds between your various accounts or to other Citibank customers registered to use the service.
Citi Mobile Payments
Citibank credit card holders can use this service to refill airtime credits through SMS where they will be able to have the amount automatically deducted from their Citibank credit card. You can do this for family and friends as well, for up to six other people.
Citi Mobile Enquiry
With the SMS Enquiry Service, Citibank customers in Thailand will now be able to check their available credit line, along with their credit card statement. For those restaurants offering Citibank customers perks, you can also check where they are through the Citi Mobile Enquiry service. This final service does include an extra charge.
Citi Mobile Alerts
Important bank-related matters can be managed through the Citi Mobile Alerts service, where things like Time Deposit maturity, Time Deposit rollover, Time Deposit subscription will be sent to you at appropriate times. Alerts for credit cards will also be part of the service, where customers can check all aspects of the use of the card, including when they approach credit limits, and when payments are due or past due. You can also check transactions you’ve made on the Internet using the credit card.
Mobile banking is obviously a great growth area in Thailand, and growing that aspect of the business could be one of the better revenue generators for retail banking over the next several year. Doing it on an international level is a good strategy as well, because many banks aren’t even doing it domestically in the USA yet, giving those early to the party a huge lead in the sector.
Shayne Heffernan www.livetradingnews.com
Disclosure: No Position