SINGAPORE - Citi is aiming for its new digital consumer payments business to be live in 20 markets across all regions, including Asia, by the first quarter of 2020, the US financial services giant said on Thursday (May 16).
Eventually, the target is to go live in up to 40 markets over the next three years, Citi told The Business Times (BT).
The group first announced its move to enter the rapidly growing digital payments industry in March.
Citi's new service will offer merchants a range of consumer payment options to collect money, including from credit cards and e-wallets, the company had said. This will expand its product portfolios within its mainstay business-to-business (B2B) payment offerings.
"Consumers today are demanding faster speed and greater convenience. If one thinks about the popularity of online marketplaces (eg eBay), ride-hailing services (eg Uber, Grab) and food delivery industries (eg Foodpanda), it is not hard to imagine that the on-demand economy is rapidly growing," said Rajesh Mehta, the bank's head of treasury and trade solutions for Asia-Pacific.
"On the back of this trend, our clients' business models are rapidly changing to engage their end consumers directly rather than through intermediaries or wholesalers, and one area that is transforming rapidly is the payments space. It is a key focus area for our clients, as it is for us."
Citi declined to share revenue growth forecasts for the new business.
This comes as its treasury and trade solutions business saw positive momentum in 2018, globally and within Asia-Pacific.
Globally, revenues grew by 8 per cent year on year to US$9.3 billion for 2018, according to Citi. In Asia-Pacific, revenue grew close to a double-digit percentage range for the same period.
Across Asean and in Singapore, Citi said the business turned in a good performance and revenue growth saw a double-digit percentage increase.