Citi targets launch of 20 e-payment markets by Q1 next year

Citi is aiming for its new digital consumer payment business to go live in 20 markets across all regions by the first quarter of next year, a senior executive at the United States financial services giant said yesterday.

Eventually, the target is to go live in up to 40 markets over the next three years, said Mr Rajesh Mehta, the bank's head of treasury and trade solutions for the Asia-Pacific, according to The Business Times.

The group first announced its move to enter the rapidly growing digital payment industry in March.

Its 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 payment offerings.

"Consumers today are demanding (more) speed and greater convenience. If one thinks about the popularity of online marketplaces (such as eBay), ride-hailing services (such as Uber and Grab) and food delivery firms (such as Foodpanda), it is not hard to imagine that the on-demand economy is rapidly growing," said Mr Mehta.

"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 payment 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 last year, globally and within the Asia-Pacific.

Globally, revenues grew by 8 per cent year on year to US$9.3 billion (S$12.7 billion) for last year, according to Citi.

In the Asia-Pacific, revenue grew close to a double-digit percentage range for the same period.

Citi said that across Asean and in Singapore, the business turned in a good performance and revenue growth saw a double-digit percentage increase.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2019, with the headline 'Citi targets launch of 20 e-payment markets by Q1 next year'. Print Edition | Subscribe