Citi has never been sold on contactless-card payment like rival New York-based bank JPMorgan Chase. But Citi has made up for it with its interest in NFC.
The bank or its overseas units have held at least four NFC trials, including its latest and largest pilot, in Bangalore, India. It even commissioned a contract manufacturer to make prototypes of a Citi-branded NFC phone in 2008, a tiny device that observers speculated Citi would issue at little or no charge to customers with its payment application preloaded. It has not done so to date.
But the bank continues to develop NFC with standard handsets. Among other projects, in coming months it will likely launch a companion pilot to the Bangalore trial–probably in New Delhi.
But Citi is not only working with NFC phones. It launched a passive-contactless sticker for mobile phone around May of 2010, followed by network-based shopping and PayPass locator apps.
Earlier the bank had been trialing network-based peer-to-peer payment with in the U.S.-based m-payment company Obopay, of which it became an investor in 2007. The following year, it formed a joint venture with South Korea’s largest telco SK Telecom, to develop mobile financial services. That venture, Mobile Money Ventures, in November 2009 announced a working relationship with CPNI of Canada for P2P payments.
|In billions of US$|
JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo