NFC Times Exclusive Insight – As NFC Times reported a month ago, U.S.-based Citigroup is the latest bank with plans to launch an HCE-enabled mobile wallet for Android phones, “Citi Pay,” which will launch in Asia-Pacific first then in the U.S., using Masterpass technology.
Citi, in its announcement Thursday, said it would launch first in Australia, Singapore and Mexico before the end of the year, then in the U.S. in early 2017. NFC Times has learned that the U.S. launch is delayed from earlier plans. In addition, Citi plans a launch of Citi Pay in at least one other Asian country, Taiwan, although that launch is delayed, as well, and was not announced Thursday. Citi already launched an HCE-enabled wallet in Mexico through its Banamex subsidiary, in February. This will presumably be renamed Citi Pay.
As NFC Times earlier reported, Citi Pay will be one of the few multinational wallets from a bank, using HCE. Citi noted it has 100 million customers in 19 countries, though not all will get its HCE wallet. In the U.S., Citi will join Capital One , Wells Fargo among major banks launching HCE-enabled payments. It will also compete with Chase Pay, which uses QR codes and is expected to launch later this year for in-store and in-app purchases. It has launched for online purchases with selected merchants.