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Citi banks on mobile alerts for corporate clients

Financial institution Citi is making its email alert program mobile-friendly after seeing an increased need from consumers to manage their accounts via the handset.

The new alerts program can be used by Citi’s corporate treasury service clients and commercial card holders. The alerts program builds on Citi’s extensive mobile strategy for both consumer and business clients with services including applications, alerts, mobile Web sites and advertising.

“Our strategy is simple – to make work easier for our customers using convenient tools with which they are already familiar and comfortable,” said Julie Lubell, vice president of commercial cards at Citi, New York.

“With mobile alert capability, now even if an employee is at the airport, a restaurant, or inspecting a piece of property, they’re able to be reminded as to when they need to complete an expense report and make a payment in order to avoid potential late fees,” she said.

Employee management
Citi corporate clients can register and manage their accounts at to set up the alerts program.

Clients can then receive alerts when a statement is ready.

Users will also receive texts when payments are due, past-due and received.

The service is only available to Citi clients in the United States but the financial institution has plans to roll it out to clients in Colombia, Singapore and India.

Users can also sign up for email alerts to manage their accounts.

Full package
The Citi alerts program for commercial card holders and corporate treasury service clients is the latest mobile endeavor from Citi to make banking as straightforward as possible for both consumer and business clients.

Most recently, Citi expanded its mobile to the bank’s Global Transaction Services business for large business and government clients (see story).

Both small and large financial institutions are realizing how vital mobile is to offer to consumers.

For example, a recent study from Yankee Group found that mobile banking was the most used form of mobile transaction with 27 percent of consumers surveyed saying that they use mobile banking services.

By reaching both consumer and business clients, Citi is an example of a financial institution that understands that mobile is quickly becoming the go-to channel to reach users regardless of the type of bank account that is being used.

“The growing trend is through mobile technology – mobile banking, payments, transaction processing – it’s been common within the consumer space for years and the commercial card space is also moving in that direction,” Ms. Lubell said.

“As our clients become more global and mobile, they need to have tools that can help them stay abreast of their business,” she said.

“Our goal is to allow our customers to run their businesses just as successfully when outside of the office as when in their offices.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York