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Citi banks on mobile alerts to further expand position in mcommerce

The global mobile alerts service has been expanded to 66 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The alerts indicate key events such as whether a consumer’s statement is ready, if their payment is due or past-due and when a replacement card has been mailed to them.

“Citi is committed to providing our customers with innovative, globally consistent, and convenient tools to meet their growing business needs,” said Manish Kohli, global head of commercial cards at Citi.

“With our mobile alerts initiative, we are simply embracing a popular, convenient and rapidly growing channel of communication used by our customers in their personal lives and bringing it to them in their professional lives,” he said. ”

“In doing so, we are offering a convenient, secure solution for the on-the-go, global employee who relies on his or her mobile device for key business needs when at the airport, on a train, or in business at another city.”

Citi has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions.

Payments rollout
As part of the global rollout, Citi is launching five new alerts for participating United States organizations.

Of the five new alerts, two happen in real-time and three are subscription alerts.

For example, the real-time alerts let Citi Commercial cardholders proactively check their account balances or their recently processed transactions by typing the keyword GOCITI to a short code.

To get the alerts, cardholders can register and select the SMS or email alerts they wish to receive.

Additionally, Citi is also planning to further enhance its global alerts to more places.

Citi is smart to use SMS.

The medium lets marketers reach a broader audience – not just those using smartphones, but feature phones as well.

“We have shared this exciting innovation with all of our customers through our events, client communications, and of course with our team at Citi who supports them,” Mr. Kohli said. “We value input from our clients and many of them helped us shape our original ideas through feedback as we built out our alerts capability.

“We intend to continue to share information about our new, global alerts offering through our presence at industry forums and personal communication with all who could benefit from this new and efficient capability,” he said.

“As a company, we are committed to providing truly global offerings that do not just keep up with technology, but pave the way with technology.

Bank on mobile
Citi is no stranger to mobile.

Last year, the financial institution increased the number of channels that business clients could use to manage their funds with a mobile-optimized Web service and an SMS program.

Using a mobile portal, Citi brought its Web-based services to mobile to meet the needs of its clients (see story).

Most recently, Citi expanded its mobile repertoire with the launch of a Kindle Fire application that lets consumers track, analyze and plan their finances.

The Citibank Kindle Fire app lets consumers access their finances no matter where they are (see story).

“With our mobile alerts launch – which offers email and SMS alert capability to cardholders and program administrators across 66 countries, in 15 languages – we feel we are delivering on our organization’s commitment,” Mr. Kohli said.

“And, we will continue to build out even more alerts and launch in additional countries over the next 12 months,” he said. “We have been working on building a streamlined mobile site to optimize the experience our clients have when looking to take care of simple account management activities while on the go.

“We’re extremely excited by this offering, which will be coming out in the next 12 months across the globe. Our clients have already provided great feedback, which we’re incorporating to ensure that our offering meets their mobile business needs.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York