As one of the top global banks that has been flirting with Blockchain technology, CitiBank has announced the launch of a digital wallet that will provide its customers with an option for online, in-app and in-store payment needs.
The launch of Citi Pay ushers the bank into the mobile wallet market, which is dominated by top brands like PayPal, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
The wallet, which is the latest digital payments announcement from the bank, will first launch in Singapore, Australia and Mexico with tap and pay capabilities, and a global rollout will follow for customers as a digital extension of their current card relationship. It will also launch in the U.S. in early 2017, with online, in-app and tap and pay capabilities.
In the U.S. earlier this year, Citi joined Early Warning’s clearXchange network to enable its online and mobile banking customers to send or receive real-time person-to-person (P2P) payments to or from customers of participating network banks. It also enabled Samsung Pay for its card members in Singapore and Australia.
Citi and Blockchain
With more than 100 mln customers in major cities across 19 countries, Citi has crystallized the concept of Blockchain technology as a welcome addition to the bank infrastructure.
In the Blockchain realm, the bank - in a U.S. Digital Banking report published in June, “Could The Bitcoin Blockchain Disrupt Payments?” - examined how the technology will threaten traditional banks’ role in the economy – if at all. It explains how a payment system based on distributed ledgers has “the potential to create radically new models” and concluded that while the technology behind Bitcoin, combined with other innovations, may “radically” change the financial service sector, it should be viewed as an opportunity.
Citi is also working with Blockchain startups like Chain to build Blockchain networks. However, it has remained conservative on the continued relevance of centralized, traditional settlement systems.
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