Monday, May 18, 2015

Citi Philippines Celebrated 25 Years of Leadership in Credit Cards

The country’s largest foreign bank celebrated another milestone as it marks its 25th year of providing world class credit card products and services to the Filipino consumer. Citibank Credit Card Philippines celebrated its 25 glorious years at Fairmont Hotel in Makati last April, and we were so elated to be part of this celebration.

It was in 1990 when Citi Philippines introduced the Citibank MasterCard, marking the global bank’s entry into the Philippine credit card market. Back then, Citi was also credited for changing the payment landscape, when it lowered the minimum income requirement to own a credit card, and turned what was once a financial tool only for the elite, into a payment product that empowered middle income Filipino cardholders.

“We are extremely proud of our legacy of success here in the Philippines, particularly in our consumer banking business led by our credit cards,” shared CEO Batara Sianturi in his speech at the celebratory event.  “As the world’s largest issuer of credit cards, we bring our experience and expertise across the globe in providing and anticipating the credit payment needs of our clients here in the country with the help of our partners like MasterCard.”

Today, Citi remains the acknowledged industry leader, with an enviable track record of innovations and best-in-market offers and promotions, making many unforgettable stories possible for its Filipino customers.  And what would be a better way to celebrate its 25th year than to reward its loyal clients with the campaign ‘My Unforgettable Story’?

25 Years of Making Fantastic Plastics

“Beyond putting a Citi Card into Filipinos’ wallets, we also opened up a host of world class services and set new benchmarks for the industry,” recalled Tan.  “Those were very exciting first years as we unveiled one product or service after the other, and saw not just our market share grow by leaps and bounds, but also competitors sit up and take notice.  What was most satisfying is that the Filipino consumer is the real winner here.”

One of Citi’s game changing programs was the launch of Citi Rewards; Citi was the first credit card to introduce a loyalty program – offering rewards points to fuel rebates to air miles to shopping credits – for every spend made on the card.  “It begs to be said that when we launched the program, it was so well designed that it set the bar, and we have not needed to make any changes to it since,” narrates Tan.

Indeed, Citi’s Rewards Program has become so successful that today, clients think of three options when they pay: credit card, points or cash?

“In this day and age when consumer trends and preferences change as fast as news travels, it’s a real challenge to keep track of what customers want and to make sure these are met – and at Citi, we strive to meet this challenge each day,” said Tan.

The Road ahead…is Digital
Looking ahead to the future, its loyal cardholders can expect Citi and MasterCard to continue to invest in the digital payments space and leverage on technology to transform the way in which it serves clients.

“At Citi, we strongly believe the future is digital.  Around the world, we actively promote the transition to digital money.  We are a global company doing business in 160 countries and jurisdictions, deeply embedded in over 700 cities and serving about 200 million customer accounts with hundreds of products and services,” declared Sianturi.

Citi Phil Executives

In Asia, Citi has over 7 million digital banking registered users. Nearly 98% of all transactions in this region now take place outside the branch, or via non-branch channels.  That’s roughly 20 million digital banking transactions a month in Asia – and the trend is expected to double in five years.

Closer to home, 47% of its customers in the Philippines are registered users of digital banking.  Over the last decade, Citi has seen consistent growth in terms of the number of users of both the Citibank Online and Citibank Mobile Banking platforms year on year.

“Indeed, we have seen an increasing shift to mobile usage, with customers using our Mobile App and mobile browsers to make Funds Transfers and Bills Payment on their mobile devices,” says Tan.  “At Citi, we want our clients to have a remarkable experience each and every time they choose to pay with our credit cards. Our investments in the digital space, and partnership with trusted payment solutions provider MasterCard, afford us the opportunity to deliver again and again on this promise.”

Thanks again to Citi Philippines and Fuentes Manila for making us part of this celebration!

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