Citi Pay on Way as Bank Is Latest to M-Wallet Fray
The recent surge of bank-backed mobile wallets continues, with Citi the latest financial institution to announce it’s getting into the game. The bank on Nov. 10 unveiled its Citi Pay app, which will enable customers to make online and mobile purchases using their Citi card accounts via Mastercard’s Masterpass digital payments service. Android users will have the additional capability of being able to make in-store purchases with Citi Pay using NFC. Citi Pay initially will roll out by the end of this year in Australia, Mexico and Singapore, with a U.S. launch set for early 2017. Additional markets will follow, the bank said.
Citi Pay is the latest proprietary mobile wallet to be announced from among the major banks, which are aiming to carve out a presence on smartphones as the devices become increasingly central to their customers’ lives. Capital One was the first bank to throw its hat into the ring, introducing the Capital One Wallet in October 2015. Soon after, Chase announced its own mobile wallet, Chase Pay, which boasts a major partnership with the retailer consortium MCX. And earlier this year, Wells Fargo released a mobile wallet as part of the bank’s Android banking app.
Meanwhile, Citi has undertaken mobile initiatives of its own in recent months. In October, the bank joined financial institution cooperative Early Warning’s Zelle network, enabling its mobile banking customers to send or receive P2P payments to or from customers of participating network banks by using the recipient’s mobile number or email address.