Citigroup and DiGi to Launch Mobile Based Remittance Service
Kuala Lumpur, 12 April 2007 – DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd ("DiGi") and Citigroup's Global Transaction Services have teamed up to launch Malaysia's first remittance service using the mobile phone.
The new service, targeted at the local remittance market with focus on the growing migrant communities, adds a new dimension to traditional methods of money remittance, with an easy to use, convenient, secure and safe channel.
Citigroup and DiGi are confident this advanced method of person-to-person transfer of money using mobile technology will significantly assist the flow of funds from migrant workers back to their families.
Malaysia is a major source of migrant income in ASEAN with an estimated total migrant remittance of more than RM5 billion* yearly. It is estimated that less than half of remittances are flowing through formal channels, exposing migrant workers to unsatisfactory and relatively costly services for these critical transactions.
"The partnership we announce today promises to revolutionalize the person-to-person money transfer industry," Sanjeev Nanavati, Country Head of Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking in Malaysia, said at the official exchange of Memorandum of Understanding between the two companies at Menara Citibank today. "Citigroup and DiGi are both recognized as innovators in our respective industries and we are proud to be leading this initiative," Nanavati added.
"We are excited to partner with DiGi who shares our sense of innovation and commitment to this space. It is also another example of Citi implementing its strategy of facilitating payment flows through local, regional and global partners around the world," said Akash Rathke, Citi's Head for Global Payments at Asia Pacific.
The partnership involves Citibank Berhad appointing DiGi as its mobile remittance agent in Malaysia, offering payment services through Citigroup's proprietary networks.
DiGi customers are set to be the first in Malaysia to use their mobile phones to initiate the transfer of funds to selected ASEAN countries when the service is launched in mid 2007. Citigroup and DiGi will offer transfers of local currency in the respective markets.
This service allows DiGi customers to transfer funds to one or multiple beneficiaries through a convenient and secure channel anywhere, anytime via a mobile phone. DiGi customers will be able to register for this service at any of the designated DiGi centers and outlets nationwide. Customers need only use their mobile phone to initiate the transfer, and nominated beneficiares will receive the funds in their designated bank accounts or at Citigroup appointed agents in the selected countries.
"The mobile phone is becoming more than just a phone and the opportunity to value is limitless. Aside from serving as a tool for the migrant communities to remain connected with friends and family at home, mobile remittance makes the mobile even more relevant in their daily lives," said Morten Lundal, DiGi's Chief Executive Officer.
"We are working hard to give our migrant workers, who in their own ways contribute to the overall development of the country, peace of mind that their money will reach their loved ones at home as and when necessary," Lundal added.
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Major brand names under Citi's trademark red arc include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Citi Smith Barney and Banamex. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.
DiGi is Malaysia's fastest growing mobile operator focusing on innovations, simplicity and best value to enrich lifestyles through DiGi Prepaid, DiGi Postpaid and DiGi Business. It constantly develops exciting mobile solutions to impact the future.