Citi First to Pilot SWIFT Workers’ Remittances Framework with Banco Bolivariano
LONDON,VIENNA - September 17, 2008 Citi today announced that it has signed an agreement to be the first to pilot Workers’ Remittances 1.0, SWIFT’s new messaging framework for cross-border, person-to-person payments. Citi will pilot the messaging framework with Ecuador-based Banco Bolivariano in October to facilitate remittances from Citi’s New York branches to Banco Bolivariano's branches in Ecuador - one of the largest remittance corridors for the United States.
"Citi is highly committed to the microfinance space and has been a pioneer bank in remittances. Earlier this year we partnered with Banco Bolivariano to provide Ecuadorian clients in the U.S. the ability to quickly and easily send money home - helping bring Ecuadorian families closer together. We’ve now taken the next step, collaborating with Banco Bolivariano to be the first to pilot SWIFT’s framework for remittances," commented Francesco Vanni d’Archirafi, Head of Treasury and Trade Solutions at Citi’s Global Transaction Services. Citi’s leading remittance platform is channel agnostic, with the ability to accept a variety of formats and file types to send messages.
As the average value of remittances continues to increase, senders want to ensure that their money is safely reaching their destinations. The remittance market, traditionally dominated by money transfer organizations, is seeing increased participation by banks who can offer a wide distribution network and a safe, secure and private service.
"We chose Citi as our partner for remittances because of their significant global presence and remittance technology. Our partnership makes sending money home affordable and easy to do, with a high level of confidence that the funds will reach where they need to. Our clients can do this for only a $5 transaction fee. These benefits make Citi the bank of choice for the Ecuadorian community in the United States," commented Maria Gabriela Valverde, Head of Ecuagiros, Banco Bolivariano's remittance division.
David Pryce, Deputy Head of Americas, SWIFT, said, "We are delighted that Citi and Banco Bolivariano will be the first to pilot. Citi supported this development from the outset, actively participating in the SWIFT Workers’ Remittances Advisory and working groups. We’ve been greatly impressed with Citi’s commitment to remittances and microfinance. They get the balance right - treating these markets both as solid business opportunities and a means to further financial inclusion. It's great to see a truly global organization leading by example in this area."
Citi will be celebrating this initiative with SWIFT and Banco Bolivariano at Sibos, booth B209 at 3pm on Wednesday, 17 September 2008.
Citi Microfinance works with leading microfinance institutions, networks and investors as partners and clients to expand access to financial products and services to individuals that are not currently reached or are underserved by financial institutions. Additional information may be found at www.citi.com/citigroup/microfinance.
Citi Global Transaction Services
Global Transaction Services offers integrated cash management, trade, and securities and fund services to multinational corporations, financial institutions and public sector organizations around the world. With a network spanning over 100 countries, Citi’s Global Transaction Services supports over 65,000 clients. As of the 2nd quarter of 08, it held on average $276 billion in liability balances and $12.8 trillion in assets under custody. Citi offers a white label global remittance service, QuikRemit, to banks and corporate clients, with a distribution network that spans more than 70 countries and currencies.
About Citi’s Institutional Clients Group:
Citi’s Institutional Clients Group serves corporate clients, governments and institutional investors around the world, providing expertise and innovative solutions in banking, markets, transaction services and alternative investments. With a history dating back nearly 200 years, Citi today has a global network that includes offices in 104 countries, trading desks in more than 80 countries and transaction services infrastructure covering 140 countries. Citi aims to be trusted advisor to our clients, to execute flawlessly, to strategically commit capital and to always focus on innovation.
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. Citi’s major brand names include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Citi Smith Barney, Banamex and Nikko. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.