Microsoft Announces Major Initiative to Support CitiDirect BE, Citi's Next-Generation Institutional E-Banking Platform

Two global industry leaders come together to develop the next groundbreaking app in corporate computing.

Hong Kong - September 15, 2009 – Microsoft Corp. and Citi's Global Transaction Services (GTS) today announced their collaboration on a multiyear initiative to support CitiDirect® BE, Citi's newly launched next-generation e-banking platform, serving its corporate, financial institution and public sector clients and also optimized for the white-label business model.

This unique collaboration between Citi and Microsoft's product and services teams to build an e-banking platform takes advantage of proven Microsoft technologies. With a global network spanning more than 100 countries, Citi will benefit from this collaboration because the CitiDirect BE platform will help monetize its best-in-class service offerings and broad geographic coverage, while taking full advantage of Microsoft's expertise in platform engineering, development of independent software vendor communities, and product life-cycle management. By leveraging Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, CitiDirect BE will raise the competitive bar beyond transactions to include sophisticated analytic capabilities, self-service modules such as Citi's Electronic Bank Account Management (eBAM) offering, and rich media to provide expert insights on current trends and economic news affecting clients' business. The new platform has taken a client-centered approach in its design focusing on providing clients with greater visibility and control over their business processes to create a richer online banking experience.

"Our institutional clients are demanding banking platforms and technology that gives them greater transparency and control over their working capital flows, increases their liquidity and improves the efficiency of their treasury and supply chain processes," said Gary Greenwald, chief innovation officer and global head of Capabilities and Information Products at Citi. "The challenging global economy and credit-constrained environment is driving demand for a comprehensive solution addressing these elements. Working with our best clients, we've created CitiDirect BE to address these needs, both for corporations as well as for banks, who are able to offer this innovative service to their clients on a white-labeled basis, under their own brand, reducing upfront IT costs."

"This engagement aligns with our enterprise market strategy of driving integrated customer experiences," said Susan Hauser, vice president of Worldwide Financial Services at Microsoft. "Our collaboration is a unique opportunity for Microsoft to help financial services institutions realize a better customer-connected experience because Citi will have access to a virtual lab of engineering thought leaders, and have direct influence over enterprise product road maps."

Based on a service-oriented architecture (SOA) and open standards, the CitiDirect BE platform provides the following key benefits:

  • Collaborative innovation. Unique engineering collaboration between Citi's GTS organization and Microsoft product and services teams accelerates innovation across the global financial services ecosystem.
  • Standards. Microsoft and Citi are actively furthering SOA adoption, as well as standards in the industry.
  • Agility. Based on Web 2.0 technologies, Citi's portal infrastructure and modular technology will provide clients with a greater level of customization and usability. This enhanced flexibility will also allow for the white labeling of the platform to other banks.
  • Operational efficiency. Citi's white-label offering will enable correspondent banks to leverage its industry-leading treasury and trade services platform under their own brand, thereby benefiting from Citi's geographic footprint, regulatory compliance and back-end processing.

"Global transaction services business units have been investing heavily in portal technology for the past several years to replace a disjointed, less-than-optimal experience for users with a streamlined, integrated interface that better aligns with corporate client users' workflow," said Jim Eckenrode, research executive for Banking at TowerGroup. "These banks are leveraging the scale, expertise and technology investments they have made to aggressively pursue additional volume through insourcing. TowerGroup believes this is a win-win story, as midtier banks can extend their wholesale banking product set, allowing them to offer sophisticated transaction services through an experienced third party while minimizing implementation risk and capital outlays. For the larger banks, offering white-label products creates revenue opportunities while spreading the cost of providing the product across a wider client base."

CitiDirect BE will incrementally leverage Microsoft products that are being developed and released to support a strategic enterprise strategy. Microsoft will contribute an array of services and applications to CitiDirect BE.

System users will benefit from integration with Microsoft SharePoint Server media capabilities, business intelligence platform and mobile payment functionality, as well as from technologies that lower the total cost of ownership of Citi's middle-tier and transactional layers. CitiDirect BE is currently being launched with subsequent releases being phased in over the next 18 to 24 months, and will include Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 as the gateway, search, analytics, mobility and rich media, and platform optimization and re-engineering to support the white-label business model and minimize the total cost of ownership.

Global Transaction Services, a division of Citi's Institutional Clients Group, 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 second quarter of 2009, it held on average $288 billion in liability balances and $11.1 trillion in assets under custody.

###


About Citi
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 140 countries. Through its two operating units, Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides 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. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.

About Microsoft in Financial Services
Microsoft's Financial Services Group provides software that helps financial firms transform the customer, employee and operations experience so they can maximize opportunities for increased market share and profitability. Microsoft software helps empower people and IT staff within financial firms — and across key focus areas such as advisor platforms, channel renewal, insurance value chain, enterprise risk management and compliance, and payments. Through a combination of Microsoft- and partner-provided solutions, customers enable their employees to turn data into insight, transform ideas into action and turn change into opportunity. More information about Microsoft's Financial Services Group can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/financialservices.