Info-tech

Citibank to launch financial tech accelerator programme

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on August 28, 2015

In talks with telcom companies, digital payment firms for partnerships





Citibank India is in talks with digital payment companies and telecom operators to kick-start its financial tech accelerator programme.

Talking to BusinessLine on the sidelines of the Citi Mobile Challenge event here, Citi officials said the banking giant is seeking newer ways to engage with its customers and make sense of the changing dynamics in the banking sector, both in India and globally.

In line with this thought, Citibank has opened up its Application Programming Interface (API) to third party developers, similar to Google and Facebook. An API is a piece of software code that helps you to perform a task.

According to Kartik Kaushik, Country Business Manager, Consumer Banking, Citibank India, the bank is in advanced stages of talks with telcos and digital payment providers. However, he did not name the companies.

Interestingly, the development comes just days after the RBI gave licences to 11 payments banks, which includes a combination of telcos, traditional financial institutions and digital wallet companies like PayTM.

“We look at this initiative as a start of a movement, rather than only a programme wherein start-ups are called to showcase their wares,” said Kaushik.

The “movement” he referred to is that of aligning the company’s approach to banking in the future with the Centre’s Digital India and Start-up India initiatives. Citibank is not spearheading this movement all by itself. It has partnered with IBM, PwC, Amazon, Google, Microsoft Ventures, Nasscom and Wipro to help start-ups across the board — from technology handholding to access to capital.

Citibank and industry watchers believe that with India poised to become the third largest smartphone market by 2017, a large number of people will start transacting on their phones.

For a huge section of the population, the first touch point with technology would be the phone. This would mean financial inclusion and getting technology companies and start-ups on the same table to figure out newer ways to reach out to “unbanked” people, said Karthik Padmanabhan, Executive, Cloud Ecosystem Development IBM Asia-Pacific.

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Published on August 28, 2015
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