March 26, 2019 / 1:45 PM / 5 months ago

Citigroup to enter burgeoning consumer payments business

FILE PHOTO: A Citibank sign on a bank branch in midtown Manhattan, New York, November 17, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

(Reuters) - Citigroup Inc said on Tuesday it is developing a consumer-payments platform, in a move to enter the rapidly growing digital payments industry.

Citi's new service will offer merchants a range of consumer payment options to collect money, including from credit cards and e-wallets, the company said. This will expand its product portfolios within its mainstay business-to-business (B2B) payment offerings. [reut.rs/2CAEJXO]

The digital payment industry has been growing rapidly as more and more consumers make purchases online and use digital checkout services such as e-wallets or cash on delivery. The ease of transferring money has also made traditional payment methods such as checks redundant, forcing many banks and their merchant customers to quickly shift to digital payment technology or fall behind.

“We want to extend our leadership beyond the B2B payment space by developing capabilities to enable institutions to collect from consumers in a globally consistent and seamless fashion,” Naveed Sultan, global head of Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions, said.

Citi’s move is the latest foray by a major U.S. financial institution after U.S. fintech group Fidelity National Information Services Inc (FIS) agreed to buy payment processor Worldpay for $34.83 billion, marking the biggest acquisition in the digital payments industry.

Citi said it is working with payment processor Mastercard Inc to facilitate the service as it is already integrated with digital payment providers and e-wallets around the globe.

The bank also said it is collaborating with other digital payment companies to incorporate up to 140 alternative payment methods into its service.

Reporting by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel

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