! MasterCard International announced that Citigroup’s e-Citi unit, a global leader in electronic financial services and e-commerce, will join MasterCard’s Global Mobile Commerce Forum, an open, cross-industry initiative focusing on the development of secure mobile payments over a variety of technology platforms.
The Forum, which now has more than 200 participants, was established last November to foster knowledge exchange between MasterCard’s and Europay International’s member financial institutions, network operators and leading mobile technology companies.
“Accelerating and facilitating the development of secure mobile commerce is a top priority for Citigroup,” said Alan Young, vice-president of e-Citi’s Access Devices Group. “Our goal is to empower customers with transactional capabilities anywhere, anytime, on any device – and we need one global open standard to do that. Our membership in MasterCard’s Global Mobile Commerce Forum, which brings together leading financial and technology players, will help us achieve these goals.”
MasterCard’s latest Mobile Commerce Forum meeting was co-hosted by MasterCard’s strategic alliance partner, Europay International, and was held in March in Genval, Belgium and attracted more than 150 participants from around the world. A variety of mobile commerce solutions were discussed, ranging from “dual slot” approaches with a separate bank payment chip (either on a plastic card or as another SIM card) to remote wallet solutions. In addition, MasterCard’s alliance partners, Oberthur Card Systems, Sonera SmartTrust and 724 Solutions described their recent developments in open wireless standards.
The MasterCard Global Mobile Commerce Forum meets quarterly to develop solutions to facilitate online payments capabilities through mobile devices, making them secure, consistent and globally interoperable. The group estimates that by 2001, 50 million consumers will own a commerce-capable wireless phone.
“MasterCard is moving at Internet speed to help our member financial institutions capitalize on major e-business trends. There is a significant opportunity to expand the number of locations where Citibank cardholders can conduct transactions by providing them the ability to do so on mobile phones,” stated Chris Jarman, senior vice president, Mobile Commerce, MasterCard International.
“Our strategic alliance with MasterCard has provided us with an unmatched ability to exchange information with key customers and business partners,” stated Greg Wolfond, chief executive officer, 724 Solutions. “We’re excited that Citigroup, one of our largest customers has now joined MasterCard’s Global Mobile Commerce Forum and will benefit, as we have, from the vast information and technological innovations in development.”
Citigroup (NYSE:C), the most global financial services company, provides some 100 million consumers, corporations, governments and institutions in over 100 countries with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage and asset management. The 1998 merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group brought together such brand names as Citibank, Travelers, Salomon Smith Barney, CitiFinancial and Primerica under Citigroup’s trademark red umbrella. Additional information may be found at .
e-Citi is the business unit of Citigroup created to pioneer electronic commerce and financial services strategies and initiatives to extend Citigroup’s leadership in the fast-evolving digital economy. Since its inception in 1997, e-Citi has applied the power of the Internet and new technologies and capabilities to create content, extend delivery channels and customize transactions for Citigroup customers around the world.
About Europay International
Europay International, headquartered in Waterloo, Belgium, is the European banks’ leading provider of personal payment and related services. At present, 239.5 million cards (Eurocard-MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus and eurocheque) provide European and global debit and credit services, and offer cash access to Europe’s largest network of over 242,000 ATMs in 41 countries. Through its alliance with MasterCard International, Europay offers banks products accepted at almost 530,000 ATMs and 17 million locations worldwide. Europay’s Web site at [www.europay.com] provides much more information about Europay.
About MasterCard International
MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. More than 1 billion MasterCard(R), Cirrus(R) and Maestro(R) logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation today. An association comprised of 22,000 member financial institutions, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is the leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. With more than 18 million acceptance locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard Card. In 1999, gross dollar volume exceeded US$727 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at .