Citigroup Global Transaction Services, a unit of Citigroup and a leader in transaction processing, and Visa International, the world’s leading payment brand, announced today a multi-country agreement to launch commercial payment and information management card programs designed to increase procurement process efficiency and provide cost savings to Citigroup corporate clients in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Under the agreement, Citigroup will provide Visa-branded card payment solutions to multinational corporate clients in the region through their Citibank(R) Commercial Cards business. With these solutions, companies and governments will have an easy, convenient way to manage travel and entertainment expenses and pay for key supplies, control employee-spending limits, meet cash flow needs, and track business expenses. The program will be launched initially in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico and annual card spend is estimated to reach US$ 1.4 billion by 2008.
“We are very pleased to introduce a commercial cards program to our corporate clients in Latin America and the Caribbean. As the only bankcard provider that can issue commercial card products in over thirty countries, delivering solutions that provide cost savings to clients and allow them to increase processing efficiency is paramount to our strategy,” said Gary Schneider, Managing Director and global business manager for Citibank(R) Commercial Cards.
“This agreement with Citigroup clearly supports our ultimate goal to help members tap into the large business opportunity for B2B expenditures,” said Jose Maria Ayuso, executive vice president of Visa International, Latin America and Caribbean Region. “In today’s increasingly competitive business environment, realizing a higher level of process efficiency in managing payments and cash flow is becoming more important than ever in the agenda of corporate clients.”
Solutions offered to clients will include corporate cards for corporate travel and entertainment expenses, purchasing cards for small-to-medium value corporate procurement, and distribution cards for accounts receivable at corporations delivering merchandise to retailers. This agreement builds on successful commercial programs that Citigroup and Visa already have. In Mexico, for example, more than 150 Banamex corporate clients use Visa Commercial Solutions, yielding a cumulative average growth rate of 102 percent in total sales volume since 1999.
Citibank Commercial Cards business offers card programs in over 30 countries used by over one million corporate and government cardholders. Corporate and government clients manage their programs via a robust set of management and reporting tools globally which include standard and ad hoc reports, online analytical processing (dynamic queries) of the Citibank(R) Global Data Repository, online statements and invoices and file delivery.
Commercial payments represent an enormous growth opportunity for the electronic payments industry in the region. In the last four years, the number of Visa cards for businesses and public sector institutions in Latin America grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 27 percent and Visa commercial cards generated US$1.5 billion in annual sales volume.
Citigroup (NYSE:C), the preeminent 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, insurance, securities brokerage, and asset management. Major brand names under Citigroup’s trademark red umbrella include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, Banamex, and Travelers Life and Annuity. Additional information may be found at: [www.citigroup.com].
About Citigroup Global Transaction Services
Citigroup Global Transaction Services is a leading provider of integrated cash management, trade finance, securities services and commercial card solutions to corporations, financial institutions and governments around the world. The Citibank(R) Commercial Cards products – Citibank(R) Corporate Card, Purchasing Card, One Card and Electronic Account – deliver the industry’s most advanced and innovative Web-based purchasing, payment, expense management and data integration solutions for business-to-business transactions. Citigroup is the largest bankcard issuer in the United States. For more information on Citibank Commercial Cards, please visit [www.citimanager.com].
Visa is the world’s leading payment brand generating nearly US$3 trillion in annual card sales volume. Visa has unsurpassed acceptance in more than 150 countries. The Visa organization plays a pivotal role in developing innovative payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders. Visa is a leader in Internet based payments and is pioneering the creation of u-commerce, or universal commerce–the ability to conduct commerce anywhere, anytime, and any way. For more information, visit [www.visalatam.com].
About Visa Commercial Solutions
Visa Commercial Solutions offer businesses and governments an easy, convenient way to buy office supplies, manage travel and entertainment expenses, control employee spending limits, meet cash flow needs, reduce operational expenses and track, monitor, and control business expenses. Visa offers five customizable product platforms backed by Visa’s unsurpassed acceptance and utility: Visa Business for small businesses and sole proprietors, Visa Corporate for corporate travel and entertainment expenses, Visa Purchasing for small-to-medium value corporate procurement, Visa Distribution for accounts receivable at corporations delivering merchandise to retailers, and Visa Commerce, which is a non-card-based system currently being piloted for electronic commerce transactions up to US$10 million. For more information, visit [www.visacommercialsolutions.com].