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Citi Launches Pilot in India to use Mobile Phones as Credit Cards

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Citi today announced the launch of "Citi Tap and Pay" (CTP) in Bengaluru, India; a next-generation contactless credit card payments based on Near Field Communications technology. CTP pilot service will be one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive pilots ever undertaken and is part of Citi’s ongoing efforts to harness new innovative technologies to provide enhanced convenience, accessibility and mobility forcustomers. Citi has established a fully secure, scalable and interoperable mobile payments ecosystem in Bengaluru in collaboration with Nokia, Vodafone, MasterCard and ViVOtech.

With the launch of CTP in India, customers in Bengaluru will experience the simplicity, ease and convenience of using their mobile phone as a credit card. The technology will allow customers to tap their mobile phone on a contactless reader at the point of sale to pay for purchases, eliminating the need for the traditional swiping of credit cards. The service also does away with the need for customers to send SMS or incur mobile data charges to make these payments.

Early adopters of this technology will enjoy promotional offers such as discounts at popular merchant establishments, which cover a wide range of categories including department stores, food courts at shopping malls and office buildings, restaurants and fast food chains, bookstores and multiplexes.

Nokia will support the service with its NFC-enabled Nokia 6212 classic phones. The 3G phone provides consumers the capability to conduct NFC-based interactions with other such everyday devices and services. Most importantly, NFC-enabled phones can replace the multitude of cards in consumer wallets. Vodafone is the Mobile Network Operator for the pilot service. MasterCard will offer its MasterCard PayPass™ contactless payment and security infrastructure. ViVOtech is providing the underlying technology, including the NFC wallet, the Over-the-Air (OTA) card provisioning software, the smart posters and the mobile coupon application in addition to the contactless readers that participating merchants will use to accept payments.

CTP customers will use the new NFC-capable Nokia N 6212 classic phone, which they can purchase at designated Nokia stores, pre-loaded with the CTP application enabled with MasterCard’s PayPassTM contactless payments technology. They will then be able to securely execute an Over-The-Air (OTA) download of their Citibank MasterCard Credit card onto their mobile phone. Once personalized, their credit card on the phone is ready. Customers can use the phones to make Tap and Pay transactions at locations displaying the CTP and MasterCard PayPassTM acceptance marks. CTP transactions are absolutely secure, and require a PIN validation that ensures complete peace of mind. In addition to the built-in security features, the contactless payment transactions will be automatically charged to a customer’s Citibank MasterCard card account through the same secure payment network that processes traditional credit card transactions.

Through this pilot, Citi will gather user insight across a wide range of parameters. In addition to assessing customer acceptance to making contactless transactions through mobile NFC, the pilot will also track the response to NFC-enabled interactive posters and mobile coupon redemptions.

This is one of many innovative solutions Citi is testing and rolling out around the world. In addition to mobile, Citi is developing and delivering products and services for customers who commute via public transit, manage their money online, and are seeking a more convenient retail branch experience.

Bengaluru has a distinct place in Citi’s history of innovation as it was the launch-site for Citi’s pilot Suvidha program in 1998. The pilot proved so successful that Suvidha went on to create a new product platform called Bank@Work for Citi globally.

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