Bullish on PH market, Citi sees big growth in credit card business

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@paolomontecillo

08:37 PM September 22nd, 2013

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By: Paolo G. Montecillo, September 22nd, 2013 08:37 PM

Financial giant Citi expects its local credit card business—one of its main revenue sources for operations in the Philippines—to grow significantly next year as the consumption-driven Philippine economy continues to expand.

In a press conference on Thursday, Citi Philippines said  its credit card business would post “high double-digit” rates next year as the company capitalizes on the optimism of Filipino consumers.

“We just finished the first round of our 2014 growth targets, and we foresee that, given that the economy has been doing well, we will be able to open up new segments,” Citi Philippines consumer business manager Bea Tan said.

“We are looking at a high double-digit growth next year,” Tan said.

Citi’s credit card business currently makes up at least half of its retail revenues in the Philippines, Tan said. She said the company had more than one million credit card users in the Philippines, and had a 20-percent market share in terms of total revenue, highest in the industry.

On Thursday, Citi announced a partnership with multinational payments giant Visa for the launch of contact-less credit cards. The new technology, which will be embedded in all Citi credit cards moving forward, will allow users to simply tap their cards on special terminals to complete transactions under P2,000.

These new terminals will be deployed to various merchants, including select McDonald’s and Mercury Drug branches, movie theatres and supermarkets.

Dubbed as “PayWave,” the contact-less feature will be included in all cards issued by Citi starting this month. These same cards will also have more secure EMV chips instead of magnetic stripes, which are more susceptible to fraud.

Tan said the new technology would be thrice as fast as the traditional way of using credit cards, which involves swiping or inserting cards into terminals. Customers also have the option of not having receipts printed to save on time.

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