Smart, Citi tie-up for e-payments
MANILA, Philippines—The mobile money unit Smart Communications is partnering with Citibank Philippines, allowing clients to settle bills using mobile platforms, a statement showed.
Smart, through Smart e-Money Inc., said this would be the first time it is collaborating with Citi Philippines, the largest foreign bank in the country. Smart is a unit of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., the country’s largest telco provider.
“Working together with Visa, Smart e-Money and Citi are committed to revolutionizing the payments landscape for both physical and virtual transactions,” the statement showed. The companies will use various mobile technologies, tapping Smart’s mobile financial services platform, while leveraging on Citi’s market leadership as the card issuer, and Visa’s expertise in payments technology.
“Smart e-Money, being a global pioneer in the mobile money domain, is well positioned to be more aggressive in raising the ante and in becoming the leader in enabling, engaging and empowering its target consumers,” PLDT chair Manuel V. Pangilinan said in the statement.
A Memorandum of Agreement was signed on May 5 to formalize the partnership between Citi Philippines and Smart e-Money, with regional officials from Citi Philippines and Visa in attendance alongside key executives from Smart and its affiliate companies including Manila Electric Co., Maynilad Water Services Inc., Manila North Tollways Corp., TV5 and PLDT.
“This collaboration affords us the opportunity to deliver again on this promise, and we are committed with Smart and Visa to anticipate the needs of our consumers and go beyond market expectations,” Citi Philippines CEO Batara Sianturi said in the same statement.
“We will no doubt raise the bar anew when we redefine mobile payments when we disclose more details around this partnership,” he added.
Visa’s group country manager for Southeast Asia, Gordon Cooper said: “Visa is committed to working with innovation partners like Smart e-Money and Citi to provide Filipinos with secure, faster and more convenient ways to pay. We are looking forward to using our expertise in innovations such as Visa payWave contactless payments to help develop solutions that will enhance the payment experience and make everyday transactions easier for our Visa cardholders.”
“We are ushering in the future in mobile payments. With this partnership, we can explore how a bank like Citi can venture into the digital space farther than online and mobile banking, how digital enablers like Smart can change the payments landscape, and how payment network Visa can provide interoperability and reach across the globe,” said Lito Villanueva, innovations and emerging payments head at SMI.