Citibank to launch new payment channels in 2014: Vice president

Doaa Farid
7 Min Read
Citibank’s Arif Raza, vice president and head of asset management
Citibank’s Arif Raza, vice president and head of asset management
Citibank’s Arif Raza, vice president and head of asset management

Citibank Egypt is one of the first banks in the country that introduced credit card services. The Daily News Egypt interviewed Citibank’s Arif Raza, vice president and head of asset management to identify the new credit card services and to know more about the bank’s services.

What is the market segment that Citibank Egypt credit card system targets?

We, at Citibank, have a customer centric approach and our strategy revolves around customers. We focus mainly on the affluent segments and our products and services are designed and developed keeping in mind the financial needs and lifestyle requirements of our target market segment. Moreover, responsible lending is one of our governing principals and we are very thorough while selecting our customer and extending credit facility including credit cards. We assess willingness and ability to pay of the customer through various credit checks. We not only make sure that the selected customer is from our target market but we also ensure that the customer not only needs our products and services but has steady income to support his lifestyle and repayments of the facility.

How much value is owed to the bank by credit card holders?

Our customers are our focal point while designing any product or services. We focus on meeting our commitment towards customers in providing best in class products and services in the market. This requires a lot of work on understanding client needs and lifestyle requirements which is part of our DNA. This is the reason that the customers show continuous appreciation of our products and services by keeping these on top of wallet and mind. We have a good market share of overall customer receivables and our customer outstanding balances are showing significant growth year on year and we are setting new milestone quarter after quarter.

To what extend are the conditions to obtain a credit card in Citibank Egypt in line and complying with the international standards of Citibank?


Citibank is a global bank present in over 100 countries; however we act locally. What this means is that we develop products and services based on local customer needs and requirements and relevant to the local market leveraging our experience around the globe. This business model has helped us to be the prominent player and the market leader is most of the countries. Having that said, most of the conditions related to obtaining a Citibank credit card are based on the local regulations and requirements. We capitalise on our global experience to develop swift, efficient and customer oriented processes around these requirements, which enables us to provide best in class customer experience and differentiates Citibank in the market. We have global benchmarks around customer experience at every stage and these benchmarks enable us to offer consistent customer experience for the products like credit card globally.


What are Citibank’s new credit card services?


Customer needs are changing with the changing world. Simultaneously, in line with our promise to provide best in class products and services, our products and services are dynamics and we are continuously enhancing these. We monitor emerging trends and changing customer behaviour very closely and adjust our products accordingly. We are on a constant quest of enhancing our products and services with the changing environments and customer needs. There is a long list new and enhanced customer services how some of the key services would include, launch of two innovative of premium cards products. We also revamped our online services and launched our digital package for customer convenience. We are also working on a set of new customer payment channels which we plan to launch this year. We launched number of customer campaigns incentivising the customers to use their credit cards.

How do you evaluate Egypt’s e-payment market?


Egypt was known to be a cash market. However during the last few years, a lot of progress has been made in the e-payment. All stakeholders, including government, credit card associations and banks are working hard to enhance e-payment infrastructure. Resultant a lot of ground has been covered in e-payment penetration during the last few years. The good thing about Egypt is that it is a huge market and there is a huge potential still out there with respect to the e-payment. So in our view a lot of ground has been covered, however there is still huge potential in the market and a long way to go.

From your point of view, does the e-payment service can help boost growth levels of the GDP?


The rapid proliferation of cards in the last 50 years has changed how consumers pay for goods and services, increasing share of e-payments globally. E-payment reduces friction in economy by providing consumer convenience and secure access to their funds expanding the spend pool.

E-payment penetration and usage does provide a meaningful boost to the world’s economy. It is more efficient and less time consuming for the customers and in true sense it brings world at customer’s fingers. It provides customer convenience, flexibility and ease to pay.

We know through our experience in different markets that there is a direct correlation between e-payment penetration and GDP growth; however, the elasticity may differ from country to country depending on the payment network and customer confidence.  As per the latest Moody’s research, e-payment contributed 0.8% to GDP across emerging markets and 0.3% which clearly support the fact.

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