Citigroup, one of the world’s largest financial service companies, believes the banking industry is undergoing a “revolution” that needs the support of mobile technology.
In an interview with Mobile World Live, Don Callahan, the firm’s Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Operations & Technology Officer, described his presence at last month’s Mobile World Congress as proof that the banking industry recognises it needs to be engaged in this sector. “There’s no arrogance in the banking world anywhere that I see. I think we’ve weathered a few storms and we’re trying to figure out the best way we can serve our clients and our customers. I think one of the key recognitions is that this is a revolution. It’s a revolution that’s being driven in part by technology, in part by social, in part just by thinking differently. And we’re open to change and we want to help be a driver of change.”
Citigroup is no stranger to the booming mobile money sector, having worked with mobile operator America Movil on a joint venture throughout Latin America. But it’s the corporate market that Callahan is looking to for major growth: “Within the next five years what I think is going to happen is you’re going to see the B-to-B side really go mobile. So with our Global Transaction Services [business], one of the things we heard from corporate CFOs and treasurers around the world is that they want it to be untethered, they needed to make sophisticated business decisions when they’re standing in a passport line at Heathrow and they’ve got to be able to make payroll decisions … very significant decisions and they want to be able to do it from their mobile.”
Elsewhere in the interview Callahan discusses the role of regulators in the mobile money market and why Metcalfe’s Law will ensure that such services become a commercial mainstream success.