September 14, 2021 | 17:02 GMT+7

Citi speeds up cross-border payments through digitization efforts

By digitizing analog, paper-based documentation and relevant processes, Citi reduces the turnaround time for cross-border payments for clients in Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand.

Photo: Citi Vietnam
Photo: Citi Vietnam

Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions Asia Pacific has introduced a new service for institutional clients in the region to speed up cross-border payments.

Available in the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, the CitiDirect BE® Document Center digitizes supporting documents and streamlines the relevant processes required to facilitate cross-border payments.

As part of Citi’s digitization efforts across the globe, the Document Center was first introduced in South Africa in March 2021.

Managing cross-border payments has traditionally been an analog, cumbersome, and time-consuming process for both banks and their clients, particularly in markets with currency restrictions. When initiating cross-border payments, clients have to submit lengthy, paper-based supporting documents to their banks to comply with various FX control and regulatory reporting requirements. Supporting documents are then typically processed separately from corresponding payment instructions, requiring manual interventions to link the two.

Available in CitiDirect BE® - Citi’s electronic banking platform for institutional clients - the Document Center serves as a digital document submission channel that also supports additional multiple processes required to facilitate cross-border payments.

“Payments is a strategic focus area for Citi,” said Mr. Amit Agarwal, Global Head of Cross-Border Payments, Treasury and Trade Solutions, at Citi. “Through digitization, we continue to introduce new solutions and capabilities that enable us to create frictionless payment experiences. In cross-border payments, where transactions are often complex, we are simplifying processes for clients to keep pace with today’s hyper-connected world. By investing in digital solutions and capabilities, we want to help clients move money anytime, through any channel and using any currency.”

With the Document Center, supporting documentation is now completed, processed, and tracked digitally and clients are provided with details on documentation and regulatory and data requirements for different payment types upfront. A single-window service creates clear linkages between payment instructions and related documents while providing a simple and user-friendly experience. Clients can also track the status of their documents on the platform, using Citi® Payment Insights, with access to reporting and analytics that enhance the management of cash and cross-border transactions.

“Banking is transforming to become 24/7, and our payment services have to support clients in this age of digital commerce,” said Mr. Sanjeev Jain, Asia Pacific Head of Payments and Receivables, Treasury and Trade Solutions, at Citi. “Our latest service enables clients to process cross-border payments much more efficiently, while in compliance with regulatory requirements. The process provides more transparency and empowers clients to better manage their day-to-day operations.”

“This latest digital solution complements our suite of recently-launched digital capabilities in Vietnam, including CitiDirect BE® Digital Onboarding, electronic customs declaration (eCD) processing, and eTax payments,” said Mr. Jared Mecham, Citi Vietnam Head of Treasury and Trade Solutions. “We are committed to driving more digital-firsts for our clients in Vietnam as we further our leadership in digitization and innovation in the market.”