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Citi blankets Asia with APIs

The bank says it will have open APIs for 17 markets in Asia Pac and beyond.



Sanjeev Mehra, Citi

Last spring, Citi executives detailed their approach to working with third-party fintechs through open APIs, and how they are backing their infrastructure with cloud computing.

Sanjeev Mehra, head of global product development for global consumer technology, told DigFin Updated that the entirety of the bank’s Asia-Pacific coverage will be included by the end of 2018.

He says the bank operates in 17 markets and that the last three that haven’t been put on the open-API footing will be included in the coming months. He declined to specify which markets are not yet involved in the program.

The bank will use application programming interfaces (APIs) to connect their customer data with third-party fintechs’ software, or to connect their own services to the customers of third-party corporations.

The bank claims it will have open APIs for consumer banking, wealth management, credit cards and mortgages throughout Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Products vary by market, Citi says.

“We’re going to cover it all this year,” Mehra said. He declined to name fintech counterparties, but the company has announced relationships with Airbnb, Uber, Lazada and AirAsia. Its open APIs let it provide a variety of banking services to the customers of these companies.

“API is an open field,” Mehra said, while expressing his belief that Citi is ahead of its banking rivals in this regard. “These partnerships have taught us what experiences are valuable, or are not valuable, for our customers,” based on the data the bank receives from these corporate partners.

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