Citigroup plans to use Microsoft .NET technologies, including Passport and .NET Alerts, to streamline and enhance customer access to Citigroup's products on the Internet.
By using these new technologies from Microsoft, Citigroup will offer its customers new levels of convenience and choice to access and navigate multiple websites, and improve the overall online experience by providing customers greater control and customization capabilities.
Microsoft's Passport system will allow customers visiting Passport-enabled Citigroup sites to be automatically identified after signing in. Customers will then be authenticated by Citigroup using Citigroup passwords before being granted access to personal information or being able to conduct financial transactions. Customers will also be able to gain access to other Passport-enabled sites operated by Microsoft or third parties without having to enter any further user IDs or passwords.
The move complements Citigroup's online services, according to Sir Deryck Maughan, vice chairman of Citigroup and head of its Internet operating group. "Citigroup provides a comprehensive set of online products and payment services to its customers, and these new .NET technologies from Microsoft will make it easier and more convenient for our customers to do business with us on the Internet."
Citigroup currently has over 16 million online accounts worldwide, spanning banking, brokerage, credit cards and other services.
Citi Cards, the largest provider of credit cards in the U.S with more than 94 million accounts, will be the first Citigroup business to offer its online users streamlined access services using Passport. Citi Card customers will also be able to use .NET Alerts, Microsoft's instant messaging-based notifications service, that provides subscribers with relevant and customized information when, where and how they want it.
Citi Cards will become a preferred payments provider for Microsoft, including promotion in key areas on MSN.
"Featuring Citi Cards among Microsoft properties and consumer commerce initiatives will allow us to acquire new customers, increase usage of Citi Cards for online purchases and support our existing customers better," said Steven J. Freiberg, president and CEO of Citi Cards.