Software giant Microsoft and Citibank's Global Transaction Services (GTS) are working on a multi-year initiative to support Citi's newly launched next-generation e-banking platform, CitiDirect BE, the two companies announced.
The e-banking platform will serve the bank's corporate, financial institution and public sector clients, the sources said.
"With a global network spanning more than 100 countries, Citi will benefit from this collaboration because the CitiDirect BE platform will help monetise its best-in-class service offerings and broad geographic coverage, while taking full advantage of Microsoft's expertise in platform engineering, development of independent software vendor communities, and product life-cycle management," said the two parties.
The platform will leverage on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and include sophisticated analytic capabilities, self-service modules such as Citi's Electronic Bank Account Management (eBAM) offering, and rich media to provide expert insights on current trends and economic news affecting clients' business. Based on a service-oriented architecture (SOA) and open standards, the CitiDirect BE platform will provide key benefits such as collaborative innovation, standards, agility of Web 2.0 technologies and operational efficiency.
"Our institutional clients are demanding banking platforms and technology that gives them greater transparency and control over their working capital flows, increases their liquidity and improves the efficiency of their treasury and supply chain processes," said Gary Greenwald, chief innovation officer and global head of capabilities and information products at Citi. "The challenging global economy and credit-constrained environment is driving demand for a comprehensive solution addressing these elements. Working with our best clients, we've created CitiDirect BE to address these needs, both for corporations as well as for banks, who are able to offer this innovative service to their clients on a white-labelled basis, under their own brand, reducing upfront IT costs."
"This engagement aligns with our enterprise market strategy of driving integrated customer experience," said Susan Hauser, vice president of worldwide financial services at Microsoft. "Our collaboration is a unique opportunity for Microsoft to help financial services institutions realise a better customer-connected experience because Citi will have access to a virtual lab of engineering thought leaders, and have direct influence over enterprise product road maps."