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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Citibank's new card integrates social networking

Key feature of the card will be its virtual community that combines online and real-life benefits
The Straits Times - March 9, 2012
By: Lo Yee
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Citibank's new card integrates social networking -- ST FILE PHOTO

CITIBANK Singapore is reaching out to young customers with an online lifestyle, as it tries to get ahead of the pack in the fast-changing digital age.

Its new Clear Platinum Card integrates social networking as one of its main features, as it strives to become the premier digital bank in Asia.

The card, to be launched today, is believed to be one of the first here to directly involve social networking in enhancing the credit card experiences for consumers.

Targeted at young and tech-savvy professionals aged 21 to 35, the card will draw in a crowd that frequents nightspots, cinemas, cafes and online shops.

'Nowadays, young people love to shop online and are increasingly adopting social networking as an integral part of their lives,' said Ms Jacquelyn Tan, head of credit payment products at Citibank.

More than 1.5 million Facebook users are aged under 35 in Singapore, according to a study last year by marketing firm Experian Hitwise.

A key feature of the card will be its virtual community that combines online and real-life benefits.

Similar to the Facebook interface, members can participate in social activities such as letting others know places they have visited recently and deals that have caught their attention.

Virtual points are then chalked up and converted into real Citibank Clear Platinum Card reward points, up to a total of $5,000, which can be redeemed at cinemas, nightspots, cafes and shops.

The growing demand for online retail is expected to help Citibank's sales growth, which rose 20 per cent on a year-on-year basis as of last month.

Ms Tan said 'e-commerce as a proportion of total card spending grew at a year-on-year rate of 28 per cent from 2010 to 2011, which is healthy'.

All marketing efforts will be made through online advertisements and electronic mailers.

Other banks have been keen to tap the younger crowd as well.

OCBC Bank launched a credit card programme last May, targeting youth who engage in social networking. Young users can customise their own cards and track their cash flows on an interactive website.

And one of POSB's debit cards caters to those above 16 and has no minimum income requirement.



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