NEW YORK and REDMOND, Wash., March 20, 2002 — Citigroup and Microsoft Corp. today announced a broad strategic agreement in which Citigroup businesses will 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 Web sites 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 to Passport. 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 also will 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.
Sir Deryck Maughan, Vice Chairman of Citigroup and head of its Internet Operating Group, said:
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.
“.NET is designed to allow cutting-edge companies like Citigroup to build stronger customer relationships and offer operational efficiencies that reduce costs and enhance revenue growth,”
said Rick Belluzzo, president and chief operating officer at Microsoft.
“Citigroup’s use of .NET technologies demonstrates the company’s commitment to creating and deploying best-of-class Web services that offer its customers a more personalized online experience, and underscores the vital role .NET can play in advancing Web services in the financial services industry.”
Citi Cards ( http://www.citicards.com/ ), the largest provider of credit cards in the United States, with more than 94 million accounts, will be the first Citigroup business to offer its online users streamlined access services using Passport, Microsoft’s authentication and single sign-in service. Citi Card customers will also be able to use .NET Alerts, Microsoft’s instant messaging-based notifications service, which provides subscribers with relevant and customized information when, where and how they want it.
As part of this agreement, Citi Cards will become a preferred card partner for Microsoft and will be promoted in key areas on MSN® , one of the most successful vehicles for e-commerce on the Internet.
“By featuring Citi Cards among Microsoft properties and consumer commerce initiatives, we will forge a true partnership based on aligning our common goals and objectives. This 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.
Citigroup will complement its existing suite of notification services available to banking, credit card and brokerage customers by adding .NET Alerts, a service that lets users sign up to be notified of important events such as when a payment is due, when a credit limit has been reached or when a customer’s statement is available. The .NET Alerts service sends messages to a user’s desktop, cell phone, mobile device or e-mail address — based on the user’s preferences. When online, the user can then click on that alert and be directed back to the Citigroup site for more detailed information. Alerts services will allow Citigroup customers to be notified as soon as important events occur, and to receive only the alerts they want, when and where they want them.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
), the preeminent global financial services company with some 200 million customer accounts in more than 100 countries, provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage, and asset management. Major brand names under Citigroup’s trademark red umbrella include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, Banamex and Travelers. Citi Cards is the largest provider of card products in the United States with more than 94 million customer accounts. Additional information may be found at http://www.citigroup.com/ .
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