HONG KONG (Reuters) – Citigroup has teamed up with Singapore-based ride-hailing firm Grab to launch co-branded credit cards, as it looks to boost its Asian customer base by about 13% via partnerships with digital firms, a senior Citi executive said.
The new cards mark the latest step in Grab’s big push into the financial services sector, an area it has earmarked for growth. For the US bank, it is in line with its strategy to offer its products within online ecosystems as consumers spend more time on smartphones.
The Citi-Grab co-branded cards will be issued in the Philippines on Tuesday and in Thailand later this year, before being rolled our in other Southeast Asian markets.
“Today we have about 16 million customers in Asia, and our aspiration is to increase this by about two million in the next few years through partnerships alone,” Gonzalo Luchetti, Citi’s head of consumer banking for Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, told Reuters.
Citi launched a co-branded credit card with Indian payments firm Paytm last month and with Qantas two years ago.
The bank’s net income from Asia Pacific was $4.4 billion in 2018, with a third of its $15.3-billion revenue coming from Southeast Asia – where Grab is the leading ride-hailing firm.