Citibank Singapore implementing mobile digital wallets, voice biometrics

June 14, 2016 - 

Citibank Singapore has been focusing their credit card efforts on mobile e-wallet payments via the Android platform, following last month’s individual announcements by five major banks in Singapore that they are introducing credit and debit cards’ compatibility with Apple Pay, according to a report by Fintech Innovation.

The bank has set its sights on launching their first mobile e-wallet service via Samsung Pay, and is currently beta testing those customers with compatible mobile phones.

Samsung Pay is scheduled to launch in Singapore on June 16, which marks the digital wallet service’s introduction in the Southeast Asia market.

The flexible nature of Samsung Pay will enable transactions to be made at a far greater number of retail points of sale than that of Apple Pay, according to Peng Chun-Hsien, Citibank Singapore’s head of merchant acquiring and emerging payments.

Unlike Apple Pay, Samsung Pay is built on Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST), which enables the service to support transactions not only at NFC-enabled contactless payment readers but also via regular chip and swipe payment terminals.

Following its launch of Samsung Pay, Citibank Singapore will also introduce its proprietary digital wallet, Citi Pay, designed for NFC-enabled Android mobile users in Singapore later this year.

The bank recently rolled out a voice biometrics authentication service to make the customer identity verification process faster and more seamless.

Customers are prompted to first enroll their voiceprints in the system by simply speaking freely for approximately a minute. After the initial enrollment, customers’ voiceprints are updated each time they interact with the bank’s identity verification system over the phone.

OCBC Bank launched its own voice biometrics service in Singapore last month. However, unlike Citibank’s service which attains customers’ voiceprints through a minute of free speech, OCBC’s service requires clients to utter a specific phrase three times.

“Our customers today are increasingly digitally-savvy, mobile and global,” said Han Kwee Juan of Citibank Singapore. “Our mobile and digital strategy is built around our customers’ evolving preferences, ensuring that we bring them a banking experiences that meets and exceeds their expectations across all our digital touch points – phone, mobile and online banking.”

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.