South Africa – Citi has announced the launch of a new service for its institutional clients that speeds up the processing of their cross-border payments through the digitization of supporting documents. The service, which is being rolled out initially in South Africa, significantly streamlines and eases the processing of overseas payments by bringing together on a single electronic platform the once-separate submission of cross-border payment instructions and documents associated with them.
"At Citi, we're investing heavily in digital technologies and platforms to simplify, integrate and automate our clients' payment and FX-related activities, end-to-end," said, Shahmir Khaliq, Global Head, Treasury and Trade Solutions ("TTS"), Citi. "Our ultimate objective is to create frictionless payments that can be delivered electronically and uniformly, 24/7, to any country, via any channel and in any currency. This new service brings us a step closer to that goal."
"Our strategy involves looking across every aspect of our business to identify ways to automate manual processes, both our own and those of our clients, to create new banking tools and solutions befitting a digital age," said Manish Kohli, Global Head of Payments and Receivables, TTS, Citi. "This has led to the development of highly beneficial solutions such as digitized documentation that create a better overall experience for our clients, in addition to helping them do more, in less time, with fewer resources."
When companies initiate cross-border payments they must submit supporting documents to their banks to meet various FX control and regulatory reporting requirements. Until now, these documents were received and processed separate from corresponding payment instructions, requiring manual interventions to link them.
"Fulfilling and managing cross-border documentation has traditionally been a time-consuming, paper-based process—and a pain point for both banks and their customers," said Amit Agarwal, Global Head of Cross-Border Payments, TTS, Citi. "With e-commerce on the rise globally, and electronic payments becoming the norm, it is more important than ever for cross-border payment documentation to keep up with our hyper-connected world."
With Citi's new service, documents can be completed, processed and tracked digitally via Citi's CitiDirect BE® electronic banking platform. The platform also provides users with upfront details about the documentation and data requirements for different payment types. This single-window service creates clear linkages between payments and related documents and cuts document fulfillment and processing times by more than half. In addition, users can also track the status of their documents on the platform, via Citi® Payment Insights, and can access valuable reporting and analytics that enhance the management of cash and cross-border transactions.
"Completely digitizing clients' cross-border payment processes helps them save time and money, and also respond faster to the demands of today's global marketplace," said Esther Chibesa, Sub-Sahara Africa Head, TTS, Citi. "Digitizing cross-border payments documentation processes also sets the stage for further innovation and deepening our engagement with various important stakeholders on how to achieve better sustainability outcomes, a theme that cannot be over-emphasized today."
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
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Citi's Treasury and Trade Solutions
Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) enables our clients' success by providing an integrated suite of innovative and tailored cash management and trade finance services to multinational corporations, financial institutions and public sector organizations across the globe. Based on the foundation of the industry's largest proprietary network with banking licenses in over 90 countries and globally integrated technology platforms, TTS continues to lead the way in offering the industry's most comprehensive range of digitally enabled treasury, trade and liquidity management solutions.
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