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By Patrick Brett, Managing Director, Citi For Cities May 31, 2013 12:13 PM
Citi has recently been involved in a project in Brazil that highlights how cities can become more sustainable. For three weeks in April myself and Derek Rego, from transaction banking, worked in Porto Alegre, the capital and largest city in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, with a population of around 1.5 million people.
We were invited to participate in IBM's Smarter Cities Challenge program, which has sent a team of executives (usually all from IBM), to 100 cities over the last three years. Porto Alegre's goal for our three-week project was to learn about how technology - social media, mobile and data processing - can make their city smarter (or more "cognitive" as the Mayor put it) so that decision-making is better informed, citizens are more engaged and citizens' daily lives are improved.
By Jennifer Tescher, President & CEO, Center for Financial Services Innovation, and Brandee McHale, Chief Operating Officer, Citi Foundation April 11, 2013 12:27 PM
The decreasing cost of cellphones has caused a rise in mobile phone usage among households at all income levels. As smartphone adoption increases in the United States and worldwide, more people are engaging in mobile activities beyond simply making phone calls - and that includes on-the-go money management.
According to Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2013, a just-released report from the U.S. Federal Reserve, "the use of mobile financial services is particularly prevalent among the 10 percent of the population that is underbanked." The report also states that "among the 90 percent of underbanked consumers with mobile phones, 49 percent had used mobile banking in the 12 months preceding November 2012, up from 29 percent in December 2011." *
These mobile trends point to opportunities for financial technology innovation to better educate and reach the unbanked and underbanked through mobile devices.
By Debby Hopkins, Chief Innovation Officer, Citi Ventures February 28, 2013 10:19 PM
Chief Innovation Officer, Debby Hopkins, is spending this week at the annual TED (Technology-Entertainment-Design] conference in Long Beach, California. She shares her thoughts on the wide-ranging impact of this gathering, as well as the benefits to Citi of participation in the event and TED community.
At Citi, we've been talking for some time about how the big trends of globalization, urbanization and digitization are changing how people and organizations thrive. We know that this hyper-connected, speed-of-life world is redefining how our clients and customers live and work and, at the same time, it is requiring us to look closely at how we redesign our business to address their ever-changing needs.
There's no better place than TED to learn about a variety of viewpoints on the world and to deeply understand the challenges of this new age. Being here makes one recognize the personal contribution that each of us must make to tackle the huge issues facing humanity.
By Rob Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. February 15, 2013 10:00 AM
Photo Credit: Edward Reed from Mayor Bloomberg's Office
With over 600 commercial corridors and 300 vibrant neighborhoods, New York City is a city of neighborhoods, each offering their own unique small town feel. You can go to Washington Heights in Manhattan to enjoy Dominican dining and culture; visit Calle de Colombia, more commonly known as 82nd Street in Jackson Heights, Queens; or soak in the rugged shoreline feeling of Van Brunt Street and Pier 41 in Red Hook, Brooklyn. With unique character, comes unique challenges, and the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) is responsible for strengthening New York City's commercial corridors by supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as neighborhood leaders in all five boroughs. We do this primarily through our network of 67 Business Improvement Districts, and our NYC Business Solutions Centers. But we can't do it alone, and public/private partners like Citi are invaluable in helping us achieve our goals.
With contributions from Citi Community Development and other private funders, we recently announced a Small Business Assistance Grant program that offers up to $5,000 to small businesses impacted by Superstorm Sandy. These grants will give small businesses a badly needed lift -by replacing a fallen awning, repairing a freezer, or buying a new mixer-- to help them get back on their feet.
By Jonathan Larsen, Global Head of Retail Banking and Head of Consumer Banking, Citi January 29, 2013 09:00 AM
Since Citi's founding in 1812, we have applied our passion for innovation to connect clients to the world. Our most recent example of this innovative spirit is Citibank Express - a "Smart Banking" machine that allows customers to do almost all of their banking without visiting a branch, including opening accounts and applying for loans, cards and cashier's checks. The first Citibank Express machines were unveiled last week at Citibank branches in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Citibank Express is equipped with an online banking connection, video-conferencing and biometric capabilities for customer identity authentication. A customer can start a transaction on a computer or mobile device and complete it on Citibank Express--and vice versa. Citibank Express's "split screen" makes navigation intuitive. The screen can display personalized promotions and offers, and allows clients to see and speak with a customer service representative on one screen while conducting business on the other. The machines have near field communication capabilities as well as scanning and embossing functions to allow for future roll-outs of functions such as instant printing of credit and ATM cards.
January 15, 2013 01:00 PM
Citi and the Wall Street Journal have teamed up to name the "City of the Year," an award given to the most innovative city. Based on a combination of judging from the Urban Land Institute and popular vote, New York City is one of the three finalists for the title of "City of the Year."
Yaron Galai is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Outbrain. Prior to founding Outbrain, Yaron was Co-Founder, SVP of Quigo, Inc., a provider of performance-based marketing solutions for advertisers and premium publishers. Outbrain provides personalized recommendations across a network of premium publishers. Through Outbrain's all-in-one content discovery solution, publishers, brands and marketers are able to amplify their audience engagement by driving traffic to their content - on their site and around the web. Founded in 2006, the company is headquartered in New York, with 15 offices globally.
Q: Why do you think Tel Aviv should be chosen for 'City of the Year'?
Tel Aviv specifically, and Israel at large, has the rare combination of ingredients need to spur innovation. It has a risk-taking, entrepreneurial culture which was described wonderfully in the book Startup Nation. It provides a great community of innovators that cluster together and provide the critical support network needed to spur innovation. As I said above - triggering a community like that is a big chicken&egg problem, which is why it happened in so few places in the world and Tel Aviv is one of those rare examples. On top of culture and community, Tel Aviv offers a great network of service providers that can support entrepreneurs - VC's, lawyers, accountants, IT providers, bankers, etc, etc. Many cities might have great law firms, or brand name banks. But very few of those are actually tuned to be able to support the very specific needs of early stage, risk-taking innovators. Lastly - Tel Aviv is a great city to live and work in - it's sunny, has a great beach, vibrant city with a diverse community.
By Wei Hopeman, Managing Director and Asia Venturing Head, Citi Ventures November 21, 2012 01:00 PM
Citi Ventures focuses on innovation and makes strategic equity investments in emerging technologies that can shape the future of money. The Citi Ventures Asia team recently invested in DDMap, one of the largest lifestyle information websites and mobile-offers platforms in China.
DDMap is a leader in China in online-to-offline commerce - providing consumers with lifestyle information through the internet and mobile internet, and motivating them to visit a physical store. It does this by aggregating deals and listings for many of China's major retailers and delivering them to consumers online and on the move (via its mobile apps DDcoupon and DDlife).
November 02, 2012 11:30 AM
Following our recent post examining the energy category finalists for the FT/Citi Ingenuity Awards, this post explores the top candidates for infrastructure whose innovation is helping to fuel growth and economic progress in urban centers worldwide. Be sure to visit Citi's Facebook page to tell us which of the below finalists you think is most ingenious.
Later this month, we will profile the finalists for education and healthcare categories, so check back soon.
FT/Citi Awards Infrastructure Finalists:
As FT architecture critic Edwin Heathcote noted in this FT video profiling the finalists for the category, infrastructure has been famously described as the "invisible city" by urban historian Lewis Mumford. While many urban dwellers only think about infrastructure during those rare moments it fails to deliver for them, many others must frequently contend with serious infrastructure-related challenges.
Below are the four finalists who have implemented ingenious solutions to improve urban infrastructure:
By Keng-Mun Lee, Citi Innovation Lab Singapore October 25, 2012 09:00 AM
Head of Innovation Lab Keng-Mun Lee (left) receiving the award from Singapore's Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Dr. Yaacob Ibrahimp
We are honored that Citi Innovation Lab has been recognized by the prestigious National Infocomm Awards (NIA) for the Innovative Use of Infocomm Technology, Private Sector (General) category for its Interactive Solutions software. Citi Innovation Lab leverages new web, mobile, supply chain and analytics technologies to engage Citi's institutional clients more innovatively to create the most effective solutions and products for them. It is also the first transaction banking experience of its kind for corporations.
October 05, 2012 09:00 AM
In celebration of Citigroup's 200th Anniversary, we are sharing stories from our rich history here on this blog. The 28th installation below covers how technological advances in the1980s improved banking processes and customer service. Read the 27th installment explaining how John Reed helped internationalize senior management, here.