Africa's best bank for transaction services 2017: Citi

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Awards for Excellence 2017

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© 2017 Euromoney

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Africa has been a difficult market to contend with over the last year, for both local and international banks operating across the continent. But with a widespread local and correspondent banking presence, Citi has taken this year’s award for Africa’s best bank in transaction services. 

Over the review period, Citi made great steps forward on payments and collections. Despite strong competition from mobile platforms, the bank leveraged its advantages, such as higher payment thresholds and the ability to process greater transaction volumes, to build its market share.

The bank worked in collaboration with third-party providers to improve the reach of its network. In Cameroon, the bank implemented upcountry payments through Express Union. By operating with this microfinance company, it was able to overcome problems with collections created by a lack of banking infrastructure. For corporates, the CitiBE platform means the bank can guarantee the sending and receipt of payments, improving liquidity positions.

The CitiCollect online utility collection solution was developed in Kenya to assist with the collection and reconciliation of utility bills. After the successful implementation, the service has been rolled out to other organizations and is now being used by the Kenyan government for tax collection. As well as ensuring that funds are being transferred, Citi refocused to ensure the full client experience was a seamless process. 

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Peter Crawley, Citi

To encourage the growth of trade, Peter Crawley, treasury and trade solutions head, sub-Saharan Africa, says Citi launched its sub-Saharan African trade services hub to give overseas banks a single point of entry to the continent. By working through the South African-based hub, clients can access a network of over 130 correspondent banks in 34 sub-Saharan countries. 

As well as developing new products, the bank continued to push established services into new markets. The Credit Interest Optimization platform was expanded into South Africa and Nigeria, benefiting companies with multicurrency accounts. The programme optimizes the yield and remunerates each account position on the aggregated notional balances for all participant accounts held with Citi. This allows for higher yields, especially in countries with trapped cash, or under strict regulations or zero rates.