Magazine article American Banker

Citi Launches Shopping App

Magazine article American Banker

Citi Launches Shopping App

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew Johnson

Citigroup Inc. is getting into the mobile shopping game with an application that combines card-specific offers with location-based details.

Citi planned to send an e-mail on Tuesday to about 1.5 million of its debit and credit-cardholders with a link to a beta version of the Citi Shopper app, which is available for download on Apple Inc. iPhones, Research In Motion Ltd. BlackBerrys, phones that use Google Inc.'s Android operating system and other Web-enabled handsets, said Kurt Weiss, a senior vice president with Citi Cards.

The tool differs from other mobile shopping apps because it unites "location-based offers, pricing information, deals as well as card offers and benefits" and presents them to "consumers in one experience," Weiss said.

Citi on June 3 did a "soft launch" of the app for the iPhone. Non-Citi customers can use the app to search for products and deals in their area but cannot receive card-specific offers.

GPShopper LLC, a New York mobile software developer, is using its merchandise search engine Slifter to power some of Citi Shopper's features. Slifter can search for roughly 2 million products in about 300,000 U.S. locations, said Alex Muller, GPShopper's chief executive.

Because it is available for the predominant smart phone operating systems and basic-feature phones with a Web browser, the app allows Citi to reach a wider audience than with apps that are specific to a particular type of handset, Muller said.

When building a mobile app, "you have to consider an Apple deployment but the majority of folks don't have an iPhone," said Neil Strother, the practice director for mobile marketing strategies at ABI Research. …

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