It will be therefore a wise decision on the part of Citibank to launch its Credit card business in the Asia-Pacific region with full force. Such an approach is required in the early 1990s because;
i. Since the era of gloabalisation is just taking shape, therefore for an international bank like Citibank having years of experience, it will be easier to convince the customers in the neo-liberalised markets.
ii. Since a number of local banks and American Express are already in the market place with their own cards, it will be easier for Citibank to take a leaf out of their experiences and adopt an approach which takes due precaution in avoiding early losses.
iii. In order to compete with American Express, it will be a wise decision on the part of Citibank to make its presence felt before Amex leaves an indelible imprint in the minds of the credit card customers in these markets.
iv. No doubt economies of Asia-Pacific nations are less developed than those of US and Europe, but the economic turnaround in countries like Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines after the slowdown shows the resilience of these nations in fighting back the adverse conditions.
v. The real market lies where there are more people. ...
This search will bring them to Asia Pacific. Therefore the marketing efforts of these companies will be promoting the usage of credit cards. Citibank has to be there at the scene of action to reap the benefits.
vi. Citibank has two pairs of experienced hands in Rana Talwar and Pei Chia to devise strategies for the local populace in India and China respectively.
vii. In fact when Jaitirth Rao, country manager for India, says that, "launching a credit card with little infrastructure has great potential to be a major headache down the road", he is in fact being realistic in his approach and desired that Citibank must take this business rather seriously in India.
Citibank has an upscale base. Its mission in Asia-Pacific region was to be the most profitable and preeminent provider of a wide array of financial services to an increasingly affluent upper and middle-income market, and to reach the rapidly growing middle income households in this region. It has its presence in 15 countries in varying degrees. For the time being the bank will serve its purpose if it continues to work on its mission and position the credit card for the upper-income segment and the rapidly growing middle-income households. This way the bank will get ample patronage and time to consolidate its card operations. If it is able to gain enough customers in this segment thereafter it can go for the lower-middle-income or lower-income group.
Citibank is already active in 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, mainly in the banking business. Its credit cards are in use in Australia and Hong-Kong. Malaysia too has a variety of credit card options ranging from American Express to the local banks. In order to set a priority for fresh launches, Citibank will have to make sure