RealTime IT News

Citibank Offers One-Click E-Commerce App

Citibank launched a free downloadable toolbar, powered by Obongo, that lets users shop the Internet with single-click login, registration, form filling, searching and comparison shopping.

The new toolbar also allows the user to filter or forward e-mail. The application is server-based so, unlike passwords and favorite sites stored on a local PC, a user of the Citibank Toolbar can access his or her personal toolbar from any computer with Internet access.

Citibank said the app uses multi-layer encryption to keep consumer information protected.

"The Internet needs to be more consumer friendly for (consumers) to take full advantage of it," said Steven J. Freiberg, president and CEO of Citi Cards in North America. "They want to be able to conduct their online shopping and other activities in a fast, easy and secure manner and the new Citibank Toolbar provides a tool to do just that."

Citigroup has stated it intends to become a major player in facilitating online consumer payments.

The Citibank Toolbar appears at the bottom of the user's browser and offers customization features that include: single-click login and access to favorite sites; single-click form filling and registration (includes profile with shipping and billing information); comparison shopping for product prices across thousands of merchant sites; consumer reviews of the most popular products; ratings of the most popular merchants; optional advisories on sites' privacy policies; e-mail management that allows the user to filter and forward messages; and tools for getting stock quotes and performing Web searches.

The toolbar will also include functions to allow easy access to Citigroup and Citibank financial products and services.

"We are delighted that the largest financial services company in the world has chosen our technology to enhance their customers' e-commerce experience," said John Hunt, CEO of Obongo. Financial arrangements between the companies were not disclosed.

Obongo released its first product, the obongo bar for the PC, last March. The company operates as an ASP (application service provider) providing a turnkey hosted service to partners such as financial and telecom companies.