Citibank first to target Indian students

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Bangalore, India -- Citibank, one of the largest multinational banks in India, has launched CitiStudent, the South Asian subcontinent's first banking program exclusively targeting students.

The start of a new ``Lifestage Marketing''-themed campaign, the effort seeks to attract students as customers using technologically advanced banking services; easy terms for account opening and minimum balance requirements; and ease of use.

The effort aims to retain students as customers once they join the workforce. The bank, part of New York-based Citicorp, plans to target 50 leading universities and educational institutes in India by 2000.

"CitiStudent users will have an opportunity to experience Citibanking very early in their lives while giving us a unique advantage in understanding and meeting the evolving needs of these customers as they advance in their lifestage, so that Citibank remains their automatic preferred choice for all their financial needs," said Ashoke Dutt, Citibank India's global consumer bank head.

The U.S. bank launched the concept at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, Karnataka. Citibank Cyberzone, an area in the business school's campus, offers student customers a 24-hour CitiPhone banking hot line; online banking and Internet terminals; an automatic teller machine; and terminals that can process both debit and credit cards.

Relaxing the stringent norms common for opening new accounts, Citibank will allow students to maintain a minimum $25 savings balance with their checking account. Other incentives include waivers on monthly fee charges on accounts, an ATM/debit card and a Citibank credit card. Citibank leads the local credit-card market with nearly 1 million cardholders and 50% of volume generated through countrywide transactions.

Copyright December 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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