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Citibank-issued credit cards in the US will be accepted on the American Express global merchant network. It is expected that the new credit cards developed by Citibank will be available by late 2005.

While Citibank will be responsible for issuing the cards, managing customer relationships, providing service, billing and credit management and designing the card product features, American Express will process transactions on its global merchant network. However, financial terms of the agreement are not immediately known.

AmEx has already established 85 card-issuing alliances in 97 countries so far. In India, the company has been issuing its own credit and charge cards but will now operate as a payment brand like Mastercard and Visa, the other prominent networks. American Express informed that India may see its Citibank-issued cards by early '06.

According to a survey, only 2% Indians spend over $300 per month as against 58% of the cardholders in the UAE. The frequency of use in the country was way below, with only 6-10% using their cards compared to 31% in the UAE during any given month.

A majority 72% of Indians use their cards less than twice a month compared to only 15% in the Persian Gulf country. The survey, which was conducted simultaneously in Egypt, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, also showed differences in consumer spend, with most Indians using their cards on clothing while a majority of cardholders in other countries used theirs for grocery shopping.


..... Use of International Cards by Resident Indians while on a visit outside India

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