Citibank’s mission in the Asia Pacific region was to be the most profitable provider of a wide array of financial services to an increasingly affluent and middle-income market, and to reach the rapidly growing middle-income households in this region.
Overview: Citibank in Asia Pacific 1978-1989 1986 : Begins a period of growth in Thailand and the Philippines 1982 : Acquired Diners Club in Thailand 1978 : Citibank’s Asia Pacific Consumer Bank had established its consumer business in Asia 1981 : First foreign bank to enter the local trade finance market in Taiwan 1983 : Citibank enters the credit card market in Hong Kong 1989 : Malaysia and Australia have saturated credit card market 1989 : Talwar reintroduces the idea of a credit card launch in Asia-Pacific
Citibank wondered whether they could adopt a mass-market positioning to acquire enough credit card customers and still maintain its up-market positioning with the current upscale branch banking customers
Pricing the card too low would conflict with Citibank’s stated positioning however pricing it too high might mean low customer acceptance
Citibank’s management were concerned that consumers’ attitudes and credit card usage patterns differed by country