Mobile Payments

Citi Ventures Makes Investment In Ondot

Ondot, Citi Deal Promotes More Consumer Control Of Mobile Payments

A sense of control and security goes a long way toward building confidence, and that’s especially true in payments and commerce. Make consumers feel as though they are in charge, and give them more transparency into their personal payment transactions, and you might not only win their loyalty, but could also encourage them to spend more, or use your payment methods more often.

That’s the thinking behind a new deal announced Monday (Oct. 22) that involves mobile payment services provider Ondot Systems and Citi Ventures. According to a statement, Ondot has “secured a strategic funding investment” from Citi Ventures that will help Ondot expand internationally and develop products. Ondot did not reveal the amount of that investment.

Financial institutions can integrate Ondot’s app or API into existing services to “give consumers increased control over and visibility into their personal payment transactions.”

More Mobile Management

What does that main for the daily life of a consumer? It means he or she “can manage functions such as fraud alerts, transaction limits and purchase location restrictions, all from the convenience of an app on their smartphone or desktop,” Ondot says.

The Ondot technology can encourage more card use, the company said, while also reducing fraud. Ondot said deployment of its app or API can lead to a “23 percent increase in card usage and approximately 25 percent reduction in fraud among users,” adding that the technology “delivers a holistic payment experience to consumers.” In fact, enabling that holistic view is among the top ongoing trends in payments and commerce, including authentication, as shown in a recent PYMNTS story.

“As we steadily march toward high-frequency, invisible and autonomous payments, consumers increasingly expect detailed information about their transactions,” said Vaduvur Bharghavan, Ondot Systems CEO. “Bringing together details such as real-time transaction authorizations, proximity controls, merchant specifications and applying machine learning on historical data helps consumers have more control over their cards and delivers a premium cardholder experience.”

Security Desire

Security is a big part of that sense of control in this increasingly digital economy, and it is vital to consumers, as shown by the newest entry in the PYMNTS “Digital Identity Lifestyle Capsule” series. For instance, it found that 69 percent of consumers picked ease of use as the reason they were satisfied with how they authenticated an eCommerce transaction.

Giving consumers a greater sense of transparency over their online relationships and activities also is acquiring more importance. A recent example of that comes from Apple, which is launching a portal that enables customers to find out what kind of data the company has kept on them. The portal, which was already tested in the European Union as the EU launched its General Data Protection Legislation (GDPR), might include data such as calendar entries, photos, reminders, documents, website bookmarks, App Store purchases or support history of repairs to devices.

As more consumers go digital for their financial and banking lives, many financial institutions are realizing that the long-term trust they have earned from their customers can play a significant role in the deployment of new mobile offerings. As a recent PYMNTS interview story demonstrated, banks maintain relatively deep relationships with consumers, who check the status of their accounts, move money and conduct other tasks on a frequent — sometimes daily — basis. Banks hold a store of data about their customers, who are at least implicitly demonstrating their trust by not switching over to competing financial institutions (FIs). Beyond that, those customers serve as an audience-of-first-resort for any new products developed by their banks.

“Mobile apps have become the touchpoint of choice for millions of banking customers to manage their finances. With expectations rising, digital banking teams know they need to continuously iterate their mobile apps to ensure that mobile banking experiences are built around customer needs,” reads a Forrester analysis from Aurelie L'Hostis, Peter Wannemacher, Arnav Gupta.

Consumers are increasingly willing to do their banking and perform other transactions online — and that sense of control and security promises to encourage more consumers to do the same.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.