Citigroup to buy prepaid payment card company

1 March 2007

Citigroup has agreed to buy electronic payment card company Ecount in an undisclosed deal.

The move sees Citigroup attempt to buck its recent poor performance by expanding into the fast growing electronic pre-paid cards market, which is estimated to be worth $2 trillion worldwide and is predicted to grow by 50 per cent this year.

Ecount founders Matt Gillin and Paul Raden are expected to continue to run the company and the company will stay in its modest premises near Philadelphia.

The company, which was founded in 1995, has 1,200 corporate clients to whom it supplies prepaid Mastercard and Visa cards, with Toyota and Ford amid their blue chip contracts.

However, Citigroup intends to supply the cards to over 40,000 of its government and private clients

Citigroup's acquisition comes amid rumours that it is to expand its share in scandal-hit Japanese brokerage Nikko Cordial to expand its operations in the region.

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