10 Things to Look For in a Smartphone

Tech Deals

Check out must-have smartphone features at the #AweSM tech deals weekend

Gone are the days of 2G networks, hard-to-press keypads, and 3MP cameras on cell phones as flagship brands offer more advanced and user-friendly features to provide the best service for users. Marking its annual celebration of Cybermonth this August, SM has its pulse on the trends with a list of smartphone must-have features to consider when shopping for new phones!


  1. Biometrics are now used to lock smartphones and keep our private data safe. The most common biometric security features include fingerprint scanning, face recognition and even iris scanning. It is best to buy smartphones with a biometrics feature to ensure the security of files.


  1. Multiple cameras. Most smartphones are already equipped with back and front cameras but there are phones with dual rear cameras emerging in the market now. Smartphones with multiple cameras are perfect for those who love to take selfies or professional-like images without the hassle of bringing heavy camera equipment every day or during travels.


  1. Wireless charging. Many popular brands are now adapting wireless charging where users can simply place their smartphones on top of a charging block, stand or mat and leave it to charge. It’s neater, faster and hassle-free.


  1. Voice control. This feature enables users to do tasks on their smartphones without using their hands and is best for those who drive and are always pressed for time. Through voice control, users can play music, answer calls, open apps or find files by just speaking directly to the device’s microphone.


  1. It is best to get a waterproof phone to protect it from spills, humidity, rain showers and sometimes, even full immersion underwater.


  1. 256GB storage. Big storage space enables users to store more files, photos and videos and to install more apps.


  1. Front-facing speakers. Speakers are important for those who watch movies and videos on their phones a lot or for those who like entertainment on-the-go.


  1. Big-screen display. For those who like to stream videos and edit photos on their phones, it is best to get a smartphone with a screen size ranging from 5.5 to 6 inches in full HD display.


  1. Powerful processor. Smartphone processors run web browsing, GPS, music streaming, videos, 4G connectivity and other scores of tasks performed by our phone on a daily basis. For those who use their phones often, it is best to look for devices with a powerful chipset, such as Apple’s A11 Bionic, Qualcomm SDM660 Snapdragon 660, Exynos 9810, and HiSilicon Kirin 970 among others.


  1. Multi-window. This feature is perfect for those who like to multi-task. It enables the user to accomplish different tasks at once such as watching a move while browsing on Google or messaging a friend while video-calling another.

Smartphones continues to evolve, that is why it is exciting to shop for gadgets with the most advanced features.


Vivo X21,
VIVO Concept Store & Kiosk


Huawei Nova 3,
Huawei Concept Store


Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
SAMSUNG Concept Store


iPhone 8
Power Mac Center


Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Samsung Concept Store


iPhone X
Power Mac Center


Nokia 2.1
Nokia Concept Store and Kiosk


Oppo F9
OPPO Concept Store


Huawei P20 PRO
Huawei Concept Store


Samsung Galaxy S9
Samsung Concept Store

As part of Cybermonth and SM’s #AweSM 60 years celebration, you can discover a wide range of mobile phones with the latest must-have features. Score amazing gadgets on August 24 to 26 as SM Supermalls treats shoppers with a fun weekend of #AweSM tech finds and deals – where you can experience 60-themed deals, such as pay only 60%, less Php60, or pay only Php60, on #AweSM items in participating stores!


Visit your favorite SM mall now, or check www.smsupermalls.com for more details.


A tech-citing Cybermonth kickoff

Techies and leading tech brands gathered at SM Mall of Asia to get the latest buzz on gadgets, games, and deals as SM Supermalls kicks off Cybermonth last August 3 to 4.

“With all the month-long deals and discounts on tech, SM’s Cybermonth celebration pushes us closer to our goal of becoming the country’s must-visit tech destination,” said Jonjon San Agustin, SM Supermalls senior vice president for marketing.

Guests were given an exclusive preview of the latest gadgets, and tech-citing deals and discounts that await shoppers at SM’s Cybermonth.

The official partner of Cyberzone, Speed Magazine, gathered gamers from various tech media outfits to battle for this year’s championship of Geek Wars.

Indeed, game geeks and gadget lovers have much to look forward to at SM’s Cybermonth celebration. Shoppers can enjoy month-long promos on the latest gizmos with up to 50% discount in participating stores and tech brands.

As part of SM’s #AweSM 60-year celebration and Cybermonth, #AweSM tech finds and deals will give shoppers more value from August 24 to 26 at SM Supermalls. Shoppers can experience 60-themed deals, such as pay only 60%, less Php60, or pay only Php60 on #AweSM items in participating stores.

No matter what your tech interest is – whether it be e-sports, gaming, virtual reality, music, or photography – there will be something for you at Cyberzone! For more information, visit www.smsupermalls.com

Digital trends in payments in Asia

CITI_Digital trends in payments in Asia_photo 1

Technological innovations are changing the payments landscape in Asia, including the Philippines. This was underscored during the forum on “Ushering in the Future of Payments” hosted by Citi Philippines recently at the Citi Plaza in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

Debopama Sen, Citi’s ASEAN Treasury and Trade Solutions head, said, “Business models have to transform because clients are driving changes.” Sen said people wanted the ability to decide immediately when to order or acquire a service or product, regardless of time and/or day. “Customers want instant fulfillment of the transaction, which includes the underlying payment.”

The forum was attended by almost 170 representatives of local corporations and global subsidiaries.

Sen said, to respond to customer demand for faster payment schemes, “Businesses and companies are moving towards online and real-time (payment).”

Guest speakers from various government agencies affirmed their commitment to continue establishing a regulatory environment that supported the development of a national payment system and allow digital innovations to flourish.

Keynote speaker Chuchi G. Fonacier, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) deputy governor, said both the private sector and regulators had unique roles to play in the future of payments. “As a catalyst for change, the BSP is open to collaborative discussions on how to reduce further friction in payments towards a more efficient, more secure and more reliable payment system in the Philippines.”

Fonacier said, “The BSP remains steadfast in embracing growth opportunities through technology and the digital transformation of the banking system. We continue to monitor the environment and issue regulations aimed at mitigating effects of payment-related risk, to promote financial integrity, transparency in financial transactions, uphold consumer protection and elevate the overall confidence of the public in the national payment system.”

Citi Philippines’ Treasury and Trade Solutions head Arlene Nethercott said Citi adopted a consultative partnership to address the challenges in managing clients’ working capital. She said the launch of the Philippine EFT System and Operations Network (PESONet), a batch electronic funds transfer (EFT) payment stream that enables same-day, full-value transactions, was a step towards modernizing the country’s payment system.

“We aim to align with the BSP to achieve 20 percent increase in electronic payments by 2020,” said Nethercott.  “We are currently working to promote faster payments while allowing member banks to settle among themselves prior to giving final credit to clients.”

Nethercott added that Citi’s own next-generation banking platform, CitiDirect BE, provided one-click access to global transaction capabilities. The platform supports numerous transaction types across multiple geographies, subsidiaries and currencies. Users can manage accounts, payments, receivables, liquidity, trade, foreign exchange and reporting across the globe with online, mobile and tablet versions.

Citi is working with clients throughout Asia to develop solutions using the latest technological advances, from instant payments to machine learning.

Citi Asia Pacific Core Cash Management for Treasury and Trade Solutions head Morgan McKenney explained, “Big data storage and retrieval, real-time cloud computing, mobile phones, high band width, secure internet and API (Application Programming Interfaces) technology – all these individual components are coming together leading to shifting business models, regulatory driven changes as well as changes in client approach and expectations.” McKenney said the newer technologies resulted in the evolution of the payment infrastructure, as corporations searched for payment solutions that increased sales, reduced costs and improved margins.

McKenney said, in Asia, opportunities for the development of these technologies were fueled by significant growth in disposable income, extensive Internet and mobile access, emergence of new and frictionless payment mechanisms and the drive of regulators to fuel growth.

The forum ended with a panel discussion by Raymond Estioko, BSP’s Payment System Oversight Department acting director, and National Retail Payment System (NRPS) Core Team chair; Melit Araneta, Philippine Payments Management Inc (PPMI) general manager; and Bureau of Internal Revenue assistant commissioner Charo Curiba and Client Support Service OIC head revenue executive assistant Janette Cruz.

Be fashionably sporty with TechnoMarine MoonSunNato

TechnoMarine_Be fashionably sporty_Photo

For chic, adventure-driven women, the TechnoMarine MoonSun watch with Nato Strap may be the perfect accessory. It projects toughness while exuding classic sophistication. The watch has a silver dial encased in a gold-tone 40mm stainless steel and flame fusion crystal. Made with the precision of Quartz movement and water resistant up to 50 meters, it has a durable blue and white Nato band with leather lining, and may be worn for short periods of recreational swimming.  With the new TechnoMarine MoonSunNato watch, there is no time to wait but to enjoy life’s daily adventures without compromising style. To know more, visit TechnoMarine stores in Greenbelt 3, Robinson’s Galleria, Robinson’s Magnolia, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, SM City Cebu, SM Lanang Premier Davao, TriNoma, and Uptown Mall, or follow TechnoMarinePH on Facebook and Instagram.

Citi launches next generation mobile app in the Philippines

PowerPoint Presentation

Mobile Banking is now the top digital channel for Citi’s consumer banking clients

Manila – For Citi’s credit card customers in the Philippines, the next generation Citi Mobile®App will significantly change the way they manage their finances as Citi introduces a new and comprehensive set of mobile app features and experiences.

Citi Philippines CEO Aftab Ahmed and consumer banking head Manoj Varma presented the Citi Mobile®App experience to provide customers with the freedom to do more, thanks to innovative and new functionalities, such as credit card locking and unlocking.

With this launch, Citi’s credit card clients in the country can seamlessly manage transactions and other needs digitally from anywhere, any time.

“We are delighted to continue to introduce innovative digital solutions in the credit card industry,” said Ahmed.  “We are relentlessly focused on making it more convenient for our customers to transact with us. The Citi Mobile App will deliver a simple, fast and personalized experience to our valued card customers.”

Citi’s Consumer Banking business has focused on digital transformation, continuously enhancing capabilities to make the customer journey more seamless on desktop, mobile app or phone browser. More than 60 percent of Citi Philippines customers are already enrolled in digital channels, with even more customers already subscribed to electronic statements and notices. Today, the biggest growth in digital enrolments has been in mobile banking, which has surged 64% in the last 12 months.

“Mobile banking is Citi’s largest and fastest growing channel in the Philippines and we expect digital enrolments to continue to accelerate,” said Varma. “We are excited to continue our tradition of innovation by bringing new and upgraded mobile solutions to best serve our customers’ needs in the digital age.”

Citi is one of the first banks to launch an online presence and also one of the pioneers in attracting customers through its website. In recent years, the bank introduced numerous services including live chat, instant global fund transfers, and pioneering voice biometrics technology allowing customers to be identified through their unique voice print.

In Asia Pacific, mobile banking overtook other digital channels to become the preferred channel used by Citi’s Asia Pacific clients. Digital is also growing rapidly as a source of new business at Citi. Digital acquisition in Citi’s Credit Cards and Loans business grew 57% year-on-year, and digital lending now accounts for 40% of total consumer loans fulfilled by Citi in the region.

The next generation Citi Mobile® App provides a comprehensive suite of features to help customers track reward points and manage outstanding balances, available limits, transaction details and bill payments. Customers can quickly activate new or replacement cards and temporarily lock misplaced cards.

Security features includes biometric authentication (Face ID, Touch ID, and Android Fingerprint) and the Citi Mobile® Token, which instantly generates a One-Time PIN that authorizes online banking transactions.

The Citi Mobile® App has also been designed to ensure a seamless and intuitive navigation experience. Qualified customers can convert a portion of their latest credit card balance to installment by simply tapping a “Convert” button. With just a few taps, eligible cardholders can get cash from their credit cards, which can be repaid in monthly instalments.

Citi’s performance in the digital banking space has been recognized by the industry, winning several notable awards recently including:

  • Best Retail Mobile Banking Experience – Philippines (The Asset Triple A Digital Awards 2017)
  • Best Internet Banking Initiative (The Asian Banker Philippine Country Awards 2017)
  • Best Consumer Digital Bank – Philippines (Global Finance Best Digital Bank Awards 2017)

About Citi

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi

Media Contacts:

Lisa M. Coory  |  632.739.5726  |   lisa.coory@citi.com

Dorski Granada  |  632.894.7734  |   rodora.granada@citi.com