The New York money transfer company CashEdge Inc. has hired Citigroup Inc. veteran Catherine Palmieri as its global head of product and marketing.
Palmieri worked at Citi from 1997 to 2008, most recently as the managing director of Citibank.com, where she headed several promotions aimed at playing up the the online channel.
For example, in 2004 Citi offered new customers an iPod mini — an Apple Inc. product that was very difficult to find at the time — if they agreed to use Citi's online bill-payment service for at least a year.
Palmieri said her experience with guiding consumer behavior at Citi will benefit CashEdge, a vendor that typically has only indirect contact with the end users of its money movement services.
"I bring the banker's perspective to it, which means I understand how to go after the consumer," she said in an interview Tuesday.
Palmieri, who was hired last month, talked up CashEdge's POPmoney transfer service as a way for banks to extend the benefits and reduce the costs of online bill payment.
Though many of CashEdge's payment services focus on moving money among accounts owned by one person, or between accounts of close friends and relatives, POPmoney, which was introduced last year, is a broader, person-to-person payment service. With POPmoney it is not necessary to know the recipient's account number — an e-mail address or phone number is enough to send a transfer.
Palmieri said POPmoney could capture the 22% to 25% of payees not able to receive electronic payments through online bill pay. POPmoney "can become the alternative choice" to checks, she said.
Palmieri stressed that new trends, such as bank and consumer interest in personal financial management tools, also present opportunities for CashEdge. For example, Bundle Corp., a company backed by Citi and Microsoft Corp. that mixes PFM with social networking, uses CashEdge's technology to aggregate Citi customers' spending data, which helps users spot spending trends.
George Tubin, a senior research director at the research firm TowerGroup Inc., said Palmieri's banking background is key; she has "held the position of those you are trying to sell to," instead of letting "people who grew up in technology" handling sales and marketing.