Belfius, bpost and Proximus are investing together in the Citie digital platform to support the local Belgian economy and boost our country’s position on the digital map. The aim the three partners have set themselves is to combine Citie with their own expertise and the fact they are firmly established locally so that they can bring traders, shoppers and local authorities closer together.
The three companies will build further on the existing Citie platform that was launched in Roeselare in 2015. Currently, Citie is already operating in various cities and municipalities, including Bruges, Ostend, Roeselare, Antwerp and Genk. Belfius, bpost and Proximus intend to develop Citie further and roll out at national level what will become a genuinely essential tool for all Smart Cities, Smart Merchants and Smart Citizens.
A single app for merchants, consumers and local authorities
By working together, Belfius, bpost and Proximus aim to build on their complementary knowhow in digital payment methods, E/M-commerce, logistics and sustainable mobility to provide an answer by providing an integrated free app for smartphone and tablet that meets the needs of local retailers, shoppers and local authorities:
- Citie is a digital platform that enables towns, cities and local councils to communicate simply and directly with local residents and traders: urgent messages, severe traffic problems, upcoming events and activities, cultural and sports events, politics and heritage, the opening hours of council departments and services, useful information about local businesses, etc.
- Merchants can use Citie as a digital shop window, complete with integrated webshop. Customers can order and pay online and then have the physical goods delivered by bpost and its partners. Belfius will be adding its existing and future payment technology to the overall mix.
- Citie also enables traders to get to know their customers better, using the dashboard to send them e-mails or satisfaction surveys that they can complete directly on their smartphone or tablet. Merchants can also publish daily specials to highlight short-term discounts or promotions.
Discounts, parking and customer card in a single app
- Consumers will find the offers and discounts from the loyalty programmes run by merchants and local authorities bundled into a digital customer card.
- Customers will also be able to collect ‘coins’, receiving one for every purchase they make from a participating trader. They can then exchange their coins for a gift or activity in the town or municipality.
- The free app also includes the application from Be-Mobile (Proximus) for locating and paying for parking spaces. This is another way in which the app is able to assist with better mobility in the city and local area.
An additional good point is that customers who don’t have a smartphone can also work with a classic Citie card and group all of the benefits and discounts of local merchants on the one card.
The French and English version of the app will be available from mid-November.
Jan Bussels, who initiated Citie in 2015, will lead the way to realising the growth ambitions of the newly incorporated Citie NV/SA.
Marc Raisière, CEO of Belfius Bank & Insurance: “This new partnership is an integral part of the smart and digital strategy at Belfius. With CITIE our aim is to offer our towns, cities and municipalities, right down to the smallest businesses, an effective, integrated solution that really meets their needs. Working with our partners bpost and Proximus, we will be supporting the Belgian economy and making Citie the reference web platform for traders, local authorities and citizens all over the country.”
Koen Van Gerven, CEO of bpost: “We are particularly delighted with this partnership between three strong companies as it will enable us to continue achieving our growth strategy. Together, the digitisation of our world and the growth of e-commerce are creating new opportunities but also needs for SMEs and their customers. Working via the Citie platform and thanks to our network and customised products and services for independent businesses, we will be bringing merchants and local authorities closer to customers and citizens.”
Dominique Leroy, CEO Proximus: “Many small, independent businesses continue to find it a challenge to track their customers in their digital buying behaviour and to compete with major international players. We aim to use Citie to help them and offer them our expertise as a digital service-provider. That way we can help our customers to be smarter in the way they work by implementing innovative solutions.”