A deck of 28 different secure ID cards–that's what one treasurer pulled out of his top desk drawer during a 2005 visit by Paul Galant, managing director and global head of Citigroup's cash management business. "There has to be a better way of providing secure identification," he complained to Galant. It turned out that he was talking to the right person. Galant was also tired of coping with things like Citi's vast files of paper signature cards. It was time to find a better way.

Today, one year after his fateful visit, Galant and Citi think they have come up with a solution that will let that treasurer dump his cards in the trash in the not-too-distant future. After testing the technology at a large pharmaceutical company and in various Citi departments, the global bank is about to go public with a state-of the-art digital system, called simply Citibank Identity Management. The new tool will use third-party technology and standards instead of bank proprietary formats.

Initial applications, which Galant expects to link with

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