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Understanding Citibank's Decision to End Airbnb Payment IDs for UK Property Owners

Updated: Jun 18

Back in 2019, some UK Airbnb landlords started noticing that payments made from Airbnb suddenly changed from Airbnb Payments UK to Citibank Financial Services Ireland, showing up on bank statements as ‘Citibank IRE FIN S’. As well as a change in payment information, payments were also taking longer than normal to be processed. In some cases, payments were taking up to 8 days to hit a landlord’s bank account.


Previous to this, Airbnb landlords typically received payouts of payments due on the same day as the payment advice. Some Airbnb landlords speculated that the delay was being caused by the fact that international transfers normally took longer compared to payments made by a local payment processor. However, since Citibank Financial Services Ireland is not based in the US like the parent bank, this made no sense at all.



In addition to this confusion, some Irish Airbnb hosts still had payments originating from Airbnb UK, whereas some UK landlords saw that their payments originated from Citibank IRE FIN S’. However, this may have happened because the rollout to the new system managed by Citibank Financial Services Ireland was done in incremental stages, as one might expect from a large, global business like Airbnb.


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These days, Citibank's global banking infrastructure enables quick and secure payouts to Airbnb hosts worldwide. As soon as a guest checks out after finishing a stay, hosts can expect direct bank transfers within 1-4 business days. Citibank deposits these payouts directly into each host’s designated bank account.


The timing of a Citibank Ire Fin S payment varies based on factors like destination country, currency, and method. Citibank also handles tax calculations, reporting, and compliance requirements across regions on payments.


What is Citibank?

Citibank is one of the largest banks in the United States and a major global financial services company. Originally founded as City Bank of New York in 1812, it was later renamed Citibank after merging with First National City Bank in the 1960s. Today, Citibank provides a wide array of banking, lending, and investment products and services to both individual consumers and businesses.


Some of Citibank's major business areas include credit cards, home mortgages, commercial lending, wealth management, and investment banking. It has over 2,600 branches located across the world, including nearly 700 branches right in the U.S. Citibank is known for innovations like the first ATM networked branch system and has a large online and mobile presence as well.


As part of the financial services giant Citigroup, Citibank has over $2.2 trillion in assets with operations spanning over 160 countries worldwide. Though it suffered major losses during the 2008 financial crisis, Citibank recovered in the following years and continues to be one of the most globally influential and systemically important banks today. Its range of retail, small business, and corporate financial solutions makes Citibank an integral financial institution both in America and abroad.


Citibank
Founded in 1812, Citibank is a major global bank offering diverse financial services worldwide.

What is Citibank Ire Fin S?

Citibank Financial Services Ireland is an investment and innovation hub located in Dublin that advances Citigroup's corporate and finance operations across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

Established in Ireland in 2004, it employs over 2,000 people responsible for functions like treasury and trade services, cash management, foreign exchange, operations and technology, corporate lending, risk management, as well as sales and relationship management.


The Dublin office specifically focuses on securities finance, fund services, compliance, and the EMEA Finance Center of Excellence. With plans for continued growth, Citibank Financial Services Ireland develops financial products and infrastructure to serve Citi's multinational clients across more than 60 EMEA markets.


Citibank
Citibank Fin S Ireland, in Dublin, supports Citigroup's EMEA operations, emphasizing finance and innovation.

Why Airbnb Uses Citibank Financial Services Ireland

Airbnb relies on Citibank Financial Services Ireland to handle payment processing for its over 4 million hosts across the world. With extensive experience in global transaction services and digital payment solutions, Citibank processes payouts to hosts on Airbnb's behalf through its Dublin office. This enables quick and secure payments into host accounts across more than 200 countries and regions.


Given Airbnb's rapidly growing community of property owners and managers, the scalability and reliability of Citibank's banking and technology infrastructure is critical. Its status as a top global payments provider also ensures efficient payment execution across borders along with compliance with various regulatory and reporting requirements.


Additionally, Citibank offers customised solutions for marketplaces like Airbnb that operate globally and facilitate payments between multiple parties. By leveraging Citibank's API-enabled payment rails integrated with Airbnb's platform, hosts can get paid out directly and in a timely manner after completing stays.


Citibank's strong risk management capabilities also give Airbnb the payment assurance it needs to onboard new hosts quickly. Furthermore, Citibank provides data-driven insights and financial transparency through comprehensive payment reporting and account management tools for hosts and Airbnb alike.


With innovation a key pillar of its offerings, Citibank continues to invest in emerging technologies to upgrade its payment processing and provide an efficient payout experience.


Citibank
Airbnb partners with Citibank Fin S Ireland for global payment processing to hosts, ensuring efficiency.

Why Airbnb Started Using Citibank Financial Services Ireland


Originally, Airbnb handled payments to hosts via its own built payment infrastructure and processor. However, as its host community expanded exponentially over the years across 190 countries, Airbnb found it operationally challenging to scale its payment processors efficiently. Being a travel-focused marketplace, Airbnb needed to provide a seamless, cost-effective cross-border payment experience to hosts across geographies.


By partnering with Citibank Financial Services Ireland, Airbnb leveraged Citi's proven expertise in global transaction banking, foreign exchange, and harnessing payment rails to enable quicker payouts and value-added financial services for hosts.


With Citi now managing end-to-end payments, compliance, foreign exchange, reporting, and account reconciliation, Airbnb could focus internal resources on developing its core platform and enhancing the host community experience - rather than building an increasingly complex payments system in-house.

Additionally, by leveraging Citibank's banking infrastructure, Airbnb simplified and consolidated payment operations across multiple regions under one provider. This gives Airbnb increased oversight into host payout statuses while also benefiting from Citibank's experience handling financial transactions for major online marketplaces.


The partnership has allowed Airbnb to provide personalised support at scale to its hosts as the platform facilitates cross-currency payments across continents seamlessly.


By leveraging Citibank’s transaction expertise, existing payment rails, and foreign exchange capabilities, Airbnb provides a smoother cross-border payment experience for Airbnb London landlords. This allows Airbnb to focus on supporting hosts through its platform, while Citibank manages the intricate financial workflows from payouts to reconciliation behind the scenes in a secure, regulated infrastructure.


Together with Citibank, Airbnb can effectively scale payments as more hosts and properties join its rental platform over time. So, if you see Citibank IRE FIN S Airbnb on your bank statement, don’t be alarmed, this is perfectly normal.


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