By Doug Bartholomew Oracle is enlisting the electronic payments know-how of one of the world's largest financial services empires to help it bring e-payments to its online procurement business, OracleExchange.com CitiGroup will integrate its e-payment and settlement capabilities into OracleExchange.com. Oracle will use Citibank's CitiConnect integrated financial system that allows B2B participants to initiate settlement for goods and services purchased online, at the time of the transaction. The deal effectively pushes Oracle into the fore of electronic exchange technology, ultimately enabling its customers to automate everything from obtaining product information and handling purchasing to settlement and payment. Citing CitiGroup's 100 million banking customers worldwide, Oracle Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison predicted that over the long run, the exchange will become one of the remaining B2B global giants. "Together, Oracle and CitiGroup are providing the most complete, reliable, and secure B2B e-commerce system on the Internet." CitiGroup was equally bullish on the arrangement. "Our customers will benefit from having access to Oracle's one-stop e-marketplace that automates the entire purchasing lifecycle," says Jorge Bermudez, executive vice president, Citibank e-Business. "As a result, they will be able to reduce purchasing and accounting costs while integrating their supply chains."