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Citi CTO: Banks should 'do no harm'

30 January 2013  |  9977 views  |  1 Canary wharf buildings

Don Callahan, chief technology and operations officer at Citi discusses Google Wallet learning curves, his personal frustrations with banking and how banks should seek to 'make customers lives easier'.

During a keynote address at the bank's Digital Money Symposium in London yesterday, Callahan discussed the bank's working relationship with Google Wallet. Callahan admitted that Citi had to learn how to keep up with the fast pace of development and change needed to work with a Silicon Vallley giant such as Google. However, he says the learning curve worked both ways with the two companies. When Citi discussed anti-money laundering strategies, specifically in relation to cross-border payments, Google responded with: "What's anti-money laundering?" says Callahan.

This sharing of knowledge, he says, highlights the benefits both banks and innovative technology companies can offer the mobile banking ecosystem.

Callahan went on to vent his frustration that, while he banks exclusively with Citi, it is very difficult to get a single, central view of all his monthly activity - from payments, to deposits, to investments, to savings and so on.

He suggested further that customers should be able to compare months, with their single view of their financial health, and even compete with peers in their social groups on savings goals on social media sites.

Callahan's personal story reflects a broader trend in the banking industry to offer clients more personal financial health services and so-called 'gamification' techniques to monitor their economic status.

Callahan spoke with Finextra at the Symposium where he expressed the view that banks should 'do no harm' and product development should focus around "making clients' lives easier.

KeywordsSOCIAL MEDIA

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 30 January, 2013, 12:29

Hmm, "Do no harm" is distrubingly close to Google's (now aparrently lapsed) motto of "Don't be evil".

There are many positive statements in this article, it is a shame that he chose a phrase stated in the negative. As a Citi customer, I would have preferred "Make customer's lives easier" as featured at the top of the article, but maybe that would not have shown how in awe of Google he has become.

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