US giant Citi is bidding to carve itself a niche in the Australian market by rolling out a slew of digital services. Separately, it has also become the first bank in China to open a branch in Shanghai's metro system.
The bank, which received a licence in Australia 25 years ago, says it will roll out "innovative services based on the latest technologies" for its retail, corporate and institutional clients over the next 12 months.
In March Citi upgraded its online banking platform, making it the first retail bank in the country to provide a single view of local and offshore accounts. It now plans to add a mobile service for retail customers and a new high-tech 'smart' branch in Sydney.
There will also be an updated foreign exchange trading platform for corporate clients, an online platform for customers in treasury teams called CitiDirect BE, a distribution platform for clients of Global Markets called Citi Velocity and a trading engine for institutional investors.
Andrew Butcher, head, operations and technology, Asia Pacific, Citi, says: "Citi has long been known for banking innovation, and it is a mantle we plan to retain with the intelligent use of the latest technology. Our strategy is focused on providing services that are global, simple, cost efficient, fast and secure."
Meanwhile, in China, Citi has become the first bank to open a "consumer outlet" in the Shanghai Metro system, which carries more than four million people a day. The branch, at the People Square station, is Citi's tenth in Shanghai and twenty ninth in China.
The "smart banking" outlet includes state-of-the-art technology, such as interactive touch panels, video-conferencing and a "media wall" - a 4.5 metre by 2.5 metre multi-screen LCD system, displaying the latest weather and financial data, domestic and foreign news.
Citi introduced its first smart bank branch in Japan in April and plans to open more over the coming 12 months.
Jonathan Larsen, head, consumer bank and cards, Asia Pacific, Citi, says: "Citibank strives to be the most client-centric and innovative company in our industry, and we are continuously looking for new and better ways to serve our customers by providing a superior banking experience to our customers. Today's opening demonstrates the continued investment in innovative outlets that cater to the changing needs and lifestyles of Citibank customers."