Citi launches first 'smart banking' branch in the Philippines

Source: Citi

The country's largest foreign bank scores another industry first with the introduction of smart banking in its Makati branch.

With intuitive touch screens and high definition media walls, smart banking is a revolutionary banking experience designed to attract, engage and connect clients with products and services, all on demand.

With smart banking, Citibank's Makati branch has been transformed into a sleek, expansive office, drawing admiring comments from clients. Popular features include an Interactive Media Wall that displays a diverse range of product information as well as services menu;Instant Account Opening stations that allow customers to conduct banking transactions such as opening an account virtually paperless and at their own pace; and Video Chat facilities that offer immediate access to the bank's officers in other locations.

"Once again, Citibank is blazing the trail in banking technology and innovation with the launch of the first Smart Banking branch in the country. Citibank is committed to be the leader in innovation and digital banking in Asia Pacific, and the Smart Banking concept was launched first in this region. As a customer-centric bank, we continue to offer cutting-edge facilities and relevant market information to further enhance our customers' banking experience," said Citi Country Officer for the Philippines Sanjiv Vohra.

With technology as enabler, Citibank is giving customers control over their banking needs. "Imagine being able to open a savings account, book a Time Deposit or apply and get a credit card all within a few minutes and on your own. We wanted to create an environment that will be attractive to our clients as well as to the public. Since we opened, we've had visitors so impressed that they opened accounts after getting a tour," explained Sergio Zanatti, Consumer Business Manager for Citibank Philippines.

Vohra and Zanatti provided select members of the media a private tour of the state of the art branch, which represents one of the biggest investments the bank has made in its consumer banking operations this year. Citibank in the Philithis year. Citibank in the Philippines joins 11 other markets in the launch of Smart Banking branches across Asia Pacific.

Beyond attracting clients, Citibank also places a premium on engaging and connecting clients - and that's where all the user friendly technology comes into play. "We have re-engineered our processes adding simplicity and speed to create instant and paperless transactions that are so much easier for our clients. We are creating a new customer interaction model that is more aligned with our time, more engaging and giving customers more ways to connect with us anytime, anywhere. This is how we are redefining the whole banking experience," added Zanatti.

Clients also enjoy the ability of opening an account from a tablet that Citi Service Associates carry around the branch. A global first, Citi Philippines offers clients the convenience of opening accounts from an iPad as they comfortably lounge anywhere in the branch.

Standing tall at the Citibank smart branch is the 360 Station, which gives a glimpse of what next generation banking looks like. Aside from being able to make deposits and withdrawals in peso and US dollars like a regular Citibank ATM, the 360 Station allows clients to get scanned receipts of check deposits, make overseas funds transfers, book time deposits, request for statements, inquire about foreign exchange rates and so much more. All these using a completely new customer interface that makes screen navigation much more intuitive and simpler.

The split-screen machine can display personalized promotions and offers and allows clients to speak with a CitiPhone officer on one screen while conducting business on the other. The 360 Station has also been built with Near Field Communication (NFC) and biometric capability as well as scanning and embossing functions to allow for a future roll out of additional functionalities, such as instant printing of an ATM card, issuance of manager's checks and more, over time.

"We're excited to be the first country to launch the 360 Station to Citi clients around the world. This is strong proof of our commitment to innovation and the importance of the Philippines to the Citi global franchise," said Zanatti.

As the first bank to recognize people's growing need to bank outside traditional banking hours, Citi pioneered its first ATM in Queens, N.Y., back in 1977. Today, 90 percent of the world's population is within a 15-minute walk of an ATM, and "banking hours" has become an archaic term.

"Citi is passionate about improving people's lives through innovation. This is evident from our introduction of the ATM to the Google Wallet. Smart Banking and the 360 Station are giant steps forward and part of our drive to become the world's digital bank," said Vohra.

Citi's tradition of innovation is widely acknowledged in the Philippines. "We have been privileged to be a part of building this country and enabling progress for 110 years. Looking back, we can lay claim to a number of firsts, including introducing the first term loans in late 1950s, which were the precursor of personal and car loans, distributing hundreds of PCs and modems in early 1980s to clients to promote the convenience of electronic banking and launching the ATM network in the Philippines to enable round-the-clock banking in the late 1980s. We also offered the first international credit card issued out of the Philippines in 1993, set up 24-hour banking through phone with CitiPhone, which is the first-ever call center facility built in the Philippines and, just this year, Citi became the first bank to launch a suite of Mobile Apps for users of Apple, Blackberry and Android," said Vohra.

"We are excited to have our customers come in and experience smart banking firsthand and change the way they bank," Zanatti concluded.

Citibank's smart banking portfolio of technology services include:

Citi Media Wall
Visible to passersby, these large screens display a diverse range of information such as the latest foreign and domestic news flashes, weather information, market currency data, stock prices and exchange indices. Citibank-related information is also displayed including our latest promotions and campaigns, product details and services information.
Citi Touch Screen Product Browsers
These touch screen product browsers can be found around the branch. These are intuitive, interactive devices that enable customers to self-navigate and gain information on the wide array of products and solutions relevant to them.
Citi Interactive Media Wall
Found at the main lobby, a 4x4 184" LCD system serves as an interactive touch point that enables customers, on their own, to browse through information that is of relevance. A diverse range of Citibank related information is available, including the latest campaigns, product details and services information.
Citi Instant Account Opening Station
This allows customers, once they have identified the relevant products of interest, to transact and/or fulfill their banking needs on their own. By operating touch screens with advanced user interfaces, customers can browse through products, services and solutions, open a savings account, place a Time Deposit, apply for a credit card as well as monitor their account transactions. Customers can choose to obtain assistance from one of the specially trained Citibank employees present at the branch.
Video Chat Facility
This is an interactive video conferencing service that provides customers with the opportunity to obtain additional expert opinion and consultation from Citi specialists at any other location on a real time basis via video phones.
Citi Private Briefing Room
Private rooms where customers can communicate directly with a specially trained Citibank employee or receive expert consultation through the video conferencing system.
360 Station
A first in the world, this next-generation automated banking machine allows clients to get scanned receipts of check deposits, complete overseas funds transfers, book time deposits, request for statements, inquire about foreign exchange rates, speak with a CitiPhone officer on one screen or receive personalized promotions and offers while conducting business on the other, and so much more. Soon, the 360 Station will enable users to apply for a credit card or a loan, get ATM cards printed, managers checks issued and much more.
Tablet devices
Citi customer services offices all carry tablet devices as sales tools, which will conveniently enable clients to open an account from any place in the branch.

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