Today Citibank announced the launch of Access Account, a checkless banking account with low or avoidable monthly charges and no overdraft fees that serves many customers' needs with convenience and simplicity.
The account is a unique offering designed for individuals who want more control over their finances while leveraging Citibank's advanced digital banking capabilities.
"The new Citibank Access Account provides customers with a simple way to manage their finances," said Will Howle, Head of U.S. Retail Banking at Citibank. "We designed the account with two trends in mind. Many customers, particularly those active with our online or mobile banking options, no longer have a need for paper checks. At the same time, we know many customers are also looking for the reassurance that will come with an account that eliminates overdraft fees."
The Access Account provides the range of benefits Citibank customers have come to expect, including access to their accounts at all Citibank branches, through more than 34,000 Citibank ATMs and Citibank-branded ATMs at 7-11 stores, and the flexibility of 24/7 online, mobile and tablet banking. Customers can take advantage of these platforms to view balances, monitor account activity, transfer funds and pay bills as well as enroll in e-statements and banking alerts.
Unique to Citibank's Access Account is a feature that allows customers to waive the $10 monthly service fee in one of three easy ways, again providing customers greater control:
- Having one qualifying bill payment in a statement period; or
- Having one qualifying direct deposit in a statement period; or
- Maintaining an average monthly balance of $1,500 or more.
"The Access Account provides a debit card, easy ATM and Citibank branch access and a powerful digital platform, while addressing needs of some customers, particularly first-time and younger consumers, by reducing the risks of overdrawn accounts and coinciding fees," said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development.
New Citibank Survey Results
Citibank's new checkless, no-overdraft account accommodates the growing trend of customers moving away from checks and adopting digital platforms. It also addresses concerns among some customers about overdrawn accounts and corresponding fees. Results follow from a proprietary Citi survey, conducted with a nationally representative sample of U.S. consumers (not limited to Citibank customers) in August 2014:
- The percentage of consumers that use online and mobile banking channels to pay monthly bills (38%) continues to rise and is now higher than the percentage that use paper checks (32%).
- More than half (53%) of consumers avoid writing paper checks whenever they can. Of all consumers, 12% do not own a checkbook at all. That is higher among lower-income and younger consumers. Of those with incomes less than $30,000/year, 21% do not own a checkbook. Of consumers younger than 40, more than 20% do not own a checkbook.
- Only 9% use checks to pay for large purchases and only 4% use checks for smaller purchases. If faced with choosing a single method of payment, only 6% would choose paper checks.
- Of those surveyed, 25% say the ability to overdraw their account and be charged a fee for doing so could get them in financial trouble. For those with incomes of less than $30,000 that rises to 31%, and for those under age 30 it is 37%. In addition, research by the FDIC shows that account fees are one of the reasons roughly 10% of U.S. households do not have a checking account.