Citibank unveils future of banking

Citibank takes a step closer to becoming the world's digital bank by launching the Citibank Express, a smart banking machine equipped with an online banking connection, video-conferencing and biometric capabilities for customer identity authentication.

The machine also enables users to deposit cheques, scan documents and enjoy a new user interface that allows them to customise their home page with widgets for their favourite transactions at Citibank Express.

Jonathan Larsen, Citi's global head of retail banking and head of consumer banking, Asia Pacific, explains that the concept grew out of the Smart Banking project Citi started in 2008 with extensive research into consumer needs and behaviour.

"Our leadership in Asia collaborated with Citi's innovation team to create a new way of retail banking, driven by customers' current and future needs," said Larsen.

Citi launched Smart Banking in Japan in 2010, and it helped the bank move from 57th to first in Nikkei's prestigious Retail Banking Survey in one year. Citi now has more than 100 Smart Banking branches across Asia.

Citibank Express will be rolled out at the bank's Malaysian Smart Banking branch, which showcases digital technologies that allow customers to browse for products and services on their own. The bank is also looking to deploy Citibank Express in its other branches in line with its strategy to be where customers work, live and play.

"With Citibank Express, we expect to see greater interplay between traditional touchpoints and digital banking channels such as online and mobile banking," said Sanjeev Nanavati (pictured left), chief executive officer, Citibank Berhad.

He explained that Citi expects to deploy Citibank Express globally as part of its aim to be the world's digital bank.

Outside of Malaysia, Citibank has launched the machines in Singapore and the Philippines, with plans to add more in-branch and out-of-branch locations through Asia and other parts of the world this year.