Citibank’s aggressive strategy to roll out its new ATM technology, Citibank Express, through Asia and to the rest of the world will give it a significant advantage according to Ovum.
The bank’s strategy to create a new customer experience will give the bank an edge in densely populated urban environments, where traditional bank branches are high-cost and low-efficiency, according to Denise Montomery, Research Director of Financial Services Technology at Ovum. “Expensive branches are symptomatic of the industry’s struggle in coming to terms with new digital methods of interaction, distribution and experience management,” she said. “Citi is demonstrating a clear understanding of these dynamics.
Currently the Citibank Express machines are being tested in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. Asia was chosen as the testing ground based on customer feedback. "Asian banking customers increasingly want to bank with an innovative banking partner that is embracing modern technology. Services such as Smart Banking and these next generation ATMs will help us to offer our clients want they want," a Citibank spokesperson said.
Montgomery said Citibank Express ATM technology should gain global traction quickly. “These days the question is more about which segments or markets (as opposed to geographic regions) a particular technology might be relevant for,” Montgomery said.
Citibank Express ATMs are equipped with an online banking connection, video-conferencing and biometric capabilities for customer identity authentication. Customers can initiate transactions on computers or mobile devices and finalise the process on a Citibank Express ATM.
The ATMs have scanning and embossing functions that will allow for instant printing of credit and ATM cards, though this function is not currently active. Citibank Express is also NFC-ready to engage with customer’s mobile wallets and similar technology.
The concept for the machines grew from the Smart Banking project commenced by Citi in 2008. The end product is a result of collaboration between Citi’s Asia leadership and the company innovation team, Citi Ventures. Smart Banking was formally launched in Japan in 2010 and there is now over 100 Smart Banking branches across Asia.