Singapore Citibank today unveiled its first Smart Banking branch in Singapore, conveniently located within the Orchard SMRT station in the heart of the city. As Citibank's 24th retail branch here, it is a showcase of technological innovation that offers a customer-centric environment clearly distinct from that of a conventional branch.
The 1,000-sq-ft flagship transit branch features extensive use of digital technology, including display panels forming media walls, interactive touch-screens, "face-to-face" phone banking and video-conferencing facilities for interactions with banking specialists. In addition, the branch provides for other innovations, including a check-deposit machine with imaging technology, iPads carried by in-branch staff, and a workbench with Apple terminals for account openings and other services.
The design of the branch, which sets the tone for all of Citibank's new branches going forward, is premised upon putting the customer in control by streamlining the customer's interaction with the bank and maximizing their banking experience. The branch is equipped with enabling tools that put information at the fingertips of customers and harnesses cutting-edge technology to provide a paperless and straight-through process for account openings. Designed around the customer's needs, the branch promotes customer engagement at all levels.
The exterior of the branch features two media walls that deliver a constant stream of customer-relevant information, including global and local news, market data, weather information, Citibank's products and services, and the latest Citibank promotions. Interactive touch-screen panels line the exterior and interior of the branch, engaging customers by allowing them to browse for information on Citibank's products and services on their own at leisure. For the personal touch, customers can then connect with in-branch bankers or speak with CitiPhone officers over Citi Assist or specialists over video-conferencing.
Mr. Anil Wadhwani, Chief Executive Officer, Citibank Singapore Limited, said, "The face of retail banking is changing as customer needs evolve. Banking should be smarter, and the conventional branch setting as we know it needs to change in tandem. Citibank's Smart Banking branch is on the forefront of this change. It is carefully designed around the customer while leveraging technology to firmly put the customer's experience centre-stage.
"The opening of this branch is also significant because it once again affirms our commitment to our customers in Singapore and is further demonstration of our continued investments toward expanding our footprint here. Equally, it is fitting that our first Smart Banking branch is Singapore is located within the Orchard SMRT station, which makes us accessible to customers as they are en route their daily activities."
The Citibank Orchard SMRT branch, operational till 8 p.m. every day of the week, will offer the comprehensive range of Citibank branch services, including deposits, cards, investments and insurance advisory, account opening services and 24-Hour automated teller machines (ATM) and cash- and check- deposit machines. The branch will be fully staffed with personal bankers and service bankers who are specially trained to provide one-stop assistance to customers across the bank's broad spectrum of products and services.
In addition, as part of the unique banking experience that customers enjoy with Citibank, the branch will provide a range of instant services, including instant banking and card account opening; and the instant issuance of ATM cards and the issuance of credit cards within an hour.
Citibank's strategic partnership with SMRT Corporation
Citibank's landmark partnership with SMRT Corporation, inked in 2006, marked its initial push into the heartlands and continues to be a key channel for the bank to reach out to all segments of Singaporeans. More than 60 percent of new accounts opened at Citibank's SMRT branches are from new-to-bank customers.
Of Citibank's 24 branches, eight are within SMRT Stations, with another two located in close proximity. The bank continued to add ATMs across the network this year, including 11 on the Circle Line.
In a strong signal of the success of the relationship, Citibank and SMRT Corporation this month renewed the partnership for another five years, allowing the bank to set up more branches and ATMs across the SMRT network.
Ms. Ong Lay Choo, Head of Retail Banking, Citibank Singapore Limited, said, "The partnership between Citibank and SMRT is a pioneering one that allowed us to introduce the concept of transit banking to Singapore, and this has since been exported to some of our other markets in Asia Pacific. The SMRT channel remains an instrumental one for us, allowing us to be located at key nodes across the island where Singaporeans work, live or entertain. We continue to build on this partnership and invest in expanding our branch and ATM presence at SMRT stations to be accessible to more Singaporeans as they commute daily."
Citibank's commitment to growing its presence in Singapore
The new branch at the Orchard SMRT Station comes on the back of the opening of Citibank's Serangoon Gardens branch earlier this month. Since its local incorporation in 2005, Citibank Singapore Limited has had extensive distribution growth across Singapore. From just four branches and one off-site ATM in 2005, Citibank's local network has now expanded to more than 1,000 customer touch-points, including 24 branches, 210 proprietary Citibank ATMs and some 120 ATM locations under the ATM5 shared network.
Apart from its partnership with SMRT Corporation, Citibank continued to grow its presence by leveraging its strategic tie-ups with ExxonMobil and the Dairy Farm Group. This year, the bank added eight ATMs at Esso stations, taking the total to 20; and seven ATMs at Cold Storage supermarkets.
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Through Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.
Features of Citibank's Smart Banking Branch
Media Wall: Two media walls – portrait and landscape format – on the exterior of the branch deliver a constant stream of customer-relevant information, including global and local news, market data, weather information, information on Citibank's products and services, and the latest Citibank promotions.
Interactive Wall: Interactive touch-screens found outside and inside the branch allow customers to browse for information on Citibank's wide range of products and services on their own at leisure, or with the assistance of branch staff.
Citi Assist: The Citi Assist terminal facilitates "face-to-face" phone-banking communication. Customers are able to interact with a CitiPhone Officer via a two-way real-time video feed.
Video-conferencing: Customers can make an appointment to speak via teleconferencing with Citi's experts and specialists to leverage Citi's world-class research and receive advice on investments or Citi's views on markets.
Workbench: Equipped with Apple terminals, customers can use these as Internet kiosks or receive assistance for account opening for banking and card accounts or time deposits. Harnessing cutting-edge back-end technology, the account opening process is paperless and straight-through, doing away with the hassle of filling up multiple application forms.
iPads: In-branch staff will carry iPads as a resource tool to explain or demonstrate Citibank's products and services.
ATMs/Cash Deposit Machine: Available 24 hours outside the branch for the convenience of the customer.
Check Deposit Machine: Equipped with imaging technology that allows customer to receive a receipt printout with the image of the cheque deposited, giving customers greater assurance.
Instant Services: Customers will enjoy instant account openings for banking and card accounts; as well as the instant issuance of ATM cards and the issuance of credit cards within one hour at the branch.
Open daily: The branch is open till 8 p.m. every day of the week, including weekends and public holidays. It commences operations at 8 a.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. on weekends.