Strong Growth in Digital Banking Usage in Asia
Citi has passed the 7 million mark for clients in Asia that are signed up for digital banking services for their banking needs including online, mobile phones and other digital channels. These banking services include Citi’s mobile and internet banking applications across the 14 markets in which the bank has consumer operations in Asia. At the end of April 2014 Citi had 7.4m clients registered for digital banking services.
“In Asia we are seeing strong pick up for digital banking services. Technology and digitisation are transforming the way in which we serve our clients. Consumer preferences are changing and a generational shift in behaviour is driving consumers to new digital channels,” said Jonathan Larsen, head of Consumer Banking for Citi in Asia Pacific.
Citi has been investing heavily in technology to support the expansion of its consumer-banking business in the region. At the end of 2013 the bank also partnered with 3 Hong Kong to launch a mobile banking wallet in Hong Kong.
New Citibank branches have also taken on a digital model. These ‘smart-banking’ branches include interactive touch panels, video-conferencing capabilities and full-service banking from devices such as iPhones and iPads. The bank has also been investing in new ATM technology and last year launched the next generation ATM in Southeast Asia, called Citibank Express.
“Speed, simplicity and ubiquity are guiding our use of technology across the world. Technology and digitisation are defining global trends of our lifetimes,“ said Larsen.
Nearly 5 billion people are using mobile phones, according to Mobile Phone World, with internet access in Asia at around 1 billion people, according to Internet World Stats. Mobile phone usage is thus two and a half times more than the number of bank accounts, with the differences especially pronounced in emerging markets. This has important implications for a bank’s consumer franchise with the generational shift in how consumers want to access financial services.