Citibank said that use of its digital banking channels surged in the first quarter of 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe. Meanwhile, the bank has expanded the reach of a key digital platform, making it available in 37 countries and five languages.
“During these unusually challenging times — where clients are primarily working remotely and their ability to provide physical, signed documents is severely restricted, the simplicity of Citi’s accelerated digital account-opening process is especially valuable,” said Naveed Sultan, global head of Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions (TSS), in a prepared statement. He noted that the bank’s CitiDirect BE Digital Onboarding platform, in particular, is helping customers cope with the ongoing crisis.
The company said it is offering “streamlined documentation,” while its “digital onboarding” program has enabled clients to complete the process of opening accounts using electronic signatures. Citi said this digital onboarding experience has helped clients open more than 1,000 accounts during the widespread lockdowns. The bank plans to offer its digital setup in 50 countries by the end of 2020.
The bank said the CitiDirect BE Digital Onboarding platform replaces the paper- and courier-based documentation process with a digital platform, including the use of electronic signatures and existing “data assets.”
“We have seen accelerated usage of our digital channels due to recent remote work situations,” said Tapodyuti Bose, global head of digital channels and data at Citi TSS.
Citibank’s use of digital banking has had a long evolution. In the early 1980s, it was one of the first banks to offer a remote banking solution that enabled customers to access their accounts via their landlines.
Now, COVID-19 has forced millions of employees to work remotely and consumers around the world are turning to digital channels to access banking services, which has required financial institutions to focus on their online and mobile offerings.