Citi Debuts Digital Platform for Commercial Banking Customers

Citi has launched a “single entry point” digital platform aimed at its commercial banking clients.

The platform, dubbed CitiDirect Commercial Banking, gives customers a better view of their banking activity with Citi in terms of cash, loans, trade, foreign exchange and onboarding, according to a Monday (July 10) press release.

The platform is live in the U.S. with more than two-thirds of the bank’s client base using it, the release said. Citi plans to test the platform in the second half of this year in Hong Kong, India, Singapore and the U.K.

“Key features include access to data-driven insights necessary to help inform decision making, efficient management of day-to-day banking interactions with Citi in one place,” according to the release. “Clients can also digitally open accounts and request new products and services, extending our self-service features, which significantly enhances the experience for clients as they grow, and their needs evolve.”

Lilac Bar David, co-founder and CEO of FinTech solution Lili, told PYMNTS in May that small- to medium-sized business (SMB) owners are better off when they can reconcile all the different processes surrounding banking and money movement into one place.

The goal is “just to have one platform,” Bar David said, adding that there is so much rich data around money-in and money-out transactions that modern, embedded solutions can use to automate and categorize business processes.

“The automation around the processes makes [SMB owners’] lives a lot easier,” she said. “It takes so much off of their plates and allows them to focus on what they want to do most, which is run their business.”

Many new businesses often function without large teams, she added.

“Nobody imagined that a bank would be able to offer these services to SMB owners, but it just makes a lot of sense,” Bar David said. “Taxes and bookkeeping are stressful responsibilities along the journey of becoming a small business owner.”

Meanwhile, research by PYMNTS found that one-third of SMBs will likely use large national banks to meet their financial needs — more than any other type of lender.

Lenders will benefit from understanding SMBs’ preferences to identify the most suitable prospects,” PYMNTS wrote in June.

These preferences depend on the size and type of business, with 39% of construction firms choosing large banks for credit lines, while smaller firms are likelier to work with regional banks.