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Citi show digital channels and increasing digitisation are pivotal in continuity of business

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been to open the flood gates to increasing digitization of all processes and procedures. Now that working-at-home is the new normal, it has produced a sea change in attitudes and urgency in digitizing almost everything. This shown by how Citi has massively expanded the reach of their Digital Onboarding platform.

Citi’s Digital Onboarding programme

Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions has expanded the reach of the CitiDirect BE® Digital Onboarding platform, making it available in 37 countries and five languages. Additionally, usage across all client-facing digital channels has dramatically grown over the first quarter of 2020, as clients switch to continuity-of-business (COB) modes, with remote work during the pandemic.

There has been a huge growth in both CitiDirect BE and CitiConnect® usage on an annual basis between March 2019 and March 2020 including:

  • 24% increase in the total number of CitiDirect BE online and app users
  • 18% increase in total number of logins on CitiDirect BE
  • 10-fold increase in active CitiDirect BE App users this year, with approximately 50% of these users leveraging biometric authentication
  • API volumes multiplying four times.

“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, Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions. “Our best in class solutions provide clients with secure digital options, allowing them to be agile and to quickly respond to current events, so they are able to focus on their business priorities.”

The CitiDirect BE platform, which provides access to global transaction capabilities, uses new and innovative capabilities on the desktop as well as on mobile. These include simplified payments, biometric authentication, chat, and co-browse capabilities with a service representative with 90% of all inquiries and reports requests handled digitally. CitiConnect® API usage (for client connectivity with treasury and accounting systems) has also surged in volume over the last year as many companies move towards seamless, real-time integration.  

Corporate users like the new approach, and willingly accept the use of biometric authentication:

  • “The CitiDirect BE Digital Onboarding platform has proven to be a fantastic tool for Reliance, enabling us to get the account opening process completed and accounts activated in a very short span of time,” stated Narendra Shenoy, Treasury Head at Reliance BP Mobility Limited, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited. “The entire walkthrough, as well as the day-to-day user experience of Citi’s innovative account opening system is very intuitive. Plus, the Citi team on the ground provided the highest level of service ensuring the task at hand was completed smoothly.”

Future of KYC and on-boarding

Citi has helped clients open over 1,000 accounts during the widespread lockdown. Citi plans to offer the solution in 50 countries by the end of 2020.

This shows that there has been a sea-change in attitudes on KYC and on-boarding. This global programme which covers many jurisdictions and types of businesss hows it can be done.

CTMfile take: One good thing to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is that banks will have to rationalise, as Citi have done, their KYC and on-boarding programmes and procedures. Maybe this is the opportunity that Swift KYC has been looking for………?


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