RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Citi to launch Tablet Banking by 1Q13

This follows the success of Citi Mobile that surpassed 1m active users in September 2012.

According to a release, at the end of September, Citi had 1.1 million active mobile banking users – clients who use Citi Mobile to conduct their banking transactions – in the region and is adding between 60,000 to 70,000 new mobile users every month.

In total, the bank sees between 12 to13 million online and mobile log-ins every month.

Citibank, the consumer banking business of Citi, was the first global financial institution to launch a Mobile Banking app throughout Asia Pacific. Launched first in 2008 in Hong Kong, the application has since been rolled out across the region.

The Citi Mobile Application is currently available in 12 regional markets on iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Mobile Browsers. Data shows that 95% of all transactions for Citi in Asia now occur outside a branch.

"Mobile banking is playing an important role in our aim to be the world’s leading digital bank,” said Jonathan Larsen, Asia Pacific Head of Consumer Banking and Global Head of Retail Banking.

The mobile banking milestone in Asia builds on the further successful use of innovation in the region in recent years. In 2010, Smart Banking branches were launched first in Asia and then globally.

These branches are also bringing in several thousand new clients monthly, at three to five times faster rate than in traditional branches.

Citi will invest further in its mobile banking capabilities and over the next year the bank will be introducing a number of enhancements and new innovations in different markets. Among some of the major developments will be Tablet Banking launch for Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, China, Malaysia and Indonesia in the first quarter of next year.

“We are working to make Citi Mobile more than a tool for bills payments, transfers, locating ATMs and merchants and rewards redemptions. Our pipeline of mobile capabilities will make it possible for clients to trade stocks, apply for credit cards, purchase goods and services and even make person to person transfers anytime they choose,” said Global Head of Mobile Banking and Asia Pacific Head of eBusiness & Direct Banking Rajesh Yohannan.

“Currently we have a few markets where digital channels contribute in excess of 25% of Citi’s new credit card accounts. With our new capabilities, we are certain that the share of new business through mobile will grow exponentially,” said Yohannan.

According to a report from research consultancy, Juniper, Mobile Banking adoption is expected to reach about 530 million users worldwide by 2013. In addition to North America and Western Europe, the report expects that China and Southeast Asia will have the highest penetration of users.

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