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Citi’s Digital Channels Play a Pivotal Role in Client Contingency Situations


New York – Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) 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.

Clients have activated COB plans, and have had to rapidly reassess current payment methods, processes, risks and controls, and digitize manual processes. They are expanding their use of Citi platforms for a remote workforce, including mobile apps and use of biometrics, as well as digitizing documentation and moving to electronic signatures to complete the onboarding process.

“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 Treasury and Trade Solutions at Citi. “By expanding the reach of CitiDirect BE Digital Onboarding, we are helping clients improve the robustness of their contingency capabilities.”

Citi’s digital onboarding solutions have enabled clients to set up new accounts and overcome major obstacles due to the pandemic, both domestically and overseas. Clients can complete the process of account opening using electronic signatures, with streamlined documentation. In parallel to digitizing the onboarding experience, in 2018, we also reduced approximately 97% of overall terms and conditions in documentation.

Through the digital onboarding experience, 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.

CitiDirect BE Digital Onboarding accelerates and simplifies the client to bank onboarding experience, enabling clients to complete Know Your Customer (KYC), account opening and product requirements online, while tracking status end-to-end. It replaces the legacy paper and courier-based documentation process with a digital platform, including electronic signatures, and using existing data assets to complete KYC and account opening requirements.

“This solution and the speed of turnaround it provides is invaluable,” said Declan Murtagh, Treasury Director at Digital Realty. “It totally simplifies a process which always seemed so cumbersome, and with record turnaround times, it really does make a difference!”

As clients have invoked their respective COB plans, the ability to rapidly open new accounts has provided multiple benefits, including helping them to go live in new countries to enable new cash collection sources and providing rapid payment options for their employees.

Accelerated Adoption of Digital Channels

While the growth in digital adoption has steadily increased over recent years with the consumerization of corporate experiences, the adoption of CitiDirect BE® digital solutions has accelerated even faster as a result of the pandemic. There has been tremendous growth in both CitiDirect BE and CitiConnect® usage on an annual basis between March 2019 and March 2020 including:

  • 24% increase in 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, continues with 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.

“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.”

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