Going digital to make banking easier for young and old

SINGAPORE - A lot of companies are going digital these days in order to capture a younger market, but not so at Citibank Singapore.

The bank has been rolling out a digital strategy aimed at making life easier for all their customers, whether they are millennials who want to conduct all transactions through mobile apps, or older people who still prefer to speak to a customer service officer over the phone.

"Many things that we have done centre around those small moments of irritation," said chief executive officer Han Kwee Juan at a media briefing on Tuesday (June 7).

For example, instead of issuing ATM PIN numbers on new cards, customers can now choose their own PIN numbers that are easier for them to memorise. And they can choose these numbers even before their cards are approved.

The new Citi Mobile app offers a "Snapshot" feature that allows customers to view their account balances even without having to log in. The app can also help remind customers when their credit payments are due and how much they have to pay, so they can avoid late payment charges.

The bank also recently launched voice biometrics authentication. Customers who call into the bank's self-service hotline, CitiPhone, can have their identities verified using just their voices in 15 seconds or less.

Customers who sign up for this do not even have to say a specific phrase in order for their voices to be recognised.

This is a lot quicker and easier than having to answer the usual barrage of security questions about one's birthdate, IC number and mother's maiden name, Mr Han quipped.

"Digitalisation for us is not about just talking to the young and trendy, it's about how we can make sure that it is across all profiles and age bands that we see at the bank... how do we ensure everyone benefits from digitalisation?" he added.

On the mobile front, the bank is also continuing to add to its services. It will soon launch Citi Pay, a digital wallet for all Android smartphone users in Singapore.

This follows on from Samsung Pay, which works only on Samsung phones.