Citibank Korea leads in smart banking
By Kim Jae-won
Citibank Korea has sought to solidify its leading position in the smartphone banking market by opening more “smart” branches in Seoul.
The lender opened its first smart banking branch in Mokdong, Seoul, in February. The bank said that its Mokdong branch, located in Haenuri Town of Shinjeong-dong, Yangcheon-gu and the first of its kind in Korea, is equipped with features distinctive from existing branches and it is Citigroup’s new branch model introduced for the next generation.
It has since launched more smart banking branches in Bangbae Seoripul Branch and Apgujeong Rodeo Branch. The bank said that Citibank will apply the smart scheme to new, relocated, refurbished branches down the road and the scheme will become a standard model for all branches of Citibank.
The bank said that one of the core concepts of the smart banking branch is that it allows customers to try diverse convenient channels ― mobile, internet, medial wall in branch, etc. ― in person.
Unlike the past branch model that puts focus on the interaction between customer and branch staff, the smart banking branch provides customer-centric self-serviced information. For that purpose, it is furnished with future-oriented interior design and the service environment that pursues a paperless bank branch.
“Customers who first visit the Smart Banking Branch could be surprised or flustered. But in most cases, customers will become interested in new tech gadgets such as interactively-designed touch panel and be able to conduct necessary transactions without the intervention of bank staff,” said Lee Hung-joo, head of the lender’s retail and commercial banking group.
“Many people would agree that now we’re in such an era where we find it familiar to use touch screens. We expect customers to have fun from transacting with Citibank branch and hope Citibank Korea is perceived by customers as a bank more than just a bank.”
For example, at the entrance of the Mokdong branch has a large-size LCD panel called “Media Wall” to display such information as the news, weather, FX rate, markets, etc.
Inside the branch, “Interactive Media Wall” greets customers on which they can touch the information title and view the details. Also, customers can view the information of products and services offered by Citibank Korea by ‘touching’ the information on ‘Service Browser’ installed in the branch.
Based on the information acquired through the customer’s mobile device or computer, or Media Wall placed in the branch, customer can conduct such banking transactions as subscribing to a bank product or inquiring account information at the place called “Workbench.” If more in-depth discussion is needed, customer can sit face to face with branch staff to get some advice or various additional services.