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60% customers take only e-statement - Citi India

 

PTI | Mumbai, October 4, 2011 15:49
Tags : Citi India | Citi India digital business head Gowri Mukherjee | Citi ATM |
 

The internet is the largest portal through which Citi India does business, bank officials said on Tuesday claiming that over 40 percent of its nearly 2 million customers access banking services online and close to 60 percent receive only e-statements. The second largest MNC lender in India hopes this trend will help to cancel out their disadvantage as regards fewer branches.

Country's second largest MNC lender by balance-sheet size Citi India claims, a trend which it hopes will probably beat the deficiency of fewer branches.

"Our digital platform is the largest channel of customer service and engagement. Over 50 percent of all customer contacts with the bank are digital," Citi India digital business head Gowri Mukherjee told PTI.

The bank refused to share its total customer base, saying that is not its practice here, however it is learnt that the American lender serves around 2 million customers in the country through its various services.

PTI could not verify the veracity of the numbers as it has been done internally.

"Over 40 percent of our customers use the online banking facility and close to 60 percent have signed up for e-statements, while nearly 90 percent of all customer communication is now electronic," she informed.

The digital platform attracts more usage/ customers than the combined usage across all other channels like ATMs, phone banking, branches and regular mails, she claimed.

Citi, which opened its first branch 109 years ago in Calcutta, operates 42 branches across 30 cities in the country now, and is the largest foreign direct investor in the financial services space with around USD4 billion capital commitment in its onshore banking and financial services business. It operates and over 700 ATMs and employs around 7,400 people.

But with 1.21 percent net NPA ratio, its bad loan is also one of the biggest among the foreign banks-the seventh highest NPA among the top ten MNC banks to be precise, according to the latest Reserve Bank data.

According to the RBI data, Citi is the second largest foreign lender in the country in terms of assets with Rs 56,668 crore in deposits and Rs 40,597 crore in advances as of end 2010, while this American lender is the largest in terms of capital, reserves and surpluses at Rs 14,961 crore.

The largest MNC banker is the British lender StanChart, which also is the oldest with 94 branches and over 2.1 million customers. Another British lender HSBC is the second largest in terms of branch presence and customers with 46 branches and over 1.8 million customers, but No 3 in terms of balance-sheet (Rs 54,107 crore in deposits and Rs 27,401 crore in advances).

Mukherjee, who heads the Citi's 35-member digital team in Chennai, also said a series of innovative offerings will be unveiled on the mobile banking front in the next quarter.

When asked what was the trigger for this internal assessment of the online usage data, Mukherjee said, the numbers are a validation of the acknowledgement received for three consecutive years, as being amongst the best online banking platform in Asia-Pacific.

She further said though online banking helps maximise savings, "it is more about engaging with the customer. These interactions provide us with the unique opportunity to offer new and innovative products and services based on diverse customer needs, which is a big differentiator."

Attributing the reasons for this increased usage of the digital banking to convenience, she said going forward, the bank will pushing not only online banking but also other emerging platforms like mobile, tablet and social media channels.

The award-winning online banking platform offers Citi customers an integrated view of their account, allowing them to conduct over 110 financial and non-financial transactions online, besides also offering them in-depth investment research and wealth management facilities apart from all other regular transaction-related banking services.

Meanwhile, Citi is also leveraging social media sites for customer engagement and product co-creation. As part of this, it recently started an initiative to get customer preference for ATM location. Called the 'crowd sourced ATM', on its 'Facebook page, it seeks customer opinion on the next Citi ATM locations in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai, she said, adding the crowd sourced ATMs will be rolled out in the next four months.

Mukherjee also claims the Citi India Facebook page has a following of over 1.5 lakh members.

In 2010, Citi won the Asian Banker award for best internet bank, Citi India was selected as the 'best consumer internet bank' by Global Finance magazine for three years since 2008.
 

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