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Citibank Integrates Customer Support on Twitter into its 1st iPad App for the Mass Market

Earlier this week, Citi launched its new iPad application for the mass market, and this is exciting.

Citi-iPad-TwitterIntegrationBut the US giant wasn’t the first bank to leverage the most popular tablet in the world, far from it. So you are wondering what all the fuss about this app is?

The excitement could be explained by three key traits of the app.

Rich Customer Experience
The first innovation comes from Citi’s willingness to fully leverage the screen and the features of the iPad to provide their customers with a visually pleasing and interactive experience.

In the last 12 months, many banks all over the world launched an iPad app which in reality didn’t tap into the potential of the tablet, and relied essentially on online browsing of the mobile site. Here the application has been built for the iPad, so the experience is supposed to be far superior than the experience on Citi’s online banking service.

Citi-iPad-Screenshot-CustExpPersonal Financial Management: PFM
Citi’s app also includes a PFM tool to help their customer to better manage their finances on the go. Cool, it is getting better. And according to Sarah Perez from ReadWriteWeb, with this app Citi might even become a serious competitor for the immensely popular Mint.com in the US.

Citi-iPad-Screenshot-PFMTwitter Integration
And last but not least, Citi integrated a feed and gives you access to its customer support team on twitter @AskCiti. Awesome. And to my knowledge, this is totally unique. This is my favourite feature, providing the app offers more than a list of phone numbers and a static twitter feed as suggested in Citi’s video…

Citi-iPad-Screenshot-TwitterPlease note that back in April 2010, and thanks to Jaime Punishill, Citi’s two main twitter accounts became the first accounts from a financial institution with the ‘Verified Account’ badge.

Key Features
Please find below the full list of features.

* See at a glance the activity in your linked Citi® accounts over the past 30 days
* Plan your cash flow with the help of our chart of past and future payments and upcoming transfers
* Use the slider to hone in on a specific period of detailed account activity
* View how you spend your money with our pie chart of top payees
* Learn how people spend their money (filter by location, age group, income bracket or spend type)
* Set up payments and transfers quickly with our streamlined flow
* Follow responses from @AskCiti to customer questions in real time, with our Twitter/tablet mash-up
* Let our locations finder guide you to the nearest Citi ATM or branch
* Learn more about personal finance with our frequently updated content

My Take
Please note this is the third iPad application launched by Citi (after the iPad app by their Private Bank and ‘Citi Velocity’ for their institutional clients).

Citi has been one of the pioneers of mobile banking when back in March 2008 they launched Mobile Money Ventures, a joint-venture with SK Telekom. I invite you to watch my video with Steve Kietz, MMV’s former CEO. In the last three years, MMV has been busy releasing mobile applications essentially in Asia. Please note that in June 2011, Intuit bought MMV.

Citi-Maylaisia-iPadGiveawayBy the way, currently Citibank Malaysia is offering 100 iPad 2 to its clients in order to boost usage of online banking, adoption of electronic services such as e-statements and activity with their credit cards.

So this is a good launch and, by the look of it, a solid iPad application. But I can’t help but wonder how big the impact of the application will be on Citi’s adoption of online banking and its market share in the US.

Indeed quite a few US Bank have already released an iPad application or a sophisticated iPhone app with PFM feature such as Chase’s Jot or USAA.

And other banks have proven to be even more innovative in the mobile banking space with the likes of the Standard Chartered Breeze team with their innovative wishlist feature, or the fantastically advanced Hana Bank’s ‘Hana N Money‘ mobile app.

And in terms of launch, check out how FNB in South Africa smartly managed to create a huge buzz on twitter and a dedicated hashtag which kept trending for a few days…

Video
I invite you to watch the video published by Citi on youtube on 22 July 2011.

Working Together
We at Visible Banking would be delighted to help you and your team better UNDERSTAND and LEVERAGE social media in a strategic yet pragmatic way.
So please don’t hesitate to call me, send me an email or DM me (@Visible_Banking) to book a meeting and talk about twitterfacebookcrowdsourcingcustomer reviews, social media & social commerce in banking, financial services and insurance.

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