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77pc of Citibank iPad users spend time on three or more screens: study

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January 25, 2012

The Citibank iPad app

Citibank found that 77 percent of its tablet application users interacted with three or more screens inside the app, pointing to the increased use of tablets for mobile banking.

Forrester Research’s new case study on Citibank looked at how the financial institution created its iPad app and what the results have been since launching in July. The study also outlined best practice tips for companies looking to build an app from scratch.

“The most important example is that personal financial management tools present on the iPad app,” said Peter Wannemacher, ebusiness and channel strategy analyst at Forrester, Cambridge, MA.

“Moreover, the look and feel of Citi’s tablet banking offering is intuitive, easy-to-use and simplified,” he said.

“These attributes are now evident across Citibank’s other digital banking channels.”

Bank on tablets
Compared to Citibank’s iPhone app, the company claims that its iPad app saw double the adoption rate in the first six weeks of its launch, showing how tablets are naturally made for more sophisticated purposes, such as banking.

Additionally, the average user browsed 4.4 screens in one visit and interacted with the app for more detailed transactions.

Although the app was launched in July, Citibank began thinking strategically about the app in February.

Per the report, the bank raced after Apple’s iPad sales proved to be a hit with the consumers.

Forester found that in the third quarter of 2010, Apple raked in 3.27 million iPad unit sales. To compare, 11.2 million iPad units were sold in the fourth quarter of 2011, showing the quick growth of the device with consumers.

Unlike many financial institutions, Citibank decided to build its iPad app from scratch with a team of 12 employees and with help from digital agency Fjord.

Citibank then set up the iPad app with two distinct purposes on each side of the screen – to let users explore and analyze within the app.

The app was developed to let clients easily view and manage multiple accounts from one screen.

To help consumers learn about the bank’s mobile services, Citibank used educational videos and demos inside the app.

Citibank also took advantage of tablet users’ habits, which tend to be longer, when developing the app to let clients see past and future transactions on a scatter plot graph.

Using the explore tab, users can compare how their budgets and spending stack up to others.

Tabbed users
According to the report, the launch of the iPad app led to more than 5,000 user ID creations so far, which means they did not use Citi mobile or online banking before and are using digital banking for the first time via the iPad app.

Since launching the iPad app, Citibank has used its findings to revamp its other digital services, including a Web site redesign, which the company developed with a simpler, mobile-friendly design in mind.

Citibank has also updated the app to include more sophisticated features including mobile deposits and social media integration.

In addition to Citibank’s iPad app, the company also has a line of iPhone, iPod touch and Android apps and a SMS program.

Citi also recently used a mobile advertising campaign to reward users who answered a survey (see story).

“Over the past one to three years, providers’ mobile banking strategies have coalesced around a set of features, functionality and design elements,” Mr. Wannemacher said.

“This is not a bad thing, per se, but it is the reason so many mobile banking apps seem roughly similar,” he said.

“I think 2012 will see more and more firms piloting new ways of approaching clients’ mobile experiences and offering new features and functionality.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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