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Citibank aims for convenience with new SMS banking service

June 23, 2010

citibankingCitibank has introduced an SMS banking service that delivers account updates on demand to bank and credit card customers.

The Citi Text Banking service provides updates for all Citi credit card accounts and for Citibank accounts that are linked to a Citibank ATM or debit card.

“Each one of Citi’s mobile offerings addresses our customers’ current or future needs and reinforces our goal of being the world’s top digital bank,” said Liza Landsman, managing director of Internet and mobile at Citi North America, New York. 

“We want to make it incredibly easy and convenient for our customers to manage their accounts anytime, anywhere,” she said. “Citi Text Banking adds yet another way in which our customers can stay on top of their accounts and get updates in seconds, wherever they are.

“With two-thirds of U.S. cell phone owners now using SMS, our target demographic is basically everyone in our U.S. consumer customer population – using Citi Text Banking is as easy as texting friends and family, which is something people across all segments are doing today.”

Citibank is a member of Citi, a global financial services company, which has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 140 countries.

Banking on mobile
This service includes updates on checking and savings accounts, home equity lines and loans, personal lines and loans and mortgages.

Customers can text the keyword BAL to the short code 692484 (MYCITI). They will then receive a text message with the account information they requested.

According to the company, no personal information is stored on the mobile device and full account numbers are never revealed.

“SMS is ubiquitous, as SMS users are spread over broader demographic swathes than other mobile user groups – versus downloadable apps or mobile browsers – so it’s a great way for us to provide an extremely convenient service to the largest possible number of our clients on the go,” Ms. Landsman said.

“Further, we do see SMS text banking as a gateway offering that can drive awareness and adoption of mobile banking overall,” she said.

Citi Text Banking is just the latest addition to the Citi Mobile lineup.

The company is already offering downloadable applications and a mobile-optimized service for consumers.

In addition, Citibank recently started a public beta test of its new Citi Shopper application, and has begun offering mobile payment tags for contactless payments.

“We’re mobilizing all of Citi to drive awareness and adoption of mobile banking,” Ms. Landsman said. “For Citi Text Banking specifically, we’re doing everything from press releases and internal communication to our call centers and branches, to email campaigns to our customers, online advertising, leveraging our new U.S. advertising campaign – we are making mobile one of the key themes of that campaign.

“We’re working on a number of projects that will make mobile banking even more convenient for our customers, tying the online and mobile experiences together in an ongoing conversation with the user and merchandising Citi products and services via mobile,” she said.

“Mobile is the fastest-growing of our customer touchpoints, so we’re rallying all of our resources behind it.”

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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