Yes, that’s right. But you might think that the title is a bit too outdated since it has already been possible to apply for credit cards online. After all, you can already easily apply online with other banks and also with Citibank, right?
Just yesterday, Citibank Philippines invited FrustratedBillionaire and many bloggers and media members to a press briefing at the luxe Discovery Primea hotel in Makati Central Business District with one goal: they needed our help to spread the word and drive the conversation back to their clients (including myself) on how Citi aims to be the leading ‘digital’ bank in the Philippines, and how they are committed to innovating how banking is done online, especially now that businesses and consumers are increasingly doing their transactions online.
What’s special about Citi’s aggressive bid to let prospect clients apply for credit cards online?
Citibank clients can expect to get credit approval online, after they complete the online application form and submit digitized copies of required documents. Yes, you can just take photos of your IDs and other docs right from your smartphone and send them online, and the unique thing here is that the credit card approval is automated and it all happens online.
With the digitized application process, a client will know in minutes if he or she is qualified for a Citi credit card. Now this is a game changer, and this will be perfect for those who are too impatient to have to wait to find out if they’re approved or not.
This is what sets Citi’s new online application process with other banks (which I suppose are already racing towards this functionality as well).
We were one of the first banks to launch an online presence and also one of the pioneers in attracting customers through our website. At that time, we were only capturing the information online when they apply, but the processing still takes place offline during credit review. With this latest service, we are excited to break new ground for the industry and deliver another innovation for the Filipino consumer
-David Stoughton, Director for Credit Payment Products
Wait, what about the free gifts and rewards when applying offline and at malls?
We all love those freebies when passing through their promo booths at malls or at travel exhibits. Of course, Citi already had this in mind before they implemented this new online application platform.
Knowing that us Philippine customers love rewards, freebies, and gifts (ehem, who doesn’t love that dapper Citi umbrella that they give out?), of course new applicants who will be getting their cards online won’t miss out on freebies as well.
In fact, Citi has made the rewards even more enticing if you choose to do this online. They call it ‘digitized rewards’.
From now on until April 30, 2017, complete an application form online and receive an electronic voucher you can redeem for an Auntie Anne’s pretzel and iced tea. You get this freebie, approved or not.
If approved, clients who are getting their first Citi card and make a purchase of P20,000 or more within 60 days are also eligible to get a Fitbit Charge 2 fitness wristband.
Groundbreaking partnerships with leading digital retailers
To show Citi’s commitment to the banking’s digital future, in the same event Citi also recently unveiled another strategic digital partnership, this time with Amazon. The Philippines will come next after Thailand where credit card holders can now use their Rewards Points to pay for purchases at Amazon.com.
Banking on a Digital Future
Over the past five years, traffic in Citi branches across Asia has declined 50% as digital transactions grew over 100%. While digital banking is not completely replacing the branch experience, the nature of branch interactions is changing, and Citi’s strategy is now aimed at a combination of bricks and clicks.
This just shows how fast we are becoming connected online.
As for their stringent security which I admire as their client, Citi was the first to launch Voice Biometrics across the region which has since received more than 700,000 sign-ups from customers with over 1M clients consenting. This means that when you call Citibank, your voice is authenticated thereby adding an additional layer of security, because, who can mimic your voice, right (except when you are Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible)?
Since yesterday we were already talking about the future of banking, I can’t help but to ask David Stoughton during the briefing about accepting cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin payments in the future, he mentioned that they already have their Fintech team exploring this option. It’s great news, since technology innovation is getting to quick, and we have to be nimble to catch up with these.