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Citibank launches Singapore’s first instant savings account

Citi, the leading global financial services company, has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit. Additional information may be found at, or


Citibank will launch Singapore’s first instant savings account opening service

through its Citibank Online platform on April 8, once again redefining the service

standards for ‘instant’ banking in the industry. With the instant account opening

service, customers will receive their account numbers within 60 seconds of

submitting their applications online.


For a start, the instant account opening service will be made available to

Citibank’s existing Credit Card or Ready Credit customers who wish to open the

Step-Up Interest Account. This is a savings and checking account that allows

customers to step-up to higher interest rates when balances grow. The instant

account opening service will be extended to more products and to new Citibank

customers in the near future.


This new, first-of-its-kind service is a continuation of the series of ‘instant’

initiatives introduced by Citibank to provide Singaporeans with greater

convenience and accessibility to its world-class products and services. Some of

the other ‘instant’ initiatives launched in the past two years include instant

issuance of credit cards, instant approval for Ready Credit and instant online

approval for home loans.


Ms Vibha Coburn, Head of Citibank Online, said, “Making efficient use of online

technology is a key priority for us. This Instant Account Opening service offers a

powerful proposition for our existing customers – we are shifting what is

traditionally an over-the-counter transaction to an instantaneous online experience

that can be performed literally anywhere and at any time. This is an extension of

our efforts to offer more seamless and convenient banking choices to our




Details about Citibank Online’s instant account opening service


With the new Citibank Online instant account opening service, all customers need to do is to log on to Citibank Online, click on “Open Step-Up Interest Account”, fill up an online application form and submit it. A bank account number will be generated and the account will be ‘live’ within 60 seconds. The customer may indicate initial funding via salary credit, cheque or inbound funds transfer.

In addition, to make it easier and more time-efficient for our customers, the

application form itself has been streamlined and pre-filled so that our customers

take less than half the usual amount of time to fill it up.

The ATM Card and ATM Personal Identification Number (PIN) will then be mailed

to the customer the next business day. A Citibank Online Advisor will also call the

customer to make arrangements for the submission of a specimen signature card

and a photocopy of the customer’s Identification Card (IC), so that a chequebook

will be issued.


This seamless process of setting up an account is secure, as the customers will

need to have existing Citibank Online access and go through second factor

authentication (2FA) before applying for a new account.


Commitment to growth via online channel


Citibank has set the pace for online banking since it pioneered Internet banking

services 10 years ago in Singapore. The launch of this new service is an integral

part of the bank’s strategy to reach out to more people in Singapore and deepen

existing relationships with customers, via new channels such as the Internet.

Ms Coburn shared, “Consumer buying behaviour has changed in the past 10

years with the rise of the Internet. Singapore is one of the most tech-savvy and

wired countries with one of the highest Internet penetration rates in the world. As

Singaporeans become more comfortable with Internet shopping and Internet

banking, it only makes sense for us to harness new online technology and

platforms to serve our customers better.”


One in two customers use the Citibank Online Internet banking service, while

overall online banking transactions has grown over 20% year-on-year. In the past

few years, the bank has seen the number of online acquisitions for its products

and services increase significantly. In 2007, the number of online acquisitions for

checking and savings accounts grew more than five times, compared to the year

before. Online acquisitions for Ready Credit and credit cards have also tripled

from 2005 to 2006, and then again from 2006 to 2007.



With the launch of the new instant account opening service, Citibank aims to

double online acquisitions for the Citibank Step-Up Interest Account by the end of

the year.

Citibank Step-Up Interest Accounts that are opened online have the same

features as accounts that are opened at the branches. Customers get superior

interest rates, and many other benefits, including free branch and Internet banking

access. In addition, customers who credit their salary to a Citibank Step-Up

Interest Account do not need to maintain a minimum monthly balance. A $500

minimum balance is needed if cheque or inbound transfer is indicated for funding.

Added Ms Coburn, “Citibank Online is a key contributor to our overall strategy to

grow our business, and we want to leverage on this as we continue to expand our



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