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Brief Published: 17 May 2016

Citibank Tests Beacons to Fuel 24/7 Service Proposition

Citibank ATMs

American financial services company Citibank has teamed up with US tech firm Gimbal to test out beacon technology in two NYC branches. The trial consolidates the brand's mission to deliver a more personalised banking experience pinioned on after-hours access and faster assistance during regular opening times.

The beacons will allow consumers with the Citibank app on a smartphone or Apple Watch to access ATM lobbies after hours without swiping a card by the door (see also Out-of-Hours Shopping). Created in response to consumer complaints about having to look for the Citi card in their wallet or purse, users who approach the lobby will automatically be sent a push notification asking: 'Want to unlock the ATM lobby door?' To do so, they simply need to tap the 'yes' button.

Those that opt in will also receive geo-based personalised messages such as localised greetings, event information and tailored offers. Citibank has suggested it may roll out the initiative to as many as 10 Manhattan branches.

A keen advocate of tech-enhanced service, in 2015, the bank introduced a voice biometrics solution to verify customers' identities within the first few seconds of a phone call (see Reimagining Retail Banking). It also trialled an ATM concept that let consumers use their smartphone instead of a card to verify their identity (by QR code or near-field-communication tag).

See also Sales-Boosting Beacons, Customisation Tech Upgrades Barneys and Personalising the Banking Experience.