Citi Singapore to offer real-time banking experience with chatbot on Facebook Messenger

Nayela Deeba

Citi Chat Bot on Facebook Messenger
Credits:Citi Singapore

Customers of Citi Singapore may soon be able to check their bank accounts via an interactive chatbot on Facebook Messenger, known as Citi Bot.

The bot will address a range of common account-specific queries that customers usually ask bank tele-operators, such as account balance/transactions, credit card bill summaries, rewards and point balances.

To use Citi Bot, customers will need to log in to their Facebook account on their smartphones or desktops, open Citi Singapore's Facebook page and ask a question related to their bank account on Messenger. 

The bot will use its natural language processing capability to provide accurate information, almost replicating or matching up to how a "human/ bank teller would respond to bank related queries," Citi said.

Citi Chat Bot interaction on Facebook Messenger
Credits: Citi Singapore

To ensure that sensitive information is only revealed to the right person, users will need to key in a one-time password (OTP) sent by the bank via SMS/email before they can view certain requested information.

Previously, customers had to call up the bank's telesale operators to enquire, or manually fill up a form with contact details to retrieve their bank account information.

Citi Bot thus dismisses the hassle of having to manually do things, and becomes "present where customers are living, working and playing" by providing real-time account information, said Felimy Greene, customer franchise head at Citi Asia.

Citi will be rolling out the chatbot in phases, with the aim of commercially launching it in Singapore and across the Asia Pacific region in the fourth quarter of the year.

In the initial phase, Citi Bot will be made available to  600 customers and employees from the bank. Customers can register their interest to be part of this testing community by sending an SMS with the message "BETA" to 72484.

The second phase of the Citi Bot will introduce more new features such as card activation, ability to lock and unlock credit cards and transaction alerts for cards among others.

"As our customers become increasingly mobile, we are embracing a strategy that makes banking relevant, convenient and remarkable, integrating ourselves into key ecosystem in order to engage them where they are most digitally active. The Citi Bot is part of our continuous efforts to enhance the digital experience we provide to our customers, by making it simple, fast and delightful for them," said Han Kwee Juan, chief executive officer, Citibank Singapore.