January 27, 2014

CitiBank has made new improvements to its ATM’s that will move more transactions to its digital channels, allowing the bank to build smaller branches with more consultative services, says Mark Gilder, Citi’s director of distribution strategy.

The new ATM’s, which will be rolled out throughout the U.S. by the end of next month, will feature new and enhanced payment and transactional capabilities. Customers will be able to make instant funds transfers and make payments to linked Citi accounts such as credit cards, mortgages or loans, according to a Citi statement announcing the new ATM’s last week.

Citi has also made the user experience quicker and more convenient by cutting down on extra screens and prompts. The new ATM’s will feature new Quick-Touch Balance Peeks, which allow users to check the balances on their accounts on whatever screen they are on without having to navigate to another screen.

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Much of the new user experience was fashioned after Citi’s mobile and online channels. Citi used the same research and design firm for the new ATM experience that helped create the bank’s mobile and online experiences, according to Gilder. This will help provide a seamless experience across all of the bank’s digital channels, Gilder adds.

Users will also be able to set up preferences for languages and most common transactions that will make their ATM visits quicker.

With these new and faster capabilities, Citi expects more transactions will move from the branch counter to the ATM, Gilder shares. This will free up branch space, allowing Citi to experiment with new, smaller branch formats that support more advisory services.

“These transaction sets and capabilities are complimentary to the branch structure. We can now look at opportunities for smaller branches focused around consultation, while all of the everyday transactions are done at the ATM. We can then expand into new neighborhoods with these smaller branches,” Gilder remarks.

Smaller branches won’t be appropriate for every neighborhood, Gilder adds, but they will be useful for expanding into consumer residential neighborhoods that don’t require many commercial banking services. Citi is already experimenting with smaller branches in Asia, where they are even ripping the vault out of several locations, Gilder comments.

“Clearly the ATM is a key part of our digital strategy… cash has declined but it is still prevalent, and customers feel more secure depositing large checks at the ATM rather than through mobile deposit,” Gilder observes.

Jonathan Camhi is a graduate of the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism, where he focused on international reporting and interned at the Hindustan Times in Delhi, ...