SUPPORTING clients’ contingency situations and plans during the coronavirus pandemic, Citi's treasury and trade solutions business in Asia-Pacific has seen a significant uptake in digital adoption in Q1 2020.
First introduced in Asia-Pacific in 2019, the bank’s digital onboarding enables clients to open additional or new banking accounts digitally and in as quickly as two days. Using electronic signatures and supported by a streamlined documentation process, the capability was introduced in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand last year.
Over 1,000 new accounts have been opened digitally in the first three months of 2020 in Asia-Pacific, with the number of accounts opened increasing by close to 3.5 times from January to March. Driving adoption as the pandemic continued to evolve in the region, the solution went live in six additional markets early this year. These markets include India, China (only Shanghai branch), Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.
The digitized process has helped businesses set up new accounts to address major situations during the pandemic, both in their home markets and overseas. As businesses invoked their respective business continuity plans, the ability to rapidly open new accounts has provided multiple benefits; including helping businesses expand operations in new countries to enable their sales collections and facilitating vendor or employee payments.
While digital adoption has steadily increased in recent years with the consumerization of corporate experiences, the adoption of digital solutions and channels has accelerated even faster as a result of the pandemic. API usage has also surged in volume over the last year – the bank’s API client base has doubled, and API volumes have quadrupled - as many companies move towards seamless, real-time integration.
In Asia-Pacific, e-commerce clients whose businesses are currently seeing rapid growth in volumes are driving adoption of APIs and increase in activity. The ongoing digitization efforts of companies across different industries, especially non-bank financial institutions, is also driving this trend in the region.