Tablets have developed a reputation as a venue for games, reading and pursuits that require more time. But for Citigroup, that's fine. The more immersive consumer use of tablets is informing a content strategy that's helped the bank's iPad app enjoy quick success.
Citi's native tablet app was developed mostly in-house by a cross functional team, which chose to start from scratch rather than adapt the bank's website or mobile app for tablet use. The app includes video tutorials, visual plots of past and pending transactions, and personal financial management tools. Most recently, the bank added customizable charts and graphs to help users track card spending.
The result is an app that's been growing in both use and function over the past several months. The bank found that iPad adoption was greater than iPhone adoption by double or more for each of the six weeks that followed the initial iPad launch in mid-2011. And, in an important finding on immersion that's helping the bank develop function for the tablet, the institution's discovered that during 77 percent of tablet banking sessions, users spent time on three or more separate screens on the app, and the average across all sessions is 4.44 screens.
The bank hopes to keep the tablet app momentum going, particularly among younger consumers.
Tracey Weber, Citi's head of internet and mobile banking for North America consumer banking, recently did an interview with BTN in which she discussed how the tablet lends itself to financial education and personal financial management.
BTN: Citi has focused heavily on the iPad. Are other tablets in your plans?
Weber: Absolutely, we're looking at other devices right now. We started with the iPad because it's the tablet for which there is the greatest market share. As new devices become more popular, it will be important to have capabilities for customers wherever they are and for whatever they are using.
How will tablets change the way consumers use payment cards?
The card data that you look at on the tablet is the same as in other venues, like mobile or the website. But on a tablet it's displayed in a way that's visually rich and makes you see the story inherent in the data. So instead of a ledger with a list of transactions, you see interactive charts and graphs that let you see how cash inflows and outflows are going. So there's a huge opportunity for people to engage in information on their spending and financial health.
What have you found to be the difference between tablets and the website in terms of how they're being used, and how you respond with your content strategy?
When people come onto the website, they are looking to pay bills and other chores, and often, when they are on the website, they don't have time to engage on broader content or read an article about finance. When people are using the tablet app, they may do a payment or two, but the content on the tablet is more educational and more appropriate to how the device is being used as an interactive information tool. So it's not as if this [information and interactive education] isn't available on the website, it's just not as prominent as it is on the tablet.