MORE and more Filipinos are taking advantage of the convenience of online banking, according to the Citi Fin-Q Survey, an annual online poll that measures the Fin-Q or Financial Quotient of Filipino consumers.

Seventy-five percent of those polled said they now do almost all their banking from their computer, tablet or mobile phone. Only 1-in-4 continue to visit the branch, and mostly for face to face meetings with the bank managers or account officers. In fact, the uptake of online banking is so prevalent, only nine percent said they have yet to try it.

Online banking users on the rise - Citi

According to the survey, popular transactions online include account inquiries, bills payment and funds transfers between accounts. This trend can be attributed to new technologies that offer customers user-friendly solutions at the same time enhancing security.

Enhancing the online banking experience

One such innovation is the newly-launched One-Time Personal Identification Number (PIN) by Citi. Using its multi-awarded Internet banking platform, Citibank Online, the country's largest foreign bank now offers clients greater peace of mind when transacting online.

The One-Time Pin is a unique six-digit PIN, sent via SMS, which allows users to access their account details and complete online transactions via Citibank Online.

Users of Citibank Online will first need to key in their user name as well as password, and enter this information before they will be prompted for a One-Time PIN. The One-Time PIN acts as a second-level authentication method to ensure that online transactions are secure.

The One-Time PIN may also be generated via the Citi Mobile Banking App, an application available to Apple and Android device users. Also available is an Online Security Device for a minimal fee that generates One-Time PINs in one click.

"We are seeing a marked shift to online and mobile banking, and in Asia, we already see 98 percent of all transactions taking place outside a branch. Citi is committed to remain one step ahead of our clients' needs especially in this space where we have gained considerable ground. As of September 2012, we had already registered over 1,000,000 mobile banking users for Citi in Asia, and we are confident that number has grown since," said Consumer Business Manager for Citi Philippines Bea Tan.

Another recent addition to its roster of online banking services is the "Call Me" service for clients who wish to apply for another credit card, or those who have yet to own a Citibank credit card. To request Citi to call you, all consumers have to do is click on the "Call Me" button at the upper right section of Citibank Online homepage.

As the number of online banking users rise, the Citi Mobile App has also gained foothold in the mobile banking space.

The Citi Mobile App consists of a suite of Mobile Banking applications for Android, BlackBerry and iPhone. This App enables credit card and bank clients to access their accounts and complete a range of banking transactions using their preferred smartphones.

Capturing the market pulse

The Citi Fin-Q Survey also showed that Filipinos are showing an interest in using online banking beyond the usual transactions. In fact, 92 percent would like to "take their banking with them" and be able to access all of their finances while traveling, and 78 percent expressed interest in global investment opportunities. This also explains why more than half of the respondents showed a preference for a global bank.

While 78 percent stated they are satisfied with the mobile and online banking services they use, Citi remains positive that customer satisfaction can further increase given the flexibility and convenience that online banking offers.

"Our clients can look forward to more features that will deliver our promise of a convenient and secure online banking experience to answer all their financial needs," concluded Tan.

Citi has been running the Citi Fin-Q Survey since 2007 through research firm Big Picture Qual and Quant Research. The survey covered 3,500 online respondents across seven countries including the Philippines.

Five hundred interviews were held in each of the participating countries that include Australia, India, Indonesia, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. (PR)