Citibank opens high-tech 'smart bank' of the future

Summary:Citibank's new, high-tech Hong Kong "smart banking" branch is packed with LED screens, displays embedded in the walls and wireless Internet connectivity.

We've seen futuristic banking tech like the ability to deposit checks without ever visiting a retail branch, but Citibank is raising the bar in Hong Kong with a new location that's packed with digital amenities.

Citigroup calls its new Mong Kok location a "Smart Banking" center, and it's backing the claim up by filling all four of its floors (23,000 sq. ft. total) with technology.

Take the outside, for example: on the façade of the building are two 59-foot-tall LED displays. Two light shows are projected on the screens each day, one at 1 p.m. and another at 8 p.m.

There are 100 employees and six ATMs at the branch, formidable enough but no match for the seven 52-inch touchscreen informational displays that are embedded in the walls, which are intended to help customers answer questions.

There are also 10 work benches that display stock quotes for customers to conduct online banking...within a brick-and-mortar bank.

As if that's not enough, there are also 16 46-inch screens ("Media Walls") dedicated solely to displaying news and financial information and five Apple iPads loaded with Citibank applications for employees to demonstrate to clients.

All that is in addition to free Wi-Fi connectivity and videoconferencing facilities for clients to discuss investment strategies with Citi experts in other locations.

Why all this tech? The branch is located in what may be the busiest commercial district in the world, and intends to cater to high-end, luxury customers.

Citibank has "smart banking" branches in Japan, China, Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand. Mong Kok is the largest in Asia.

Here's a look in a Reuters video:

Photo: Reuters

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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