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Citizens Financial Group launches video banking pilot in four states
Posted on Monday, June 13, 2011

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - June 8, 2011 – Continuing its commitment to make banking easier and more convenient, Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (CFG) today announced it is launching a video banking pilot in four states. The pilot provides customers in participating Citizens Bank and Charter One branches on-demand face-to-face interaction with bank specialists in different locations. CFG is able to provide real-time personalized solutions to fit customers' banking needs using Cisco's Remote Expert solution, a TelePresence and collaboration technology coupled with LongPen's signature solution.

"The video banking pilot is a further step forward in our commitment to providing customers with greater access to innovative products and solutions that help them bank when, where and how they want," said Vice Chairman Martin Bischoff, who heads Consumer and Business Banking at Citizens Financial Group. "Face-to-face interaction plays an important role in these communications. Video banking is an innovative banking solution that makes us more convenient than ever before in these markets by instantly connecting our customers with knowledgeable bank specialists and providing them with the tools to make financial decisions."

Customers can take advantage of a full range of mortgage and wealth management services through one-on-one video banking conversations. Customers who choose to use video banking will be able to complete these banking processes much more quickly. In the case of mortgage applications, video banking allows consumers to initiate the mortgage application process without having to wait for follow-up appointments or for document delivery for signatures. Eligible applicants could be provided a pre-approval letter.

The video banking pilot is now available at 16 branches in four retail markets — Illinois, Massachusetts, New York (Long Island), and Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) — to Citizens and Charter One customers seeking information, advice and solutions on mortgages, wealth management services and other products.

CFG is partnering with Cisco using its Remote Expert solution, which bridges the physical distance between customers and bank specialists by enabling face-to-face consultations over high definition video. The tight coupling of Cisco's TelePresence and other advanced collaboration software with banking processes enables CFG to deploy its banking experts more efficiently and effectively, resulting in more value for its customers.

Benefits to Citizens and Charter One customers include:

  • Access to mortgage experts, or wealth management services on demand or through scheduled appointments with specialized professionals, wherever and whenever.
  • Custom solutions from a mortgage professional for all borrowing needs such as purchasing or refinancing a home.

"We know that convenience and access to information is important to customers," said Theresa McLaughlin, Group Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "We believe this advanced video banking technology brings great value to our customers at participating branches, allowing them to instantly connect live with lending and wealth management specialists in other locations, putting our customers in control of when and how they bank."

CFG is also able to eliminate the inconvenience and time delay of obtaining signed agreements when there is a physical distance between customers and bank specialists by using Syngrafii Corp.'s LongPen Signature SolutionTM that integrates with Cisco's technology. This highly secure electronic signing solution, which produces "wet" signatures, enables CFG to deliver greater accessibility while increasing efficiency to its customers.

"The power of video is in developing valuable solutions like Video Banking/Remote Expert to transform business models and ultimately create a differentiated customer experience" said OJ Winge, SVP and GM, Cisco TelePresence Technology Group. "This solution showcases how immersive Cisco TelePresence experience can play a major role in the future of retail banking by providing customers timely, personalized access to experts who can help them make solid financial decisions."

This video banking pilot is the latest in a series of innovative solutions created to enhance ease, convenience and the overall banking experience for Citizens and Charter One customers. In November, CFG launched accessMOBILE, a free mobile banking application for commercial and business customers to manage their cash and payments.