SINGAPORE (Sept 7): Citibank Singapore has launched the initial phase of its new natural-language chatbot, Citi Bot, on Facebook’s social media messaging platform, Messenger.

It will be made available to some 600 Citi customers and employees in Singapore comprising Citi Singapore’s Beta Testing Community.

In a press release on Thursday, the bank says it intends to introduce the chatbot progressively in the Asia Pacific region, beginning with Singapore as its first market.

Currently, Citi Bot is able to address a range of common customer needs which include account-specific enquiries such as checking account balances and transactions, providing credit card bill summaries, reflecting rewards and points balances, and answering frequently-asked questions.

The second phase of the Citi Bot will introduce new features such as card activation, a locking/unlocking feature for credit cards, and transaction alerts, among others, says the bank.

According to Citi, this landmark initiative is a step forward in the bank’s open architecture approach to digital banking as it leverages its global network to form strategic partnerships, as well as co-create with leading players in digital ecosystems both globally and locally.

“As our customers become increasingly mobile, we are embracing a strategy that makes banking relevant, convenient and remarkable, integrating ourselves into key ecosystems in order to engage them where they are most digitally active. The Citi Bot is part of our continuous efforts to enhance the digital experience we provide to our customers, by making it simple, fast and delightful for them,” states Han Kwee Juan, CEO of Citibank Singapore.

“Our strategy is to be present where our customers live, work, and play. By connecting with them on Facebook Messenger, one of the most popular social platforms in Asia, we are doing just that,” adds Citi Asia customer franchise head, Felimy Greene.

To join the Citi Beta Community, existing Citibank customers can register their interest by sending an SMS with the message <BETA> to 72484.

See: More information about the Citi Beta Community