Citadele Bank

Citadele Bank First in Latvia to Introduce Mobile App Payment Confirmation Using Facial Recognition

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To be able to offer clients a faster and more convenient way to securely use the bank’s services, Citadele has developed a new mobile app which can use Face ID and Touch ID for logging in and confirming payments as well as managing card security. The new version of the app will be rolled out for clients gradually from June this year.

“Time is one of this century’s most precious resources, so we are always looking for new ways to help our clients save time. A survey by Citadele and research centre SKDS shows that 81% of Latvian residents believe that the use of innovative services helps to save time. That’s why we have introduced a next generation mobile app so that it would be the best in Latvia and one of the best in Europe in terms of design and usability, and to offer the opportunity to use the bank’s services much faster and more securely,” says Member of the Management Board of Citadele Bank Vladislavs Mironovs.

“This is a next generation mobile app which gives clients the opportunity to authorise and confirm payments, depending on their type of phone, using facial recognition or a fingerprint. This is also the next step in security - the app gives people the opportunity to manage the security of their cards for themselves, including blocking and unblocking cards, switching the contactless payment function on or off, setting the region in which they can pay by card, and switching the ability to withdraw money from ATMs on or off,” says Head of E-business Division at Citadele Mārtiņš Bērziņš

Together with the new app, users will always have the X card loyalty programme, RELAX, at hand. In the new app, Citadele clients will be able to see information about their number of points collected, exchange points for prizes, and find the nearest restaurant or shop which offers special discounts and offers when paying by X card, all in one place.

Modern technology has also allowed the bank to reduce the time necessary to half an hour for bank employees to give online answers to clients’ questions through the app.

Security taken into special consideration

In developing the new mobile app, security has been taken into special consideration. That’s why, at first, payments with facial recognition will only be available to IPhone X users. However, fingerprints will be available to users of any smartphone with a fingerprint function. Alongside these developments, authorisation and payment confirmation will still be possible with the five-number authorisation code. This means that everyone will be able to choose their most suitable and convenient authorisation method.

Approximately three million Euro was invested in developing these new innovations, which were created in collaboration “McKinsey & Company”, one of the leading international consultancy companies.

Working as a FinTech business

“In our view, nowadays, bank services must be introduced as quickly as in financial technology or FinTech businesses. The new Citadele app was developed in 10 months. During the development we thought and worked not as a bank, but as a FinTech business. This is a testament to the fact that we want and are able to introduce attractive digital solutions and innovations in a short amount of time and we will continue doing so,” says CTO and Member of the Management Board of Citadele Bank Slavomir Mizak.

He adds that each button and solution within the app has been user-tested. The application was developed based on user recommendations. The app was tested by 800 people in total during the development phase. About 30 of the bank’s employees were involved in its development.

Citadele Bank Board Member Vladislavs Mironovs mentions that, of the three Baltic states, Latvia is the first to be presented with the new app: “The newest consumer survey shows that 75% of people in our country see themselves as innovative, and the financial sector is mentioned most often as the economic field most successful at introducing innovations, as mentioned by 38% of respondents. This means that Latvia’s residents not only value, but also expect, more and more innovations from banks and other service providers.”

App to be introduced gradually

In accordance with the best international practices in introducing innovations, the new version of the app will be introduced to Citadele clients gradually from June this year. It is planned to be adapted soon also for the Lithuanian and Estonian markets.

To use the new version of the app, clients will not have to do anything special - the client will receive a notification from their current app stating the need to update their app. Once updated, the app’s new features will be available - new design, convenient functionality and wider opportunities.

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