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The Evolution of the Branch Strategy at Citi

| S:The Evolution of the Branch Strategy at Citi

The pandemic has caused many banks to rethink their branch network strategy. For banks to be positioned for a future that includes greater reliance on digital delivery, organizations must explore ways that technology can enable stronger human interactions as well.

It is clear that the role of the branch has changed dramatically over the past decade, but the importance of human connection still remains. But what is the right balance of physical and digital delivery for the future? And what is needed to transition to new models?

We are very fortunate to have Mindy Mercaldo, Head of US Branch Network at Citi, to discuss the future of bank branch delivery and how to support growth with new delivery models.

This Episode of Banking Transformed is Sponsored by FIS Global

If you’re looking to transform, then look no further than FIS’s Modern Banking Platform. Cloud-enabled, containerized, open and secure – it’s built from the ground up to meet the unique challenges and opportunities of the digital age.

More at: fisglobal.com/modernbanking

Jim Marous:
Hello, and welcome to Banking Transformed. I'm your host Jim Marous, owner and CEO of The Digital Banking Report and co-owner for The Financial Brand. The pandemic has cause many banks to rethink branch network strategy. For banks to be positioned for a future that includes great reliance on digital delivery, organizations must explore ways that technology can enable stronger human interactions as well. It is clear that the role of branch has changed dramatically over the past decade, and even more so over the past year, but the importance of human connection still remains. But, what is the right balance of physical and digital delivery for the future? And, what is needed to transition to these new models?

Jim Marous:
We're fortunate today to have Mindy Mercaldo, head of US branch network at Citi, to discuss the future of branch delivery systems and how to support growth with new delivery models. Welcome to the show, Mindy. I'm so happy to have you on the show today, not only because of your 30 plus year history in retail and small business banking, but because the industry is so interested into how Citi is positioned a marketplace of mega banks, regional players, community organizations, tech firms and fintech startups.

Jim Marous:
You know Mindy, while your title says you're the head of US branch network at Citi, you also have a role in the positioning of Citi from a customer service, personalization, customer retention and competitive positioning at Citi and the overall banking ecosystem. Can you share a little bit about your background and some of your duties that you have at Citi?

Mindy Mercaldo:
Sure. Thank you so much for having me here today, it is a true honor and pleasure. As you shared, I have spent my career in retail banking, and I've been here at Citi for 10 years. I really am a career retail banker, and I started my career in branch management.

Mindy Mercaldo:
Earlier in my career, I spent a lot of time leading teams through mergers and acquisitions, as we went through the rapid consolidation that occurred in the industry in the late '90s and early 2000s. The cultural change that comes with integration and evolutionary strategies was something that I got exposed to during this time, and I really think it's been instrumental as we think about transforming business models. I also spent time on the strategic design of retail and branch banking models over the years. In this work, I focused on the client and how we evolve our models to build deep relationships with customers, and to create experiences for customers that help them achieve their longterm financial goals and objectives.

Mindy Mercaldo:
In my current role as the head of the US branch network here at Citi, I'm responsible for our branch business in the US. This includes all of our Citi colleagues who work in our branches and who serve our customers, as well as the leaders who lead and support them. In addition, my team is responsible for the physical distribution and our ATM network. We also have a team on my team that focuses on transformational strategies to support both client and employee experiences in our branches, and our sales and service and operational strategies, to make sure that we run a sound business that best serves our clients.

Mindy Mercaldo:
One of the greatest things about my role is the branch is the face of Citi to our customers, and my team collaborates with businesses across Citi to bring the best of Citi to our clients throughout their lives. It's a really fun and exciting job.

Jim Marous:
You know, it's interesting. My wife was in retail before she was in another side of the business, but she was in the store side of retail. And, she then went to the digital side of retail and part of the challenge she had was the store side saw her almost as the enemy. It's hard to make it so that store employees or branch employees don't feel threatened by the digital transformation we're going through.

Jim Marous:
So from your perspective, what do you see as the future role of branches? And, how is Citi viewing the use and reconfiguration of current branch footprints in the future?

Mindy Mercaldo:
Yeah. We don't really see it that way. If you put a client centric hat on, our employees in the branches want to provide our customers with the best possible experience. Some of that is about leading the cultural change around transformation. Our employees spend time to educate the client around the digital capabilities that they have with us, and when they do that they know the client's going to have a richer experience.

Mindy Mercaldo:
So for us at Citi, the way we think about this is the future of banking isn't just about the physical experience in a branch, or it's not just about the digital experience, it's really about both. Our goal is to create a rich customer experience, that's really core to our strategy, and when you start with that premise, then our employees follow along because they want that client to have the best that Citi has to offer. So we've been building this journey of both physical and digital for a while now, and we're responding to the client's need for flexibility, and convenience and control over their banking experience, married up with advice and guidance that we can give them through a branch footprint.

Mindy Mercaldo:
We're really thinking about this in terms of an and versus an or, and that permeates through to our employees in the branches. They get excited about when a client is able to have a really good experience with a digital capability. That really got accelerated as we went through the pandemic, and our bankers played a really important role in helping the client learn how to bank digitally because they were afraid to leave their homes. So all of those things, I think, are working together to provide a unique experience for clients.

Jim Marous:
At Citi, do you see the number of branches over the next three to five years at Citi expanding, contracting, remaining roughly the same? I think you're really close to 700 branches right now. How do you see it changing over time?

Mindy Mercaldo:
So we think our position in the market, it's unique. We have a footprint of branches that is centered around six of the most important cities in the United States. We're really proud of that footprint, because it really positions us well for the increasingly digital orientation that customers are expecting.

Mindy Mercaldo:
The way we're looking at this is that we are providing a high tech and high touch experience to clients, and we think we're well positioned to do so. We're a little bit ahead of the game, in that we have a light footprint in these cities. As you know, branches can be expensive and we're not really burdened by too many locations. We think we're well positioned in the cities where we physical environment, especially as consumers lean into digital for routine transactions and interactions. It's those routine transactions that historically created this dependency on the physical branch.

Mindy Mercaldo:
So what we're seeing from customers is that they're shifting away from this need to have a branch on every street corner. So customers are no longer coming, like they did years ago, they're no longer coming in every Friday to cash a paycheck. Instead, they're using other channels like ATM, mobile, direct deposit as a way to handle those basic, routine transactions. So the physical branch becomes more of a want, it's something they want when they need advice and guidance, so we're looking at our footprint that way.

Mindy Mercaldo:
We will always look at ways to optimize our footprint. We want to make sure that we're renovating branches, that we're relocating them, that we're in high opportunity markets. And at times, we'll close them and we'll open new ones. But, we feel really great about how well positioned we are in the cities where we have footprint.

Jim Marous:
So you mentioned a little bit about the technology you've brought into the branches. We obviously both go back to the days when Fridays, middle of the month and end of the month, we'd have lines out the door of people cashing checks before direct deposit was a thing. And, just an amazing change in the way that branches are used.

Jim Marous:
What are some of the technology you've brought into the branches recently that really help facilitate not only the service aspect, but overall the customer engagement aspect of the branch?

Mindy Mercaldo:
Yeah. You're right, there are a lot of changes that we're thinking about, as we think about how consumers want to interact with us. It's no longer about coming in and doing basic transactions, it's more about an experience when they come into the branch.

Mindy Mercaldo:
And, we were challenged this year, like all banks were, with a pandemic and something that I didn't think I would ever experience in my life, where consumers were afraid to leave their home or were under lockdown orders. Even clients who were not digitally savvy figured out how to use digital capabilities to bank. We saw that, we saw that in droves. And once clients tried out digital capabilities, some of which had existed for some time, they loved them and they've continued to do it.

Mindy Mercaldo:
An example of that is mobile check deposit. So clients were receiving their stimulus checks or other checks, and they didn't want to leave their homes, so we educated them on how to use mobile check deposit. And we did that through how-to videos and emails, and even banker-assisted walkthroughs. What we saw is that mobile check deposits at Citi increased 40% during the pandemic, and it's continued. People used it and loved it, and now mobile check deposits account for 41% of all checks deposited at Citi. This is an example of how the ease of technology, once the client learned how to use it, is something that they embraced.

Mindy Mercaldo:
Now, we also looked at the need for human connection. In the end, we are all social beings, we like to connect with other humans and banking is an emotive event, especially for the big decisions in someone's financial lives. So we decided that we wanted to provide an avenue for clients to maintain that human connection with their banker, and we introduced video banking. It's been an exciting way that we're using technology as another way to create the human interaction. We basically brought the human touch to the client, through a high tech interaction. We are, in essence, going to the customer.

Mindy Mercaldo:
What's cool about this is that clients are able to engage with a banker that they trust, from the comfort of their own home. We have gotten fantastic feedback about this from clients. They say that they feel like they're in the bank branch, they love meeting with the banker that they already have a relationship with, they love seeing the team in the branch. It's been great for us as well. We've met kids and significant others, and even pets. The outcome's been fantastic. Our remote account opening, just in Q1 of this year, represented 11% of new deposits. So this technology was a way for us to connect with our clients, in a way that made them comfortable, that allowed us to provide advice and guidance. And it also gives us the opportunity to extend our reach to clients. We've met with customers who've moved to new cities, and we are providing a face-to-face way to bank with us that's virtual.

Jim Marous:
That's interesting, because when you mentioned video banking I was thinking the machine in the branch that has the video teller. This is even more of a better environment, because if they actually communicate from your home with a banker that, in the past, was only available either by phone or actually meeting in-person in a physical setting, so you're really ... Was this something that came out of the pandemic, then?

Mindy Mercaldo:
It was. We had done a test and learn. It was something we were excited about before the pandemic and we had done a test and learn in New York and had really great outcomes from it in the fourth quarter of 2019. And of course, the pandemic hit in March and we quickly launched the capability using Zoom.

Mindy Mercaldo:
Look, consumers really rapidly got accustomed to Zoom as a tool, whether it is meeting with family, having a happy hour with college friends, exercising or talking to a doctor, so it was the perfect timing to accelerate the tool as a way to bring the human connection to our clients.

Jim Marous:
When you talk about branch engagement, I'm talking about the future of branches, you have to look beyond the redesign of a branch beyond the physical structure, you have to look at role changes. How have roles adjusted over the last three years in your branches? I would imagine your branch managers still are doing many of the same things, but your tellers especially during the pandemic took on increased roles. How did they change at Citi?

Mindy Mercaldo:
Yeah, it definitely has. We are reimagining the formats for sure, but you can't just reimagine the format, you have to rethink about the roles that we have. We survey our clients, we do customer research, we listen to our clients to find out what's important to them in their experience in the bank.

Mindy Mercaldo:
In the olden days, the largest number of humans that were in a branch were our tellers. And as transactions have migrated to digital capabilities, we've changed the way we think about the roles in the branch. What clients have told us is they want to be welcomed, and they want advice and guidance, and they want to be educated. So we've responded to that, we've moved away from tellers and long lines, towards providing advice and more focused experience for clients. And, aligning our people resources in the branch to match up with that objective.

Mindy Mercaldo:
For example, we implemented a role called a concierge. The great thing about it was it was an opportunity to promote and develop tellers, but we're taking that person, that employee, from behind the teller line and putting them in the lobby. They're greeting clients, and they're building a relationship with the customer, and they dual entitled. They can process transactions, and open accounts, and do a name or address change and really have the responsible for shepherding the client experience. That may include introducing a specialist like a home lending officer or a wealth advisor, or a banker for more complex interaction.

Mindy Mercaldo:
After we did this, after we introduced this concierge, we've seen that they are three times more productive in sales and referrals than a teller was, and branches that have concierges have higher client experience scores. We use Net Promoter Score to measure client experience. So this is something that is now widespread throughout our footprint. We're also adding more bankers, because advice and guidance has become more dominant, in terms of what clients want. So we're responding to that with more bankers, both in the branch and remotely, that are there for our clients.

Mindy Mercaldo:
It really has been a shift in how we think about the roles, and adapting them to meet the needs of our customers and to create a better experience for them.

Jim Marous:
One of the obvious impacts to the pandemic was a complete shut off, pretty much shut off, of branch visits. From the standpoint of, as you mentioned earlier in the podcast, customers learned how to use digital capabilities. Found out how to do the mobile deposits, found out ways to use the ATM maybe differently than they ever had, maybe they'd never made a deposit in an ATM and only used it for cash. So, we saw a tremendous drop in the number of transactions at branches.

Jim Marous:
To what percentage do you think they'll come back, or have they come back? I know we are taking a guess because nobody has that answer, but are you seeing them come back? Or, are you seeing a rather significant drop off in number of actual visits to the branch?

Mindy Mercaldo:
Yeah, that's a great question. We certainly saw a significant drop off in interactions in the branch, right at the beginning of the pandemic. There was a lot of uncertainty and fear, and significant lockdowns across communities across the United States. The lowest volume of transactions that we had, or visits to the branch, occurred in April of last year. And then, as clients got more comfortable with the environment, and we put protections in place, we did see people begin to return to the branch.

Mindy Mercaldo:
The protections that we put in place were really important. As we faced the pandemic, our number one priority was the health and safety of both our Citi colleagues and our customers. Everything from Plexi screens, to hand sanitizer stations, to mandatory facial coverings and even we were able to offer our employees free, rapid at-home COVID testing. Once the employees felt safe in the environment, they also were able to convey that to customers and we started to see customers return into the bank branch.

Mindy Mercaldo:
Transaction volumes have come back. They're not all the way back to pre-COVID levels, but what's been interesting is branch level sales have returned to pre-pandemic levels. What's even more noteworthy of that is that our digital accounts became even more prominent as we faced the pandemic and people turned to digital as a tool to open accounts, and our digital accounts now represent half of all the accounts we open. So branch sales are back to pre-pandemic levels, digital account opening has increased, so digital has really become an additive growth factor for Citi and supports our digital-led strategy. We're seeing a mix of things that are happening.

Mindy Mercaldo:
You know, client patterns have shifted as well. As people have been in a work-at-home environment, we also have been using data to understand how our clients are interacting with us. Obviously, we see people were interacting with us at high clips in suburban locations, and less so in some of the urban locations. It's still to be determined what the long haul's going to be, because companies are still thinking about their return to work strategy, everything from you can work permanently at home, to hybrids, to come on back into the office. So we will use data and client insights to monitor that over time, and respond accordingly based on how our clients behave.

Jim Marous:
So you talked about the fact that, and we're familiar with the fact that, a lot of the Citi distribution networks are in the urban areas, and they were the most impacted by COVID from the standpoint of shutdowns, fewer people were visiting the center city as you said, businesses were closed.

Jim Marous:
So many organizations believe there's a direct correlation between customer acquisition success, relationship growth and branch network configuration. Do you think the size and distribution of your branch network possibly impacts deposit and relationship growth, maybe from a negative perspective? From the perspective that you do have urban areas, did it seem to have a negative effect? Or, has it more than made up for it based on your digital capabilities, in the ability to open up new branch accounts and expand relationships digitally?

Mindy Mercaldo:
Yeah. So what we saw is look, our deposit sales through our branches are back to pre-pandemic levels. Now, there's been some shift in where those are occurring, they're more heavily occurring in some of our suburban locations versus urban. But, we're also seeing some of our downtown, like Midtown Manhattan type locations, we're seeing people begin to return to the office and we're seeing a spike in activity in those.

Mindy Mercaldo:
So when I like at our performance levels through the branch network, we're right back to where we were prior to the pandemic. But, our ability to market to clients digitally has been a growth vector for us, because we were able to educate clients around how to open accounts through the digital platform, so we're seeing a continued and sustained increase in accounts being opened digitally. We see this as just additive, it's really helping in both places.

Jim Marous:
[inaudible 00:21:59] from the size of a customer base, many of your customers are served as part of the credit card portfolio as opposed to having their primary checking account at Citi. How does Citi try to move consumers either to a broader relationship via digital channels, or being served by branches?

Mindy Mercaldo:
Yeah. We're lucky, we have this fantastic set of clients who have Citi card relationships with us across the United States. We are expanding our relationship banking model, leveraging the strength of our brand, and the quality and national scale of our credit card franchise, as well as our leading wealth management capabilities. So in order to do this, because we have a light physical footprint, we're building on our digital capabilities and our nationwide ATM network, to deliver a full breadth of services to those customers.

Mindy Mercaldo:
One of our most important strategies at Citi is building multi-relationship customers, and we call these MRCs. MRCs, we love an acronym in banking. What these are, these are clients that have a deposit and lending relationship with us. There are several examples of how we're marketing to our customers and providing incremental value to them, to deepen their relationships with us.

Mindy Mercaldo:
So for example, we'll market a cash bonus to an existing card customer who opens up a checking account with us. Recently, we're targeting our American Airlines card clients and providing them with miles, if they open a checking account with us and complete the offer requirements. That's really value add for these clients, because we're rewarding them in a currency that they already love and value, and in this case it's airline miles.

Jim Marous:
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Jim Marous:
Welcome back. I'm joined today by Mindy Mercaldo, head of the US branch network at Citi. We have been discussing the branch delivery strategy at Citi with future branch banking delivery, and how to support growth with new delivery models.

Jim Marous:
So we're going to do a bit of a pivot here, Mindy. Part of the retail banking strategy at Citi is the partnership with Google for the Citi Plex account, launching on Google Pay this year. According to city, the Citi Plex account is a digital checking and savings account, built to make managing money simpler, smarter and more rewarding with financial wellness and mobile functionality being the core of the design. How do you foresee this new initiative integrating with your branch strategy?

Mindy Mercaldo:
We're really excited about our partnership with Google. Our collaboration with Google will really evolve digital banking, which as I've mentioned, digital-led strategy is really core to our approach to serving our clients. It will also empower consumers with a simple, convenient and personal banking experience.

Mindy Mercaldo:
It's really exciting for us to bring together the best of digital banking and Google's user experience expertise, which we all know about that as users of Google. Partnerships like this, like ours with Google, offer customers the best of both worlds. A terrific digital experience on a platform they're comfortable with, and capabilities backed by the trust and expertise of a firm like Citi. It's just another way that we'll extend our reach, so we couldn't be more excited about the partnership with Google.

Jim Marous:
Do you see Citi as being uniquely positioned to basically balance a household name, a strong brand, with the ability to provide both digital and physical branch support? In other words, is it the best combo of scale and efficiency?

Jim Marous:
I looked at Citi, and most of the other partners have signed on with Google are relatively small organizations that are trying to build a bigger distribution network, while you're obviously by far the largest in scale from the standpoint of partnerships with Google. But on the other hand, your light branch network, mostly in big cities, really makes it so you aren't in a situation where you're going to basically work against yourself. A lot of the bigger banks, building a digital strategy can almost eat away at the core of the branch delivery. But in your case, it's an expansion model isn't it?

Mindy Mercaldo:
Yeah. This is exactly what we're doing and we're really excited about it. We feel really great about our branch footprint and our strategy for our branches, is that it's well positioned for the future of banking. But we also couldn't be more excited about the capabilities of using partnerships to provide clients with a world-class digital experience. And in the end, our strategy is a digital-led strategy with a physical footprint that brings the human experience to clients, both in a branch and through digital tools, like video or Google Plex.

Jim Marous:
Well, it's interesting. I look at your video ... I keep on going back in my mind, to the discussion around the video side. Really, it gives you a heads up, or a hand up, in that with something like Alexa or something like that, you have the ability right now to build across multiple channels in the way the consumer really wants to be served. But, it's interesting in that you're not in the situation where you're going to be working against the branch network when you're building a digital footprint and vice versa. It works for each other. And again, you don't need more than 700 branches to have a strong household name, Citi is well-known across all universes, but the United States and overseas.

Jim Marous:
We don't talk much about this within the normal distribution strategy, but Citi has a nationwide network of over 60,000 fee free ATMs, which allows you to go beyond simply the city limits of some of your branch networks. Given the move to digital and reduced reliance on cash, and the introduction of the City Plex account, what role do you think ATMs will play in your overall strategy?

Mindy Mercaldo:
Yeah. ATMs will continue to be part of our overall strategy. People still want and need cash, it's still an important part of the economy and our clients' day-to-day lives. ATMs have been the standard for many years now, since the late '70s, as the way that we provide 24-by-seven access to cash.

Mindy Mercaldo:
While there's been a drop in activity during the pandemic, we are seeing clients return to the ATMs as communities open up. And in fact, our March ATM withdrawals were basically exactly the same as a year ago, March 2020.

Jim Marous:
Wow.

Mindy Mercaldo:
So there's still quite a bit of volume happening through ATMs, as people turn to cash as a source of payments.

Mindy Mercaldo:
But, what's really unique about what we offer here at Citi is that we're leveraging our ATM network to expand our reach and access point for clients. So Citi customers have access to one of the largest fee free networks of ATMs, really over 70,000 across the US through our partnerships with Cardtronics, All Point and Money Pass. So all across the country, people can access cash at both Citi branded and non-branded ATMs, at familiar places like Costco and CVS, Dwayne Reid, Target and most Walgreens. And it's really super easy, we've made it really easy through the mobile app. So in seconds, a client can locate the nearest fee free ATM, and what we've found is that, across the US, Citi customers are merely minutes away from a fee free ATM.

Mindy Mercaldo:
I'll use an example. We had a client in Chicago who moved to Nashville during the pandemic. He was meeting with his banker before he moved, and the banker demonstrated how to use the Citi locator on the mobile app and they found over 50 fee free ATMs within 10 miles of the client's new home. This excited the client, because he could now keep his relationship with Citi. He could use the ATM for cash, digital capabilities for all of his transactional activity, and connect with his banker in Chicago via phone and video. It's really a wonderful solution to continue to extend our reach across the US.

Jim Marous:
The banking ecosystem is obviously getting very crowded with traditional and fintech players having challenges with differentiation. We start to all look somewhat alike, with real differentiation many times coming out of the fintech players that are hitting specific segments of the marketplace as opposed to the broader area.

Jim Marous:
So this is a chance for you to do a little bit of a commercial, possibly. But, what do you see at Citi's differentiation in a marketplace that's just overwhelmed with providers?

Mindy Mercaldo:
Yeah. So Citi's been serving the financial needs of clients for over 200 years, and banks are places people trust. There's a sense of comfort that people have knowing that Citi is there, protecting their money. We also offer the full breadth of financial services, in one place, that supports a client throughout their life.

Mindy Mercaldo:
We have an integrated, relationship-oriented approach to helping clients. We don't just focus on one thing, like investing, or lending or payments. And, we get the opportunity to partner with some amazing companies to enhance what we do. For example, our partnerships with American Airlines have enriched our clients' value. We partnered with Amazon to enable clients to pay with points. These are just examples of how we at Citi are able to leverage the power of our relationship banking model, to bring more to our clients. And, we also understand the regulatory environment and have the infrastructure to support it.

Mindy Mercaldo:
And then finally, banks like Citi are part of the fabric of the communities where we operate. We bring access to financial services to communities. We provide financial education, we have a commitment to the communities where we operate. We help people open their first bank account, begin savings, buy their first home or save for retirement. And this, I think, was most evident in the last year during the pandemic. Many clients and communities were struggling, and Citi was there to help them. Small businesses suffered and we helped them get access to PPP loans. People were furloughed or faced COVID-19 themselves or their families, and we were there to help them figure out how to manage their finances during the time of uncertainty. Citi really cares about our clients, and especially in the toughest of times.

Jim Marous:
So finally, as you look forward to what you're going to be doing in the next three to five years, and Lord knows after last year, we know we can't predict anything, but what do you see personally as the biggest challenge that you face managing a branch network of 700 branches, several thousand employees, and honestly, you manage the customer relationships? So what do you see is the biggest challenge that you have, and that any financial institution has, in the next three to five years?

Mindy Mercaldo:
Well, of course look, the immediate challenge is to continue to lead our clients and our colleagues through the pandemic and the recovery, that goes without saying. It's not quite over yet, and I feel an incredible responsible to make sure that we protect our colleagues in the branches, and that we're there to help our clients as the economy recovers.

Mindy Mercaldo:
But beyond that, I don't really look at this as a challenge. I think it's an incredible opportunity that Citi has, and that's to continue to innovate and be at the cutting in building seamless and easy digital capabilities that compliment the human experience customers want from their bank. For us, building an ecosystem of access points that integrates the ease of digital with the advice and guidance of expert bankers will enable us to provide the absolute best experience for our customers.

Jim Marous:
Mindy, thank you so much for being on the show today, it's really been a pleasure. It's always interesting. You know, I remember oh gosh, it's got to be seven or eight years ago now, when Citi decided to redo their complete web experience and get rid of the layers, upon layers, upon layers of legacy things. Because bankers, one thing we do really well is do things additively. We never take things away, we just add more, and more and more, which makes the experience so much for difficult for the consumer.

Jim Marous:
It's very interesting to watch Citi because, from my perspective, it is somewhat the best of both worlds, where you have the ability to take the digital experience and simplify it, and really know that it's got to be one of the best because you don't have the branch network of some of your larger competitors. At the same sense, you don't have the legacy infrastructure that's going to make it so that it's going to be difficult, or you're not going to be beating up each other, both sides of the bank. It's seen as a singular whole. I really appreciate your time today and appreciate you being on the show.

Mindy Mercaldo:
Thank you so much for having me, I really appreciate it.

Jim Marous:
What a great conversation with Mindy Mercaldo from Citibank. It's interesting, because I started in the branch system myself, and the branches have changed tremendously. Citi's one of the organizations I look to as being a leader, not maybe from the size of branch network, but the way they view the customer relationship. As she said, they're pretty much only in the big cities but they still serve the entire universe from the standpoint of their credit card relationships and everything else. The dynamics of physical plus digital really comes out in the conversation we had.

Jim Marous:
Thanks for listening to Banking Transformed, rated as a top five banking podcast and an award winner in the recent Communications Awards. I genuinely appreciate the support you've provided since we started this endeavor. If enjoy what we are doing, please be sure to follow Banking Transformed in your favorite podcast app. In addition, take 30, 45 seconds to show some love in the form of a review, it means the world to us. Finally, be sure to catch our recent articles in The Financial Brand, and check out the research we're doing for The Digital Banking Report.

Jim Marous:
This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to our producer, Leah Longbrake, audio engineer Sean Rule-Hoffman and video producer Will Pritts. I'm your host, Jim Marous. Until next time, make every day a learning experience.

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How to Create an Inclusive Digital Experience

Banking Transformed
James Deignan and Jeff Wissel discuss the benefits of ensuring that websites, social media and customer engagement are accessible and inclusive.
Listen to How to Create an Inclusive Digital Experience

The Importance of a Challenger Mindset

Banking Transformed
Eric Fulwiler, Chief Commercial Officer at 11:FS, discusses what it means to have a challenger mindset.
Listen to The Importance of a Challenger Mindset

The Increasing Need for Talent, Inclusion and Diversity in Banking

Banking Transformed
Jill Nowacki discusses the challenges and opportunities facing financial institutions today as they try to build future-ready workforces and cultures.
Listen to The Increasing Need for Talent, Inclusion and Diversity in Banking

Creating Lovable Experiences Through Innovation Simplicity

Banking Transformed
Jin Kang Moller, previously VP of Customer Experience at OCBC Bank, discusses why simplicity is important and how to make it happen at any organization.
Listen to Creating Lovable Experiences Through Innovation Simplicity