Citi Innovation Lab Spotlight: Singapore
By Keng-Mun Lee, Citi Innovation Lab Head, Singapore October 19, 2015 01:00 PM
Note: Citi has a global network of labs that drives innovation throughout our businesses. Located across the U.S., Ireland, Israel and Singapore, Citi Innovation Labs are pioneering and testing disruptive new solutions for our customers. The labs are managed by the businesses, and Citi Ventures, led by CEO Debby Hopkins, coordinates the global network that connects them together. Citi Ventures’ Innovation Network also manages an internal Acceleration Fund to promote rapid experimentation and discovery, particularly around the most disruptive business models and emerging technologies. This blog series will highlight the important innovation work of the labs worldwide.
Opened in January 2011, the Citi Innovation Lab in Singapore is the first lab dedicated to innovating for Citi’s institutional clients in Asia Pacific. As the head of the lab, I lead a robust team whose foundation is built on very diverse experiences, supplemented by secondees from Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions business and the bank’s key technology partners. We work together to deliver value to corporate treasurers and CFOs across the region.
Our work in the lab helps institutional clients address strategic treasury management challenges and brings together the clear value of Citi’s wide suite of cash management, trade, and FX solutions. Expertise in Big Data provides insights for client-driven decision making while corresponding analytics help clients visualize and customize solutions that most optimally suit their needs.
In recent years, we have started to focus on transforming the client experience by better understanding client behavior, introducing new technologies to enhance the self-servicing experience for clients, and challenging current operational concepts.
One of the biggest successes coming out of our lab is our proprietary Citi Interactive Solutions software – a patented capability that leverages algorithms, interactive technology, Big Data, and sophisticated visualization to enable clients to better understand their current portfolios, simulate working capital solutions, and develop real-time benefit calculations. The software also allows clients to benchmark the ‘health’ of their treasury management practices against their industry peers, and construct customized solutions in a matter of minutes. This capability is still a first for transaction banking worldwide.
Since it was introduced in 2012, Citi Interactive Solutions has revolutionized the way that our solution sales managers engage with our clients globally. Over 1,000 Citi users globally are equipped with the capability on their laptops, enabling them to bring this interactive experience to clients regardless of location.
The results are real. Over the last three years, the solution has been used in over 450 client sessions, showcased in at least 30 client conferences and has supported over $50 million of deals. The capability has received a number of awards including Singapore’s National Infocomm Award for ‘Most Innovative Use of Infocomm Technology, Private Sector (General) in 2012. In 2014, it was awarded the ‘Editor’s Triple Star’ from The Asset Magazine’s Asian Awards for the most innovation approach to identifying a corporate’s supply chain arbitrage opportunities.
The latest modules that have been launched as part of the software include: Citi Working Capital Analytics and a dedicated capability to help clients optimize their use of commercial cards across countries in which they operate.
At the lab, we have built a culture that appreciates new ideas, takes risks, and continuously expands our capabilities. We experiment with technologies and, where appropriate, bring them to bear in new value-added experiences for our clients.