July 10 — Providence, R.I-headquartered Citizens Financial Group Inc. has announced that it will launch Citizens Access, a nationwide, direct-to-consumer digital bank. The online platform will offer deposit products designed to serve digitally-savvy customers.
Citizens Access will provide customers with FDIC-insured online savings and CD accounts with competitive rates and no fees. Per a release from Citizens, the lack of fees will, “make things easier for its customers while offering them even greater value to help them achieve their savings goals.”
“Over the last several years, direct bank deposits have grown six times faster than deposits at traditional banks as consumers have sought innovative ways to save money,” said John Rosenfeld, president of the online bank. “To address these evolving customer needs, we designed Citizens Access to provide an exceptional digital experience where every task is intuitive and easily accomplished, even on a mobile phone.”
Users will be able to open and fund a new account in five steps, which should take no longer than five minutes to finish. All tasks can be completed on either a mobile device or computer, and all documents will be delivered electronically to customers in a secure manner. The platform also provides savings tools to help users think creatively about savings. For example, a customer could use digital tools to construct a CD ladder that will allow her/him to benefit from higher, longer-term rates without locking all of their money up for the entire duration.
“The industry is seeing a renewed interest in CDs as consumers turn their attention to digital-savings products,” Rosenfeld said. “After 10 years of declining popularity with consumers, recent trends have shown that CD growth has begun to outpace savings and MMA growth. Citizen Access is initially offering differentiated CD offerings, and we want to help consumers understand how to best utilize these products in their savings plans.”
The digital bank will be marketed outside the Citizens’ current branch footprint and will operate separately from Citizens Bank’s current retail offerings.