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Citi's Himanshu Shrivastava on banking space's digital transformation

The managing director said that technology is now a core business now rather than a business enabler.

Himanshu Shrivastava, Managing Director and Head of Digital Technology, APAC and EMEA, Global Consumer Technology at Citi, is responsible for managing large teams in diverse geographies to accelerate the delivery of Citi’s Mobile First strategy. He is also in-charge for driving the bank’s digital channels to next-generation technology capabilities to deliver seamless solutions for clients.

In addition, Himanshu is tasked to lead the development and deployment of internet and mobile banking platforms, application programming interface (API) and enterprise service bus (ESB) applications, as well as to standardize the bank’s platforms and processes including vendor management.

Himanshu joined Citi in India in 2003 and has held a number of senior roles in both India and Singapore.

Asian Banking & Finance sat down with Himanshu to learn more about the philosophy behind her career, as well as the rise of the digital age in banking.

Can you describe your career in Citi?

I joined Citi in India in 2003 as a Manager of Application Development. Since then, I have held various roles within the Global Consumer Technology division both in India and Singapore. Over the years, I have gained extensive experience in Product Development, Project Management and Implementation as well as Product and Solution Design using various advanced technologies. I leverage this knowledge of Citi’s systems and technology to deliver innovative solutions to meet the needs of our retail clients.

Currently, I look after Digital Technology for Citi’s Global Consumer Business (GCB) in Asia Pacific and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). In this role, I am responsible for accelerating the delivery of Citi’s Mobile First strategy and driving digital channels to the next generation of technology capabilities. In addition, I have oversight of the development and deployment of internet and mobile banking platforms across GCB’s 17 markets, including all offshoring and outsourcing, and vendor management needs of the business.

How has the bank’s retail arm changed over the years, especially with the rise of digital?

It has been an extraordinary decade or so in the evolution of technology, which has seen an unprecedented rate of acceleration and adoption towards all things digital. This is also evident in the preference of consumers. Technology is now a core business now rather than a business enabler. To enable us to meet our customers’ needs and preferences, we have had to refine our business and operating model. Some of the enhancements that we have made to provide a differentiated experience to our customers include:

o Adopting straight-through processing with minimal or no human intervention

o Leveraging data to assess customer behaviour so as to provide them with the customised products and offers

o Expanding our partner ecosystem to enable us to have the most number of touchpoints with our customers at anywhere and at any time

What advantages can banks get from using open APIs to strengthen their digital propositions?

A key advantage of using open APIs is that it facilitates the ease of embracing the partner ecosystems which helps to expand the reach to our customers really quickly. With open APIs, integrations are much simpler, faster and lower in cost. Moreover, products and services can be delivered seamlessly using the Partners’ systems, leveraging on their digital presence. This, in return, increases the data ecosystem and results in better insights on customer needs.

Can you give us a summary of your presentation for the ABF Retail Banking Virtual Conference 2020?

My presentation outlined Citi’s journey in the adoption of Open Banking APIs. I also touched on the different types of API partnerships that we have made over the years and shared details of our global API developer platform, which we first launched in 2016, and how that has evolved since. I also provided some insights on our approach in building successful API partnerships among others.

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