With Citi Plex, Citi Offers a Fully Digital Checking and Savings Account Through Google Pay and Taps Mastercard as Network Partner

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Debuting in 2021, The Citi Plex Account is designed to make money management more simple, secure, and smarter. In the past two days, the company has taken important steps towards making the account a reality. This is the second time a Global Bank has launched a digital banking solution. Will Citi succeed where JP Morgan Chase Failed?

On November 18th, Citi offered a sneak peek of its new digital bank account called Citi Plex. During the event, the company officially opened its waitlist. Then the following day, November 19th It announced that it had selected Mastercard as the network partner accounts to be delivered through Google Pay. These two essential steps show that Citi is close to launching the new account.

The powerful combination of these three global companies and the unique user data and insights that they bring will make the Plex Account an interesting advancement to watch as the platform evolves and brings this new payment option closer to the crux of commerce and community.

“The future of banking isn’t about where people keep their savings, but instead it’s focused on communities and must be a part of how people pay for the experiences that drive their lifestyle,” says Stephen Milbank, Co-Founder of Button.

Some thought with the failure of Finn by JP Morgan Chase that larger banks would steer away from products that resemble neobanks, yet the moves by Citi show the complete opposite. There are major differences between Finn and Citi Plex, that demonstrate Citi has its finger on the pulse of what the next generation of consumers want from their bank.

“Consumers Don’t Want a Digital Bank Just Because It’s Digital, Consumers who open accounts with digital banks don’t do so because they want a bank with no branches. says Ron Shelvin, Managing Director of Fintech Research at Cornerstone Advisors. “Their reasons vary by generation: 20-something Millennials want better financial management tools than they get with their primary bank; 30-something Millennials are nearly evenly split between those looking for better financial management tools, better debit card rewards, and better interest rates;  Finn didn’t offer any of these features, while Citi Plex addresses these needs and more.

To start, the Citi Plex Account is Citi’s first-ever bundled checking and savings account solution. With a user experience and account management features powered by Google, the Citi Plex Account is designed to integrate seamlessly within Google Pay to deliver a richness of insights and capabilities to empower consumers with a simple, convenient, and personal banking experience.

The Citi Plex Account will feature the following:

  • Account opening is fast and frictionless.
  • No monthly account fees, no minimum balance requirements, and no overdraft
  • An intuitive approach to goal planning with AI-powered insights is designed to help customers save more, set savings goals, and become more financially healthy over time.
  • Instant digital Mastercard debit card and upon request, a physical, contactless debit card
  • Real-time balance, transaction and purchase alerts as well as the ability to dispute transactions
  • Seamless P2P capabilities for one-time, recurring, and group payments
  • Access to Citi’s nationwide network of over 60,000 fee-free ATMs, the most by any major bank

Citi also plans to share information about additional capabilities, features, and unique offers and rewards closer to launch.

“We want to make managing money simpler, smarter, more rewarding, and more mobile, and the Citi Plex Account will do that,” says Jane Fraser, Citi President and CEO, Global Consumer Banking. “This collaboration gives us a platform to drive significant scale in our Retail Bank. By unlocking the power of our respective ecosystems, we can deepen our existing relationships and serve an exponentially larger and new generation of customers.”

Customers with a Citi Plex Account will receive a debit Mastercard, that’s automatically set up for contactless-payment, instant digital debit card, with an option upon request for a contactless-enabled, physical debit Mastercard and access to Citi’s nationwide network of over 60,000 fee-free ATMs, the most offered by any major bank. In delivering both a digital and physical debit card offering, Citi Plex Account customers have the convenience and choice to pay when, where, and how they want via debit card, smartphone, or online.

“The consumer migration to digital banking was well underway, and then the pandemic hit, turning the consumer’s desire for digital interactions into a need,” says Meredith Spatz, Executive Vice President in North America for Mastercard. “The acceleration of the move to digital has also opened the door for more collaborative work amongst technology and financial players – to drive new and enhanced solutions for consumers that not only address their need for digital interactions but also deliver new capabilities that give them increased control and insight over their personal financial management.”

With the pandemic speeding up digitization in general, as we look at financial services, whether it’s payments platforms or banks, we’re seeing a general shift away from the physical. Mastercard is preparing for a world beyond physical debit and credit cards, and with Citi Plex, the is moving away from the branch as the primary hub for services and instead is meeting customers where they are.

  • Managing Editor, North America at The Fintech Times

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