Citizens Financial Group Launches Neobank, ‘Citizens Access’

Citizens Financial Group joins the latest band of established FIs in launching its version of a digital-first bank called Citizens Access.

Unlike others, such as JPMorgan Chase’s Finn, which was rolled out nationwide earlier this month, this digital bank is not catering to the general ‘millennial’ audience as is evident by its $5,000 deposit minimum.

Instead, it seems like the FI’s decision to launch Citizens Access comes from the growing preference among consumers for direct deposits as well as rising interest in certificate of deposit (CD) accounts. Both of these types of accounts are core products of Citizens Financial Group’s retail offerings.

John Rosenfeld, President of Citizens Access, said in a statement yesterday:

Over the last several years, direct bank deposits have grown six times faster than deposits at traditional banks as consumers have sought innovative new ways to save money.

Regarding CD accounts, Rosenfeld said:

The industry is seeing a renewed interest in CDs as consumers turn their attention to digital-savings products. After ten years of declining popularity with consumers, recent trends have shown that CD growth has begun to outpace savings and MMA growth. Citizens 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 move to launch Citizens Access, which is live today, also greatly expands Citizens Financial Group’s market reach beyond the 11 states it’s in now. Citizens Access is digital and will be available nationwide.

Citizens Access will provide customers with FDIC-insured online savings, CD accounts, and a PFM tool. There will be no fees for any of the products.

The online savings account has a 2% annual percentage yield (APY), with a minimum deposit of $5,000. According to Citizens Financial’s website, the APY rate is higher than many of the larger banks including Bank of America (0.03%) and Barclays (1.75%).

Citizens Access’ online CD accounts also have a minimum deposit of $5,000 with a higher than average APY of 3.1%, according to the company.

See how the app works here.

Interestingly, Citizens Access does not have a debit card … yet. Whether or not that is on the roadmap is not known. Bank Innovation has reached out to Citizens but did not receive comment by press time.

Based in Providence, R.I., Citizens Financial is one of the country’s oldest banks, with roots back to the 1800s. It currently has $153.5 billion in assets and provides both retail and commercial banking offerings. In consumer banking, Citizens has 3,300 ATMs and 1,150 branches in 11 states across New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest regions.

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