The Business Need
Citizens Bank of Canada was Canada's first branchless bank when it formed in 1997. With corporate social responsibility and great rates as the cornerstone of its operations, Citizens Bank is a full service financial institution providing a wide range of financial products over the Internet and telephone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Citizens Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vancity, Canada's largest credit union.
Since Citizens Bank operates in an incredibly competitive landscape full of heavy hitters such as President's Choice Financial and ING Direct, it was important that its messaging and branding were distinct. Citizens Bank commissioned Habanero to redesign its website, ensuring that its online presence reflected its fun, engaging brand. "Our previous website didn't do a good job of communicating our great rates, unique culture and focus on corporate social responsibility," says Tracy Tong, Web Marketing Manager for Citizens Bank of Canada.
Working closely with Citizens Bank's marketing and executive teams, Habanero designed a site that communicated three of the bank's unique values: Canadian roots, expressed with a fun, down-to-earth, local flair; a corporate ethical policy on key social and environmental issues; and the best savings rates in the industry.
Habanero developed an simple, coherent way for users to move between the business and personal banking sections of the website. This was important for Citizens Bank as previous research conducted by Habanero indicated that users prefer business and personal content to be separated, not blended together.
Habanero designed the new website to be integrated into the Credit Union Central of BC (CUCBC) MemberDirect Integrated banking platform. MemberDirect Integrated provides banks and credit unions with a leading banking platform that provides robust content management, website-wide online banking login and a sophisticated set of banking tools.
Citizens Bank now has an engaging, easy-to-use, and feature-rich website that clearly highlights the advantages of banking online. "We have seen increased traffic levels to key product pages and other site areas that were enhanced specifically to support member acquisition," says Tracy Tong. "In addition, our online banking logins reached an all-time high shortly after our redesigned site launched."
The huge site improvements have been appreciated by more than just Citizens Bank; its members are thrilled as well:
"I love the new website! It's very easy to get into my account, and I like the new payment options...being able to delay payments is an awesome feature. Keep up the good work!"
"Well done! Increased functionality and a nice clean look — definitely an improvement."
"I really appreciate what you have done with the website. I feel more welcome to search the site. The layout is warmer and the colours have made it a lot brighter."