Printer Friendly


 CHICAGO, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameritech (NYSE: AIT) and Citibank today announced an alliance to offer new interactive services and capabilities that will simplify consumers' lives.
 The two companies plan to test consumer appeal of a combination of telephone and banking services delivered to the home using screen telephones. Consumers will be able to do their banking, pay bills, establish their own electronic directories, scan voice-mail messages and use other enhanced telephone services.
 These interactive services will be offered next spring to several communities in the Chicago area. The services will be made available through an Ameritech on-line information services platform that processes and stores information and provides enhanced communications capabilities.
 "Our customers are telling us they want to simplify their lives because they're short on time and have too much to do," said James A. Firestone, president of Ameritech consumer services. "We're moving forward expeditiously with a leading financial institution to meet these needs by finding ways to save consumers time. Over time, we will add other information providers and use other communications devices, including personal computers."
 "Citibank led the way in giving people 24-hour access to their money through Citicard Banking Centers. Now we want to lead the way as people discover the convenience of managing their money on screen telephones," said Steve Price, Citibank executive in charge of the U.S. Branch Network. "Screen phones will give our customers one more alternative in how they choose to deal with us. We want them to have full knowledge and access to their accounts anytime, anywhere, any way."
 The new telephones will be equipped with a digital display screen and a typewriter-like keyboard. During the launch, Ameritech and Citibank will market the screen telephones directly to consumers. In the future, it is expected that these devices will be made widely available by a number of equipment manufacturers at multiple distribution points.
 The screen telephone services will allow customers -- from the convenience of home -- to pay bills, see credit card information, make securities transactions, transfer funds between accounts, and check the activity in all their Citibank accounts, including seeing which checks and deposits have cleared. When used with Ameritech's voice mail service, the phone also will show a list of messages and call details, allowing customers to pick the messages they want to receive, in the order they want to receive them (see backgrounder for additional features).
 Both Ameritech and Citibank recognize the value of an alliance in building the interactive services market. Ameritech brings network and system expertise, operations support, a relationship with virtually all households in the Midwest and a telephone and information services applications. Citibank brings a market-tested banking application and user interface, bill payment services, extensive market research, market experience with screen telephones, application and systems development experience and a relationship with a substantial number of households through its retail, mortgage and credit card business.
 Ameritech and Citibank look to expand the availability of the interactive telephone, financial and information services, and are evaluating a variety of future delivery vehicles.
 Based in Chicago, Ameritech is a leader in providing full-service communications and advanced information services to about 12 million customers primarily in the Midwest. It also has operations in New Zealand, Poland and other international areas. Its 1992 revenues were $11.2 billion.
 Citicorp (NYSE: CCI) and its subsidiaries provide financial services in 94 countries around the world. Citibank is a subsidiary of Citicorp, the largest banking company in the United States. In the U.S., Citicorp has some 500 Citibank branches located in seven states and the District of Columbia, with 52 branches in Illinois.
 Interactive services from Ameritech/Citibank
 Following are some of the services and capabilities Chicago-area consumers will be able to have next year as part of the Ameritech/Citibank test of interactive services:
 Telephone Services:
 -- Electronic directory. Using the phone's keyboard, you can develop your own electronic directory of phone numbers and addresses.
 -- Electronic white pages. By hitting a single button, you can access Ameritech's Directory Assistance database and get publicly available telephone numbers. As an added bonus, with a touch of a button you can add the name and number to your electronic directory.
 -- Visual voice mail. If you have Ameritech's voice mail service, the screen will show you how many messages you have and list each message by calling number, time of call and message length. You can then select which messages you want to receive -- in any order you choose.
 -- Custom calling services. Users will have on-screen directions and can easily use the following features:
 -- Call forwarding. With the push of a single button, you can forward your calls to any other phone number.
 -- Automatic callback. Allows you to return the call of the last person who called you, even if you don't know who called.
 -- Repeat dialing. If the number you called is busy, you will be notified as soon as the person you're trying to reach hangs up -- up to 30 minutes later.
 -- Caller ID. The phone is Caller ID compatible, which means that if you subscribe to Caller ID service, or Caller ID with name, you can find out the number and/or name of the person who is calling.
 -- Call waiting. With the push of a button, you can temporarily turn off your call waiting service so your call will not be interrupted. If you have voice mail service, this allows you to talk on your current call while incoming calls are forwarded to your voice mailbox.
 Financial Services:
 -- Bill payment. Using the screen's keyboard, you can pay all of your bills electronically from your checking account. No stamps. No check writing. Just punch in the name, address and account number of the person or company to be paid, plus the amount and date of the payment. Your bill payment activity will appear on your next regular bank statement.
 -- Home banking. In addition to bill payment, Citibank customers also can:
 -- check account balances;
 -- see which checks have cleared their accounts;
 -- transfer funds between accounts;
 -- buy and sell stocks and monitor market activity.
 -0- 11/9/93
 /CONTACT: Steve Ford of Ameritech, 312-750-5205, or Susan Weeks of Citibank, 212-559-0580/

CO: Ameritech; Citibank ST: Illinois IN: TLS FIN SU: PDT

AR-BM -- CL013 -- 2160 11/09/93 10:06 EST
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 9, 1993

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters