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“Financial Services is the No. 1 industry in SAP,” the company’s managing board member Robert Enslin said Wednesday. “And it’s the fastest growing.”

But there’s a transformation taking place in the golden child’s industry, according to the SAP’s global head of banking, Simon Paris. Enslin and Paris were speaking to the Financial Services Forum Wednesday at SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando.

Paolo Pizzuto explains to SAPPHIRE NOW how SAP CRM helps the National Bank of Canada MAXimize customer service.

Disruptive factors for Financial Services, comprised of banking, capital markets and insurance, include:

  • Changing revenue models
  • Shifting operating models
  • Greater customer choice and declining customer loyalty
  • Increasing regulatory complexity

In fact, the capability of traditional technology to comply with complex regulatory regimes, such as Basel III and Dodd-Frank, seems to be diminishing by the day, Paris stated. For example, batch processes won’t be able to handle the intraday liquidity reporting mandates of tomorrow; they will require real-time capabilities.

Banking to the MAX

Montreal-based National Bank of Canada shared its success story with the forum. Problems faced by National Bank prior to 2008 included:

  • Siloed processes: resulted in inconsistencies in customer service
  • Manual tasks: kept employees from focusing on customers
  • Outdated IT infrastructure: caused significant delays

“It was a perfect storm,” Paolo Pizzuto, National Bank’s senior vice president of Business Process Reengineering. “Error rates increased dramatically, and customer satisfaction declined.”

National Bank co-innovated a standard process for retail lending with SAP CRM, creating the Modernization Action Experience (MAX). National Bank was able to improve sales efficiency and client retention while reducing distribution and operations costs.

It used to take three to 48 hours to approve a loan on any of Nation Bank’s channels. Today, customers’ can leave a branch with paperwork for their approved and adjudicated loan after only 60 minutes.

The average number of products per National Bank customer has jumped from 1.9 to 4.5. And lending costs for the bank have dropped 30 percent.

Dynamic Duo

SAP also announced an expanded partnership with Falls Church, Va.-based solutions provider CSC. The two companies aim to expedite the banking industry’s adoption of next-generation technology platform, helping them reduce risk, implementation time and modernization costs.

Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher