Financial Insights Asia/Pacific Identifies Top CRM Initiatives of Malaysian Banks

Singapore and Hong Kong - 14 November 2007

Leading independent research and advisory firm Financial Insights, an IDC company, today announces the release of a new report identifying top priorities on customer relationship management (CRM) strategies for Malaysian banks. This report is derived from key points discussed in a roundtable involving 15 senior executives responsible for CRM initiatives from top banks in Malaysia.

The report highlights how Malaysian banks have identified clear business objectives that guide the CRM initiative in their institutions. These articulated business objectives help to define the organizational strategies and the attendant technology requirements. Several Malaysian banks are noted to have customer profiling as their top area of focus in the short to medium term, along with other imperatives such as increasing sales and ensuring good customer service.

Michael Araneta, Senior Research Manager of Financial Insights’ Asia/Pacific IT Benchmarking Advisory Service, remarks, “The focus on customer profiling means banks will be investing heavily in technologies that support customer data collection, data quality exercises, customer data integration, analytics, and customer insight. These will result in significant spending on CRM technologies, especially in those smaller banks that want to create a big impact in the market.” The expected investments on CRM will approximate that for core banking systems and recent Basel II projects.

Financial Insights cites four banks that will be making significant changes to their core CRM infrastructure. The most commonly cited problems with legacy infrastructure were expensive upgrades, weak performance the slow speed to get data out, the difficulty in responding to new business models, and the onerous task of justifying upgrades to management who think that the current CRM infrastructure is good enough.

Financial Insights also expects banks to focus on human capital management issues, especially as they look towards the softer aspects of CRM deployment — hiring, training, user acceptability training, and user education. Araneta continues, “These will hopefully help banks to achieve the softer areas of top-notch customer service, excellent customer experience, and intelligent customer interactions. From a technology perspective, incentive and compensation systems as well as online training will receive increased focus.

Araneta also states that the call for ubiquitous CRM resonates very well in most Malaysian banks. Araneta remarks, “CRM has to be intrinsic to the day-to-day activities and has to be as convenient as possible for those at the bank front lines. This will ensure usage of available CRM technologies. Especially as banks deploy event-based marketing capabilities, they demand that data, trend information, and customer insights be made available to the staff so that they can be acted on right away.”

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