Callataÿ & Wouters Launches Thaler Direct Savings Bank

Brussels - 5 August 2008

Callataÿ & Wouters, a provider of core banking and multi-channel distribution solutions, today announced the launch of Thaler Direct Savings Bank, its front-to-back office internet banking solution. At a time when consumers are seeking higher interest rates and institutions are faced with increasing funding costs, the solution enables banks to implement internet banking facilities in as little as four months and attract stable, widely spread funding. With the solution’s complete front-to-back office functionality, banks can empower customers to be more self-sufficient while achieving high levels of operational efficiency with the straight through processing of orders.

As a result of the credit crunch, consumers are becoming increasingly savvy about available savings products and interest rates. Thaler Direct Savings Bank enables banks to capitalise on this opportunity and meet the growing customer demand. With customers managing and servicing all aspects of their accounts independently, banks can streamline customer interaction, allowing them to minimise overheads and pass on considerable incentives and savings. Banks can also benefit from pre-tailored country-specific capabilities to meet local regulatory and reporting requirements, facilitating the swift expansion into additional territories.

Banks can install Thaler Direct Savings Bank either on their own servers or through a Software as a Service model to further reduce ongoing costs. The system is an extension of Thaler, the company’s flagship core banking system, and includes functionality for deposits, loans, securities, treasury and payments as well as dedicated front-office modules such as an intuitive user interface.

Callataÿ & Wouters developed Thaler Direct Savings Bank as a result of its work with Rabobank International Direct Banking (IDB), the internet retail banking division of the Dutch Rabobank Group. IDB sought to become the direct bank of choice for financially self-directed customers and turned to Callataÿ & Wouters to implement a complete front-to-back office internet banking system. Within just 14 weeks of signing the deal with Callataÿ & Wouters, Rabobank IDB launched its pilot online branch, running on Thaler, in Belgium in 2002. This was followed by an aggressive rollout to four additional countries by 2007, all of which were new regions for the bank.

Commenting on the IDB implementation, Gert Bouwman, Global Head of Rabobank IDB, said: “With the automation that Thaler provides, we have successfully delivered on our competitive position. Thaler has met all of our requirements in terms of performance, reliability, and security, and will seamlessly accommodate future plans for growth in customers, products, and transactions.”

Nicholas Searle, Business Development Manager, Callataÿ & Wouters, commented: “The Rabobank IDB project was a real test of our approach to internet banking. The bank had some aggressive timescales, with the added challenge of entering new markets as Greenfield sites. Rabobank has gone on to win several awards for its direct banking offering and as such is a real endorsement of our capabilities in this area. Having piloted our approach, we can now offer a tried and tested platform in the form of Thaler Direct Savings Bank.”

Marc de Groote, CEO at Callataÿ & Wouters commented: “With the fall in funding and interbank dealing, banks are searching for additional ways to secure capital. As custom¬ers increasingly use the internet to manage their finances, online ‘Direct Savings Banks’ provide one such opportunity and are becoming ever more appealing to banks. Thaler Direct Savings Bank is an attractive prospect in today’s market environment and provides the proven functionality that banks require when entering new markets with minimal time, cost and customisation.”

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