The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) in the UAE has introduced SunTec relationship-based pricing and enterprise billing software into its business banking division to ensure it provides competitive, profitable quotes across its domestic Gulf region.
The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) revenue management offering from SunTec Business Solutions is intended to reduce revenue leakage at NBAD based on the product’s ability to do shadow pricing on negotiated preferential quotes. The idea is to allow the Emirati bank to price its services at a competitive enough level to win customers but not too low that it becomes unprofitable business. This ‘sweet spot’ pricing point is the nirvana of all businesses, however, and it remains to be seen how the system will work in practice.
Initial experiences at the bank have been positive with Frank Hamer, global head of transaction banking at the NBAD Wholesale Banking Group, commenting that the project “has enabled us to define our customer relationship and revenue management strategies. The solution has already helped us quantify and minimise revenue leakage and provide a unified customer view supported with precise analytics.”
Hosted SaaS Rollout
The NBAD installation is being rolled out on a pay-as you-go hosted services model. This Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) approach cuts the upfront operational expense for the bank and, if the SunTec system works as expected, operationally it should pay for itself via increased banking activity. A quick return on investment (RoI) is predicted.
It is hoped the partnership with SunTec will enable NBAD to provide a more focused service to its customers by optimising and rationalising the multiple price lists across all its product silos, increasing operational efficiency by de-cluttering its offerings.
In-depth customer analytics and a comprehensive product management toolkit will equip NBAD’s relationship managers and product managers with an integrated view of the relationship value and ability to track customer commitment.
The customer relationship management (CRM) aspects of the software should also enable NBAD to give their valued customers a quick and proactively managed experience, which is more personalised to meet their specific business objectives. Customers and product managers will be able to view a snapshot statement or invoice encompassing all accounts held with NBAD to improve the immediate need of having a single view of entire portfolios and income.
Middle-Eastern Growth and SunTec’s Plans
NBAD is the launch customer for SunTec’s new hosted services delivery model, which is specific to the Middle East only at this stage, as the technology vendor believes the region offers the best growth opportunities. The Gulf and Middle-Eastern banking industry is also governed by less regulation in comparison with North America or Europe at the moment and does not have the same legacy concerns as long-established Western banks. These factors make the cloud-based SaaS model more attractive, believes the vendor, especially as the hosting will be run by low-cost Indian operations, with less worries about offshoring of data. SunTec India will deliver total cost of ownership (TCO) benefits and the vendor asserts that high-level data masking techniques will ensure data security.
“SunTec is proud to be selected as a strategic partner for NBAD,” said K. Nanda Kumar, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of SunTec Business Solutions. “Our product will deliver a unified invoicing experience for customers of NBAD and enable the bank to launch innovative and highly competitive customer-centric offerings in a compressed time frame.”
Commenting on the wider growth opportunities for technology firms such as his, when speaking exclusively to bobsguide, Kumar went on to add: “Our partnership with NBAD is part of a broader customer base in the Middle East. We’re already working with Mashreq Bank and this region is a key focus for SunTec’s continued growth. Our strategic partnerships span financial hubs including London, New York and Singapore and we see Dubai and the UAE as the natural hub for the Middle East and African region.”
“Dubai and the United Arab Emirates is an exciting place at the moment as the government is driving innovation in Islamic banking globally. Based on its geographic location between the East and West and its comparable cultural openness to the rest of the Middle East, it is also a natural hub for the international banking industry,” concluded Kumar.
By Neil Ainger