Temenos (SIX: TEMN), the market-leading provider of banking software, today announced that uniBank, a Ghanian owned universal commercial bank, has become the first customer to golive with ARC Mobile.
ARC Mobile, a multi-mobile channel solution, was launched in May last year to help Temenos customers take advantage of the rapidly-growing market for mobile banking services; a market that, in revenue terms, is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in excess of 35%1 (more than four times faster than the overall banking market) and is expected to reach USD 25bn by 20142.
While the demand for mobile banking services is being driven predominantly by emerging markets, as a means chiefly for large unbanked populations to gain access to basic banking services, increasingly discerning and technology-savvy consumers in developed economies are also turning to this channel in greater numbers and for a greater range of services.
In developed markets, the convergence of fast growth in smartphone adoption with better internet banking content and all-you-can-consume data plans has created the conditions for rapid growth in mobile banking adoption. In addition, there are a whole range of services which are either better or uniquely served through a handset, like realtime fraud alerts. As a result, the number of mobile banking customers in developed markets is growing significantly, at a CAGR of around 52%3, and is expected to reach 150m this year4. In comparison, the overall number of mobile banking users is growing at a CAGR of 112% and expected to reach 450m by the end of 20125.
For banks, mobile banking services help them to reach more consumers, to offer customers more (and potentially more convenient) products and services and to build customer insight and loyalty (e.g. by being able to perform better analytics). As such, mobile banking represents an opportunity for banks to generate additional revenues (as well as a threat to those who defer action). What is more, as a much cheaper-to-serve channel than the branch, the ATM or even the internet, mobile banking offers a chance for banks to achieve revenue growth at the same time as operational efficiency, boosting overall returns.
Following Temenos' launch of ARC Mobile in May 2010 to help its customers to exploit the opportunities afforded by the growth in mobile banking, so far 12 banks have selected the application and uniBank is the first customer to go-live.
In uniBank's case, ARC Mobile will provide a platform for the bank to build significant market differentiation and competitive advantage. Some of the benefits are set out below:
- uniBank is the first bank in Ghana to be able to offer more extensive banking statements via the mobile channel, so customers are able to view a minimum of ten transactions per statement, whereas nonuniBank customers can largely view a maximum of just five.
- uniBank will be the first bank in Ghana to offer more sophisticated mobile channel services such as mcommerce.
- The bank can now centralise access to mobile operators and directly interface with their mobile money schemes to offer mobile top-up services direct from a handset. In particular it has been possible to interface with PayStore, a new service for customers which will simplify the top up process for the mobile operator and generate transaction income for the bank and other merchants.
- The bank now has one system interfaced with T24 (its current core platform) that can be maintained by current staff, significantly lowering costs.
- High levels of flexibility and breadth of channel functionality mean that the bank can support over 80% of all handsets, compared with only half that on the previous platforms. Also, uniBank is now able to offer 32 different types of SMS alerts, compared to just four previously.
"The scope to widen banking services via mobile handsets and broaden our customer base in Ghana is huge and will go a long way in increasing access to financial services in line with broader national objectives. ARC Mobile is
a key differentiator for us, enabling us to move beyond simple SMS based banking to be the first in Ghana to offer more sophisticated mobile channel services such as m-commerce. We can now enhance our SMS services and deliver alerts for various types of debits and credits, together with other notification messages, as well as providing user-friendly, interactive SMS for balance enquiries and account transfers. ARC Mobile's end-to-end encryption enables us to offer fully secure mobile channels so customers can safely take advantage of these greater functions", commented Edward Randolph-Koranteng, Head, Electronic / Multi-Channels and Transaction Banking, unibank.
Ammishaddai Adu Owusu Amoah, Managing Director, uniBank added, "As mobile handsets become the main utility for secure web communication for a majority of users, the mobile is fast becoming a main vehicle for users to communicate with uniBank. The migration to ARC Mobile is in response to the market trends which is evidenced by customers' quest for convenience".
Temenos' local integration partner TextGenesys Limited implemented the new ARC Mobile platform. Its CEO Jeremiah Brown-Coleman commented: "We are delighted to have been involved in this project at such an exciting time in mobile banking for Ghana, particularly in the area of mobile commerce. By complementing our m-commerce expertise with Temenos' ARC Mobile platform, we have delivered a state of the art solution which offers rich functionality with high security that surpasses most solutions used by banks in Ghana today. uniBank is now able to position itself as the country's leading provider of mobile banking services and take advantage of the growth potential in mobile commerce."
Andreas Andreades, CEO, Temenos remarked: "Mobile banking represents today the fastest growing channel for banks across the globe. With our first live client on ARC Mobile we are now focusing on building on this success to grow both our client base and product reach - with 12 banks already having chosen ARC Mobile, I am convinced that Temenos will play a leading role in the mobile payments solution market. The uniBank project is a good example of how mobile is a vital channel through which to broaden financial services in the developing world. With ARC Mobile, uniBank is the first Ghanian bank to offer advanced mobile banking services that will fundamentally change the way people bank in the country; Temenos is proud to be providing the technology to make this happen."