Part of diversified financial services organization CWB Financial Group, Canadian Western Bank offers a full-line of business banking services with a focus on small and medium-sized companies. With an offering that includes retail, wealth, general commercial, equipment financing, construction and real estate project financing, Canadian Western Bank employs 2,200 people and manages assets in excess of CA$37.2 billion.

Canadian Western Bank aims to become the best full service bank for business owners in Canada by providing expert advice and specialized financial services for business banking, personal banking and wealth management, the organisation is targeting significant business growth over the next three years.

Product development process has been reduced from weeks to days with the Temenos Transact system.

Turning vision into reality will not be easy, but the bank has a strategy in place to kickstart the transformation. Azfar Karimuddin, Vice President of Information Services at Canadian Western Bank, explains: “Achieving our goal of becoming the best bank for business owners in Canada depends on our ability to know our clients and their industries inside and out. That way, we will be able to identify their precise pain points and to offer them tailored services that address those requirements.”

Taking the First Steps in an Ambitious Transformation Journey

One of the key goals is to shift from a traditional product-centric approach to a customer-centric business model. But Canadian Western Bank realized that its legacy core banking applications would be unable to deliver the scalability and flexibility to develop and launch these new tailored services quickly and cost-effectively.

The bank’s previous solutions lagged several generations behind the latest core banking technologies, and the COBOL-based systems were heavily customised. Making changes to launch a new product, for example, could be prohibitively complex and costly. In short, the bank faced a barrier to its growth, and in response decided to look for a fully up-to-date, future-ready platform. The aim was to replace the legacy tools with a best-of-breed solution that would support growth for years to come.

Applying Rigorous Criteria to Uncover the Very Best Solutions

After a thorough review of the market, Canadian Western Bank selected the Temenos Transact platform as the heart of its customer-centric business. Combined with Temenos Insight, the solution offers the performance, availability and scalability the bank needs for day-to-day operations, as well as a solid foundation for new data-driven services.

One of the most important criteria for Canadian Western Bank for the selection of the new platform was the development roadmap available from each vendor.

“We wanted to find a vendor that was as committed to innovation as we are – and Temenos delivered exactly that. With Temenos Transact, we gain the rock-solid platform we need to drive business, and the ability to build digital products in a fast and nimble way.”

Azfar Karimuddin, Vice President of Information Services

Shaping Higher-Quality Customer Services

By using the Temenos Transact platform to shape best practices for everything from customer origination to issuing debit cards, Canadian Western Bank is driving up its operational efficiency and reducing exposure to risk. As the bank no longer has to complete complex development processes for the creation of new services, it is also achieving valuable time and cost savings. Product development process has been reduced from weeks to days with the Temenos core banking system.

These new capabilities are already having a positive impact on service delivery. The migration to the Temenos platform has enabled the standardization of several key business processes, one of the biggest wins of the implementation for the bank. The benefit of having uniform business processes is also the collection of critical client data, which allows the bank to focus on the customer experience through analytics.

Moving Ahead in Strategic Partnership With Temenos

Looking ahead, Canadian Western Bank plans to build on its success with the Temenos Transact platform by moving to the latest version. As well as offering enhanced functionality for digital product delivery, the upgrade will enable the bank to expand its use of Temenos Data & Analytics, which extracts, transforms and loads transactional data into a business intelligence environment in the cloud.

Azfar Karimuddin concludes: “Temenos solutions are at the core of our strategic transformation, and although our journey with the platform is just beginning, we’ve already made substantial improvements to the customer experience. With the Temenos Transact platform as the foundation of our business, we are building deeper insights into the unique needs of our customers and preparing the targeted offering that will foster deeper engagement and accelerate our nationwide growth.”

“Thanks to the Temenos Transact platform, we can offer all of our customers the same high-quality experience on any touch point they choose to engage with us.”

Azfar Karimuddin, Vice President of Information Services

In December 2019, CWB Financial Group took another step forward as a disruptive force in Canadian financial services with the selection of Temenos, to deliver a seamless end-to-end digital banking experience for small- to medium-sized business owners. CWB will be the first bank in Canada to offer a differentiated digital banking experience powered by Temenos Data Lake with Explainable AI (XAI) capabilities. The combination of Temenos Data Lake and industry-leading, cloud-native, cloud-agnostic Temenos Infinity, also selected by CWB, will give the bank’s core business-owner clients an intuitive world-class digital experience. CWB’s clients will also benefit from valuable, transparent and fully-informed insights into their financial activities gleaned from AI automated decisions.

Temenos Infinity will revolutionize CWB’s digital experience by enabling:
• A fully integrated, highly personalized banking experience tailored to benefit its small business, mid-market commercial and personal banking segments
• Accelerated innovation timelines, starting with an improved account opening experience followed with a small business banking platform in fiscal 2021
• Customized insights powered by big data and AI, along with integrated tools, that will help clients more effectively manage their cash flow and other financial decisions
• Increased access to CWB’s highly-competitive suite of online deposit and cash management products from anywhere, anytime

“Deepening our partnership with Temenos to implement their industry-leading Temenos Infinity product is the next step in CWB’s digital transformation. Our digital journey started in 2016 when we became the first Canadian Schedule I bank to run on Temenos core banking, and we’ve since derived significant value from both the core banking platform and the Temenos team’s international banking expertise. We remain fully committed to deliver the responsive, relationship-based client experience we’re known for both in-branch and online. This breakthrough financial technology represents a critical step forward to meet the rapidly changing needs of our clients through a full range of channels, and we’re excited to hit the ground running with work commencing on our digital onboarding solution effective immediately.”

Chris Fowler, President and CEO of CWB Financial Group