CB Bank has always aimed to be ahead of the curve in terms of technology and digital transformation. Established in 1992, the bank is one of the largest in Myanmar, employing 9,000 people and operating 220 branches, and serves corporate, businesses and consumer clients.
Despite a steady rate of urbanization, Myanmar remains an underbanked market, and only 10 percent of its citizens have access to financial services. Meanwhile, many existing services remain underdeveloped, such as payment transfers between different mobile money providers.
To remedy this, CB Bank has pioneered the creation of new services and strategic partnerships. For example, the bank was the first in the country to offer Visa and Mastercard transactions at ATMs, as well as introducing the earliest internet banking service for businesses in Myanmar and building alliances with other leading credit card providers.
Targeting new opportunities across retail and corporate
Continuing this spirit of innovation is a key goal. In its retail division, CB Bank wanted to empower more citizens with access to user-friendly services, helping to increase financial inclusion. With internet use and demand for online services on the rise, CB Bank knew that all-new digital products would be critical to realizing its vision.
In addition, CB Bank also hoped to expand its corporate services. Following the liberalization of Myanmar’s telecoms industry, more and more multinational companies have moved into the market, bringing huge demand for reliable payments services. CB Bank recognized an opportunity to forge valuable relationships with new players in the economy.
Leaping over the legacy hurdle
In the past, CB Bank relied heavily on distributed banking applications to drive business, with each branch operating its own IT systems. For employees at the branches, this also meant a time-consuming manual reconciliation process at the end of each business day, while customers could not access services anywhere other than their local branch.
This approach made it practically impossible to offer digital banking products nationwide, and restricted the bank’s ability to launch many new products. To make changes to the systems required complex and labor-intensive development, severely limiting the speed of the rollout of any new functionality.
Breaking new ground with Temenos
To bring new digital services to more consumers and businesses in Myanmar, CB Bank started to plan a move to a centralized core banking platform from a leading international vendor—the first of its kind to be implemented anywhere in Myanmar. The bank soon started an intensive information-gathering process to learn more about the offerings of some of the world’s leading banking software providers.
For its selection criteria, CB Bank considered factors including adoption rates with other international finance institutions, quality of support available, ease of adoption and product flexibility, and vendor presence in the Asia Pacific region. After assessing the options, CB Bank identified Temenos Core Banking as the standout solution and the best fit for its short- and long-term requirements.
Building a brighter future based on strategic partnership
Working closely with Temenos, CB Bank completed the successful deployment of the core banking system, which now underpins its retail, business, digital and mobile operations. Whenever assistance is required to keep the systems in peak condition, the bank is quick to call on Temenos for performance tuning and healthchecks.
Mr. Thein Zaw Tun, MD (Business), CB Bank, comments: “Whenever we engage with Temenos, we know that they are fully committed to our long-term success and that we are working with a vendor with deep experience and expertise in the banking sector. When we seek guidance on system optimisation, we have always received excellent support. It is a very valuable partnership for us, and we have been particularly impressed with the Temenos user forum, where we can meet other providers and gain insights into industry developments and best practices.”
Achieving more than fivefold growth
Equipped with a future-ready core banking platform, CB Bank is achieving its goal of bringing banking services to more citizens across Myanmar. With the Temenos system, the bank has accelerated the time to market for new products by 70 percent, helping it to launch innovative digital products and credit and debit cards, and to enhance its existing mobile app, CB Pay, with transaction processing speeds that are now twice as fast as before.
The speed, scale and robustness of the Temenos platform have also been a key factor in the rapid increase in the bank’s branch network. By operating a standardized core system, CB Bank avoids the need to implement and set up separate systems for every branch, contributing to much smoother and faster growth. In total, the bank has grown from 30 to 220 branches, with the core system being a major catalyst for expansion.
This, along with the bank’s new, user-friendly digital products, has enabled CB Bank to reach significantly more citizens within Myanmar, with customer account numbers increasing by five and a half times since the implementation of the Temenos solution.
Taking corporate services to the next level
The deployment of Temenos Core Banking has also provided the foundation for new corporate services that have allowed CB Bank to build alliances with leading multinational companies. Using the Temenos solution, the bank has introduced a series of sophisticated cash and liquidity management, payroll, and systems integration offerings closely tailored to the needs of its business clients.
In one notable example, CB Bank partnered with Telenor Myanmar, a major telecoms provider operating across the country. Online systems integration with the Temenos platform enables Telenor to process huge numbers of cash collection and payment transactions from customers, with real-time access to account information and minimal risk of downtime. Recently, this project won the ‘Best Cash Management Project’ for 2018 from the prestigious The Asian Banker publication.
Gaining international recognition for services
This has not been the only award won by CB Bank following the Temenos deployment. In 2018, the bank received a total of 13 awards from leading international financial publications in recognition of its dedication to digital transformation and leading the way in the financial sector in Myanmar. These included the ‘Best Bank in Myanmar’ in 2018 from Euromoney, and the award for ‘Best Digital Bank in Myanmar’ in 2018 from Asiamoney.
Mr. Thein Zaw Tun, MD (Business), CB Bank, comments:
“As Myanmar’s banking space continues to mature, our market-leading digital services will become an even more important source of competitive advantage. Our work with Temenos strengthens our position as one of the most innovative providers in Myanmar. The partnership will ensure we continue to develop more accessible and attractive services that help to increase financial inclusion and spark economic growth in the country.”