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Finance Advice Centers Turn to Remote Banking

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Finance Advice Centers Turn to Remote Banking

2013/4/7 16:02:23


China Merchants Bank (CMB) was founded in 1987 as the first joint-stock commercial bank wholly held by corporate legal entities. In 1999, Huawei helped CMB build its toll-free call center. After 14 years of development, it has evolved from a simple financial advisory service into a remote banking center providing financial consulting, trading, marketing, and wealth management. CMB’s call center has three sites with a total of 2,500 agents who provide bundled services to more than 60 million customers in retail and wholesale banking. The IP Contact Center (IPCC) solution helped CMB transform its call center from a simple financial advisory service into a remote banking center and from a cost to a profit center.


Before the toll-free call center was established, CMB built a voice card-based telephone banking system in branches throughout China. Due to technical and management limitations the system faced the following issues:

Decentralized, unreliable systems and massive workloads

CMB’s original system had a distributed architecture resulting in information-sharing failure and wasted resources. With more than 200 branches and partnerships with more than 630 banks around the world, the increasing number of customers and growing data and traffic exceeded original system capacity, increasing maintenance workloads and security risks.

Too few access modes

Users could only access the original system by phone, fax, and email. Each access mode used its own system and information could not be shared between them. This severely restricting the telephone banking system’s scope and service quality. The system required a complete redevelopment to add more access modes.

Limited functionality

The original system provided limited banking services. It adopted an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system that could not be integrated with manual customer service or provide differentiated services. These shortcomings hindered market segmentation and service customization. In addition, the original consultation function was limited and unable to process services efficiently in real time.

Insufficient information utilization and lack of marketing functions

With the original telephone banking system, customer information was inconsistently recorded. Without a complete customer information system, the telephone banking system did not offer customer relationship management or decision-making support. In addition, the original system did not support statistical analysis of service indexes, could not monitor system operations, and had inadequate background management functions. In most cases, the system received calls from customers and provided only what customers requested. The outbound call function was limited so it was not conducive to marketing CMB’s broad range of products.


Multi-center architecture

Huawei built three call centers connected to each other for:

  • Remote disaster recovery
  • Resource sharing
  • Unified management
  • Distribution of human resources and services. If one of the three centers fails, the other two can take over its services.

Multimedia access any time, anywhere, and anyway service experience

Huawei call center’s multimedia feature allows flexible access modes to improve customer satisfaction. Huawei’s solution uses enhanced Web-Enabled Call Center (WECC) functionality to support web access, including multimedia channels for text talk, click–to-talk, escorted browsing, and call back request. In addition, the solution supports e-mail/fax call access and video call access. Integration of the on-line, telephone, and mobile banking, based on multimedia access technology, allows the call center to provide services to customers any time, anywhere, and any way.

Targeted and differentiated services

From Huawei’s call center platform, CMB developed a new-generation personalized telephone banking system with customized menus to provide personalized Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) service which enables CMB to develop new services. The personalized telephone banking system offers:

  • Customized menus
  • Customized service processes
  • Personalized care and marketing information
  • Intelligent guidelines
  • Close interaction between automatic response and manual response
  • Intra-system voice menu roaming

The call center provides customers with faster, more convenient access to new telephone banking services, all in one place.

The customized service strategy is also reflected in features such as:

  • Customer segmentation
  • FAQs
  • Complaint handling system
  • V.I.P. hotline
  • Bilingual services and an estimated wait-time for callers on hold

Outbound call management

The automatic outbound call management system is an important extended function of Huawei’s solution. It provides a flexible service interface, a variety of outbound call modes, and comprehensive outbound call management. These features allow the call center to perform integrated marketing, provide value-added services, and make the transition from a cost center to a profit center.

The call center also provides outbound services for notification. For example, using the toll-free manual outbound call services, CMB can initially contact customers via phone, fax, or e-mail. The bank can send all types of information to the customer, including:

  • Requests for loan capital or interest repayment
  • Transaction details

  • Financial services applications and complaint correspondence

  • Notifications, and service introductions or advertisements

In addition, the call center actively promotes a variety of CMB products and services to the customer using different outbound services, gaining profits through targeted cross-selling.

Operation management platform for enhanced management capability

The call center’s background management system offers integrated functions for system monitoring, automatic alarm reporting, log generation and recording, customer service adviser performance evaluation, service quality inspection, and report generation. Huawei’s call center platform provides a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for monitoring, allowing maintenance personnel to monitor the system and resource operational status. To ensure customer service quality, the background management system uses the evaluation and quality inspection functions to closely manage, measure and analyze the working status of each customer service adviser. The call center can use the report generation tool to customize reports, and new data management and mining functions facilitate analysis of customer behavior.


Improved customer satisfaction

According to a survey:

  • 75 percent of customers who have made payments through CMB’s 95555 service hotline felt that it was “convenient to make a payment over the phone”
  • 80 percent felt that they could make payments anytime, anywhere
  • 71 percent reported that they could “trust the telephone banking system”

Huawei’s call center solution not only meets the customer’s technical requirements but also improves the customer services.

Higher profits

CMB’s call center combines IVR and attendant services to offer customers a variety of new services, including financial consulting, service handling, over-the-phone payments, and other value-added services. Since 2006, CMB’s Telephone Banking Center has profited by helping customers handle financial transactions on the phone.

Electronic operation and management

The CMB Telephone Banking Center’s operation and management is fully automated. The call center can:

  • Measure overall service levels
  • Perform operational effectiveness evaluations and performance assessments
  • Predict service development trends all electronically.

Awards and recognition

The call center has a great reputation and is a strong influence on the call center industry. It has won the Best Call Center in China award for seven consecutive years (2005 to 2011), and holds the following titles:

  • Top 10 Call Centers with Highest Service Quality in China
  • Best Customer Service Center in China
  • Asia Pacific Customer Service Golden Award of Excellence
  • 10-Year Achievement Award of China’s Call Center
  • Most Influential Call Center Brand in China.

The call center has also risen from a Level-3 department to a Level-1 department.