SAP’s Richest Sector? (Hint: Banking)

With SAP celebrating the big 4-0 this year,  one of the world’s largest enterprise software providers received a wonderful birthday present: its SAP Financial Services unit showed growth of more than 60% last quarter, making banking the single largest source of software revenue for SAP. Wowsers.

At a meeting celebrating its strong momentum in financial services, SAP officials told Bank Innovation that there are several avenues of growth available to banks. Though risk and compliance expenses now account for upwards of 50% of banks’ “discretionary” spending in the United States, areas of banking that SAP identifies as ripe for growth, include:

  • Unbanked.  Mobile wallets will give rise to new ways in which consumers can move money out of the country. Cha Ching to those banks that capture the not-yet-banked population;
  • Wealth management. Banks are looking to grow their wealth management sectors, as those customers are worth much more to FIs than standard retail banking customers; and
  • Positive fees. Rather than charge consumers to pay for mistakes [bad move, BofA], the SAP team believes banks can and should start charging customers for value-add services.

Ultimately, the SAP team emphasized how banks need to stop “faking it” on the front end and work toward making banking transactions occur in real time. That need is driven by how banks are competing with more than just banks;  they’re competing with new technology.

“Retail customers expect more and more flexibility” Don Trotta, global head of financial services at SAP tells Bank Innovation. “Faking it isn’t making it.”