The new services are supported by the FlexCube core banking technology, which networks its 45 branches, 250 ATMs (automated teller machines) and 300 point-of-sales systems in the country.
So far, the return from the IT investments has been significant. According to EAB, its monthly telecommunications bill has dropped from "hundreds of thousands to just tens of thousands of dollars". Its capacity to handle transactions improved five-fold--over 1 million a month in 2005 compared to 200,000 previously.
In addition, EAB's ATM cardholders increased by 300 percent, and the volume of cash deposited into ATMs jumped 200 percent.
To ensure success, EAB went through a process of education and cultural acceptance, according to Thai Nguyen Hoang Nha, the chief information officer of EAB.
The bank established policies and technical processes, and enforced them strictly. Training of the new procedures was provided for staff, and the bank made sure that its employees were encouraged--and not penalized--for mistakes made during the adjustment phase.
"Everyone at EAB is excited about the Smart50 award, especially those in the IT department as they are working hard to transform the way staff work and to meet a wide range of end-user criteria in banking," said Thai Nguyen.
EAB also ensured that its business and IT changes were well-communicated to its suppliers and partners, to allow them to carry out the necessary adjustments to support the bank.