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Farmers & Mechanics Bank Strives for Efficiency

Farmers & Mechanics Bank licenses core processing and customer-facing technology systems.

Maryland-based Farmers & Mechanics Bank has licensed core processing and customer-facing technology systems from Aurum Technology and S1.

The combined core processing and customer interaction solution is designed to significantly improve enterprise-wide efficiency for the $2 billion institution. The solution comprises Aurum's Miser core processing platform; S1's full-service banking solutions, including S1 Teller, S1 Sales and Service Platform and S1 Call Center; and Aurum's business intelligence solution, SmartBanker.

Farmers & Mechanics Bank will employ the open and integrated solutions approach offered by Aurum Technology as its foundation for streamlining back office systems and business processes, providing an enterprise-wide customer view and capturing new market and customer opportunities on a proactive basis.

In so doing, Farmers & Mechanics is seeking to reduce its efficiency ratio, or the money a bank must spend to make money. According to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, over the last five years, the nation's largest banks-those with $10 billion in assets or more-have consistently reduced their efficiency ratios. In that same time period, the Comptroller reports that mid-tier banks were pressured to reduce their efficiency ratios in order to improve their return on equity.

Farmers & Mechanics sought enterprise-wide information and tools to proactively target new markets, enhance client retention and growth opportunities and streamline its business processes, according to Faye Cannon, president and CEO of Farmers & Mechanics Bank.

"We're entering a new phase as an enterprise, one that requires us to deliver services more effectively to our customers on the front line while allowing us to improve the efficiency of the bank through improved backroom processing and administration," Cannon said.

Traditionally, mid-tier institutions like Farmers & Mechanics Bank have had to work much harder at reducing their efficiency ratios than their larger, global competitors, said Paul Bourke, chairman and CEO of Plano, Texas-based Aurum Technology. "Specifically, Farmers & Mechanics Bank can now drive enterprise-wide efficiencies even as it scales the bank to meet the increasing demands of its growing market. "

Aurum's core processing solution, Miser, offers extensive core banking functionality featuring electronic banking, business intelligence, and open, XML-based interfaces to third-party products.

The S1 products, in combination with Aurum's Miser, will provide the bank with one view of all pertinent customer information, enabling it to identify new cross-sell opportunities, achieve increased customer satisfaction and offer bank customers greater consistency of services via multiple channels of interaction.

The goal is to better serve customers by providing faster and more convenient access to financial information, from the branch to the Web, according to John Joback, senior vice president and chief information officer at Farmers & Mechanics.

"We are in an excellent position to move from a siloed approach to unifying all lines of our business," Joback said.

S1 Teller provides the ability to quickly access and update customer and account information, improve teller efficiency through automatic retrieval of customer and account information and identify cross sell opportunities.

S1 Sales and Service includes workflows, transactions, sales tools and core services designed to help banks sell new products as well as service existing accounts. S1 Banking Call Center provides customer information, sales and service capabilities, process flows, reporting, and fulfillment management for call center operations.

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