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Smaller Banks Taking Up CRM Challenge

Midsize banks are turning to Web-based data mining and customer relationship management applications.

Midsize banks are turning to Web-based data mining and customer relationship management applications to mounthighly targeted marketing efforts and respond to clients based on their entire financial relationship, observers say.

Smaller banks especially need to know who their most profitable clients are, noted Rob DeSisto, an analyst for GartnerGroup. "If a customer is not a profitable one, you would want to charge them higher fees than those customers that are profitable," he said.

Some midsized banks are already responding to the challenge. To avoid using guesswork to pinpoint customers, Tennessee-based Bank of Nashville decided it needed a data mining capability-and fast. "It's getting more competitive," said David Reynolds, vice president of information technology at the $320 million institution. "We have to be able to offer something that's unique."

Instead of building the capability in-house, Bank of Nashville outsourced it to EarningsInsights, a Nashville, Tenn.-based ASP. "From our standpoint, we basically just provide them file layouts and then we FTP the data," said Reynolds. The bank will roll out the data warehouse over the next 60 days.

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