S1: Demand Brisk in Asia for Multipart Installments

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Byline: Daniel Wolfe

S1 Corp. says demand is robust among banks in Asia for installationsof several components of its Enterprise line at once, a sharp contrast to U.S. banks.

S1has long said that the moreEnterprise componentsa bank installs, the more effective they are, because the products are designed to carry information about customer interaction across channels.

Observers sayU.S. banks in general are reluctant to install several Enterprise products simultaneously, but S1 said that is not the case in Asia, where several banks have signed on for two or more modules.

John Philpott, the general manager of S1 Enterprise International, said the difference is Asia'seconomic health.

The region's "economies certainly are doing very well and are in a growth mode," Mr. Philpott said in an interview Friday. "With the growth of those economies, you do have more competition among the banks" for deposits, and that has "led to the financial institutions really being interested in the Enterprise suite."

The most popular S1 products in Asia are its branch, call center, and sales and service products, though banks are buying other Enterprise products as well, he said. Asian banks are also increasingly targeting middle-class consumers, who are less interested in a strict transactional relationship than in a banking relationship that spans channels.

"We see, in Asia, a much heavier use of alternative channels" than in recent years, Mr. Philpott said. This trend, and the corresponding appetite for S1's products, has emerged over the past 12 months, he said.

Mr. Philpott would not name any of its Asian customers, but said S1 would probably be able to identify them once the projects get underway. He said that S1's focus is on China and Southeast Asia.

S1 expects its products to continue to sell in the region even if economic growth slows, Mr. Philpott said.

"We have a good, measured growth policy so that we don't get into a situation where ... you suddenly have a service problem," he said. "It's sometimes hard to do, because you do see there is a lot of opportunity, but we want to make sure we have appropriate growth. …