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Customer Snapshot

Anytime Banking and Faster Retail Checkouts for Canadians

Canadians use their smartphones for everything. Expanding the way their customers bank and shop, CIBC put SAP mobile banking architecture to work for them with a new app for mobile devices. More than 100,000 customers downloaded the app immediately upon learning of it, and their banking and shopping experiences were dramatically more satisfying.


Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)


Toronto, Canada

Customer Website




US$12.5 billion (FY2012)

Number of Employees


Implementation Partners


Line of Business




Featured Products

SAP Mobile Platform, SAP Mobile Banking


A history of service and innovation

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) launched operations in 1961 following the largest merger of two chartered banks in Canadian history – The Canadian Bank of Commerce and the Imperial Bank of Canada. The bank’s combined history spans nearly two centuries, and recent years have seen remarkable changes in the way CIBC serves clients as innovative technologies allow customers 24-hour access to banking services, seven days per week.



  • 1992CIBC was the first Canadian financial institution to offer an automated telephone banking service nationwide.
  • 1995The company launched its first website, introducing a breakthrough in electronic banking through the use of the Internet.
  • 1998CIBC registered its one millionth telephone-banking customer.
  • 1999The bank began offering full service banking on the Internet.
  • 2003Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce currently has over one million mobile banking customers.
  • 2008CIBC deployed the Sybase 365 mBanking technology, now known as SAP Mobile Banking.

Business Model

Three business units

CIBC employs three main business units: Retail and Business Banking, Wealth Management, and Wholesale Banking. These units provide a full suite of financial products and services in Canada and around the world to more than 11 million clients. 42,000+ employees provide services to customers via 1,100+ branch offices and more than 3,400 self-service bank machines.

Success Strategy

A secure stream of success

CIBC intends to lead the Canadian banking industry in client relationships by fulfilling commitments to each stakeholder, including clients, employees, communities, and shareholders. They have always valued trust, teamwork and accountability, and today CIBC strives to be a lower-risk bank that consistently generates value for stakeholders by delivering robust and sustainable earnings.


CIBC's strategic plan focuses on four work streams to achieve these objectives:



the core Canadian

retail banking



the wealth




the wholesale

banking business



Caribbean banking



The Challenge

Setting sights on maximum mobility


When the iPhone and other smart devices first became available to Canadian consumers, eBusiness and channel strategy leaders at CIBC considered what the new technology meant for the Canadian mobile banking market. The firm decided to develop and implement a strategy to capitalize on the Canadian mobile banking market that went beyond the limited WAP website efforts launched in previous years.


CIBC knew that developing a successful mobile offering would require a focus on the customers they wanted to reach, a clear set of business objectives to drive the decision-making process, and prioritizing the mobile features and functionality they wanted to offer. Key requirements of the process included identifying a technology partner offering a single platform that could deliver mobile services through multiple methods such as native applications, SMS, mobile Web (HTML), and an updated WAP version of the CIBC website.

Enter SAP

A function-focused collaboration

CIBC had previously collaborated with SAP by leveraging multiple SAP mobile technology solutions. To help CIBC seize the opportunity of expanding its mobile banking market share by offering enhanced smartphone services, SAP provided customizable front-end software and built a common mid-tier infrastructure. The combined technologies provide a consistent set of mobile services and functionality regardless of the device or delivery method.

The SAP Experience

A fresh flurry of downloads

CIBC estimated the launch of their mobile banking application would prompt 10% of their customers to adopt the new technology within the first 18 months. The actual results far exceeded expectations. The downloadable app, engineered with the help of the SAP partnership, was downloaded 100,000 times in a little over a month.


CIBC also recorded more than one million client logins within the first two months. The mobile penetration percentage nearly hit the 10% target within six months. At that point, more than 14 million mobile transactions had been handled by the bank. By the 18-month mark, customer adoption had reached more than 20%.

“Partnering with SAP not only allowed us to leverage the most advance mobile technology, but also gave
us access to SAP expertise on how best to utilize
the technology.”

Running Better

Leading edge for banks and consumers

SAP technology gave CIBC the unique ability to launch an innovative near-field-communications (NFC) mobile payment application – the first NFC mobile app in North America and one of the first in the world. The solution allows CIBC customers to load credit cards onto their smartphones to quickly and securely pay retailers just by waving their phones over retailer scanning systems.


“This solution bolsters our intellectual property and gives us a jump on the rest of the Canadian banking market…With the help of SAP mobile technology, we are making shopping easier for our customers.”

The retailer payment process becomes part of the whole mobile shopping experience, including:

  • Product research comparisons
  • Retailer locating
  • Discount searching
  • Direct to consumer communications



“Five out of five” feedback and freedom

Customer feedback has been very positive since CIBC launched the new WAP version of their mobile banking offering. Bill pay, transfers, and P2P payments accounted for a significant share of the mobile transactions while checking account balances and viewing transaction history are the most popular activities among CIBC mobile bankers.


“Six months after the initial launch, nearly half of all iPhone users who rated the app on iTunes gave it a perfect five out of five stars.”

CIBC customers appreciate the freedom to bank while on the go and have responded very positively to the new CIBC mobile banking capabilities. The bank has also gained a new channel that represents a paradigm shift in the way the bank communicates and conducts business with customers. In addition to providing anytime-anywhere banking capabilities, they can also connect with customers 24/7, efficiently pushing messages and offers, so it’s easier to engage customers more often.


“Mobile banking has become our primary communication channel.”


Lessons Learned

A comprehensive, people-centered process

CIBC mobile strategists were empowered to evaluate and plan for the people they want to reach, the objectives they hope to achieve, the strategies they plan to use, and the technologies that best enable those strategies.


“With the new SAP technology mobile-banking application, we have built a lot of trust, so we also need to make sure we don’t spam customers given our ability to communicate 24/7.”

Mobile advertising is a challenge. Financial institutions have brand recognition where people trust them with their money, and there’s a business model that can be successful where we monetize transactional data. If you provide deals with value, people will release more personal information. We hope to properly leverage our brand without violating our customers’ trust.


Meeting the customer where the customer is

CIBC currently offers mobile banking through an enhanced WAP website, a downloadable iPhone app, and HTML for other smart devices.

Journey Ahead

Seizing the power of communication tools

The SAP mobile solution deployed at CIBC has become the bank’s most valuable communication channel. Many banks don’t invest the necessary capital to optimize the power of communications opportunities, but CIBC invests continuously in mobile banking—particularly where the technology is always changing.


We want our customers to keep coming back to our mobile app so we can deepen the engagement beyond simply checking their account balances…We need to make the interactions easy so they will interact more often and check the other services we offer so we can help them with complete personal financial management. Today’s banking customers may visit our branch offices only a few times a year and our websites as well as our ATMs perhaps once or twice per week. But they interact with their smartphones every day. That’s where we will focus our communication efforts.

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