Product quality wins out over value for money - CR2 banking survey

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CR2, a global provider of channel banking, ATM and card payment solutions has concluded its Banking Survey Questionnaire. The results were recently announced and presented at CR2's First User Conference in Dubai and have highlighted some interesting conclusions, not all of which were anticipated by CR2.

The CR2 Banking Survey was conducted to solicit the views of financial organisations that are users of vendor banking software and a high percentage of the 200 banks targeted by CR2 responded with their feedback on the topical issues addressed.

Overall the Survey highlighted that banks want to deal with vendor organisations that are trusted partners and that have the ability to provide and deliver low risk solutions. Operational efficiency is a strategic driver for these institutions at present, more so than cross-selling and new product or service initiatives.

Mr. Sean Jevens Head of Product Strategy said "CR2 has in the past conducted several Banking Surveys which have resulted in assisting our organisation in the direction and implementation of functionality improvements that have been integrated into CR2's CardWorld and BankWorld solutions. This particular survey was a valuable exercise as it revealed some interesting findings."

Mr. Sean Jevens continued "Most notable is that fact that the 'Product Quality' of vendor software applications, and secondly 'Customer Service', are the most important aspects considered in the evaluation process of a software solution by the banks that responded to our survey. These issues supersede several other considerations which included aspects such as 'Value for Money' and 'Return on Investment'."

Other findings of note were in relation to the projected initiatives that will be embarked upon by banking organisations in the foreseeable future. Here both the 'Internet' and 'Multi-Channel Management' are regarded by many as priority issues over the coming 12 months. In terms of technology, participants of the survey expressed a preference for .Net over J2EE when choosing operational infrastructure associated with new banking products. This is an endorsement and confirmation of the operational strategy selected by CR2 when it initially selected its technology roadmap in relation to channel management.

Mr. Sean Jevens said "An issue for concern, and certainly not anticipated by CR2 in advance of this survey, is the lack of urgency associated with EMV. Less than 10% of the banks surveyed had started their EMV projects and for many this was not regarded as a priority, despite that fact that in less than 2 years time in 2006 banks in CEMEA are required to be compliant with the new regulations This is something CR2 continually reminds its customer base and as such will need to reiterate in the immediate future."

Participants regarded that 'On-site' services, specifically, had significant room for improvement by software vendors as this was consistently rated as being very poor.

Mr. Cian Kinsella CEO CR2 concluded "CR2 believes that there are some valuable messages for banking application vendors in this survey, where in-depth 'industry and banking knowledge' are important factors for many of the participants. It is encouraging that some of the conclusions mirror CR2's product philosophy that we have adopted over the years, specifically in relation to the creation and delivery of proven solutions that can be implemented with the minimal of risk. CR2 is a product company that focuses on the provision of quality software and service for our customers and we will continue to do so in the future."

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