Source: Wincor Nixdorf
According to a study carried out on behalf of Wincor Nixdorf by the American company International Data Corporation (IDC), a global leader in IT market research and consulting, in 2017 banks all over the world will invest some 16 billion U.S. dollars in branch transformation and the new technologies it requires.
Jens Bohlen, member of the Board of Directors of Wincor Nixdorf AG with responsibility for the company’s global banking business, presented the study’s results at the company’s International Management Seminar, held from October 22 - 24 in Istanbul. He noted that the bank branch continues to be very valuable as a delivery channel, but it must transform itself. Key factors in the success of branch transformation projects, according to the study, are differentiation in branch type within the branch network, an improved customer experience, and the option of carrying out cash and other standard transactions quickly and easily.
"Worldwide demand for automation technology is rising. We want to support banks around the world through software in particular in implementing branch transformation projects, optimizing omnichannel sales and improving the customer experience," said Wincor Nixdorf’s CEO Eckard Heidloff. It is Wincor Nixdorf’s goal to double its software sales over the medium term to some 600 million euros.
In his remarks, Heidloff also offered a report on the status of the ATM Security Association, which was founded on the basis of an initiative begun by Diebold and Wincor Nixdorf. The association’s goal is to create security standards for the self-service delivery channel, to develop countermeasures for known threats to its security, and to make them available around the world. The formal process of founding the association is now complete, and following a presentation by the founding members in London at the ATMIA Security Conference last week, 70 inquiries and applications for membership were received from banks, manufacturers and component suppliers. Feedback on the initiative was unanimously positive, according to Heidloff.
IDC study: integrating the branch in the digital world
The study maintains that the success or failure of a branch network is dependent on its acceptance by the customer. To ensure its success, not only do the branch, online and mobile channels need to offer perfect service individually, they must also be completely integrated into the digital world, which is where more and more customers spend their time and manage their banking business. This is an enormous challenge, but it also opens up great opportunities: experience shows that customer satisfaction increases when the branch infrastructure is improved.
"The results of the IDC study suggest that an optimally positioned branch network and the use of the latest technology can bring a 25% increase in customer contacts with a simultaneous gain in efficiency of around 30%," says Bohlen. According to the study, consumers benefit from 24/7 service and banks profit from extensive process automation and thus lower costs.
In the process, innovative self-service technology serves as a bridge to other channels. Customizable screens and intuitive touch interfaces at self-service terminals, for example, ensure fast transactions. Another example is ATMs that can be operated via smart phone: the customer authorizes a withdrawal using a mobile app and receives cash at the ATM without the need for an ec or credit card.
The provision of a wide array of services and consulting even in mini branches or unstaffed self-service points is enabled through modern technologies such as video conference systems integrated in self-service terminals: at the touch of a button, the customer can communicate directly with a bank consultant who specializes in the topic of interest. This technology also enables extended self-service options such as opening an account. Video technology helps bridge distances, making it possible to offer consulting services in rural areas and ensure an extensive presence across all branch types.
Self-service with the human touch
Together with a British bank, Wincor Nixdorf has developed a concept for assisted self-service. The “assisted teller counter” automates a variety of standard transactions such as withdrawals and deposits of banknotes and coins, document printing, and check deposits. A barcode reader and a NFC reader are integrated to simplify the handling of transactions such as bill payment. The system features two large 18.5-inch touchscreens mounted at different heights to enable easier use by people with a wide variety of physical needs. Customers can request assistance simply by pressing a button on the device. Branch staff receive these requests via an iPad and can provide help immediately. "We are the first provider in the world to complete a large-scale installation of a solution like this one, which allows the bank to offer all its standard transactions on self-service systems with a high degree of customer orientation and efficiency," says Bohlen.
Software ensures ease of operation at the ATM
Customer orientation is also the focus of two software projects presented by Hakan Özçubukcu, General Manager of Wincor Nixdorf Turkey. A joint team composed of both staff from the Turkish financial institution Halkbank and Wincor Nixdorf employees is currently working on a project to optimize the ATM user interface. One of the bank’s requirements is to enlarge the customer panel so that it is easier for older users to read. The bank is also implementing Wincor Nixdorf’s ProFlex software, which allows banks to customize the user interfaces and services of their self-service systems and thus free themselves from the download limitations imposed by their switch operators. One of the pleasant side effects of deploying ProFlex is that communication between the individual ATMs and the central computer is reduced, which in turn cuts the bank’s network costs. Garanti Bank also uses Proflex to integrate its more than 4000 ATMs from different manufacturers into the bank’s omni-channel architecture. "Our software makes it easy for the bank to implement new functions quickly across its entire ATM network," explained Özçubukcu.