There are few safe bets in Las Vegas, site of next week's Retail Delivery Conference & Expo.
One sure thing: Attendees of the popular trade show will hit the jackpot when it comes to seeing new financial services technology.
Vendors typically trot out their latest and greatest products for the annual event, presented by the Bank Administration Institute. They spend up to hundreds of thousands of dollars on booths designed to catch the eyes of the attendees that fill the exhibit hall.
Here's a preview of what attendees at this year's event, Nov. 16-19, can expect to find:
eFunds will demonstrate its new ATMContent Manager service, which is used to remotely manage and distribute ATM screen and receipt content, in booth 8035. The product is delivered to eFunds' processing customers via its Online Business Portal.
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The application interfaces with eFunds' Connex Advantage switch to deliver real-time targeted marketing messages. Clients can use the service to automatically download content to ATMs, and even establish two-way interactive messaging at some machines.
Tip to Retail Delivery attendees: an FT5000xp like this one will likely dispense some real cash along with test notes in the Triton booth.
According to eFunds, no hardware or software changes at the ATM are required. Content can be updated in real-time whether ATMs are on an OS/2 or Microsoft Windows platform. Text may be delivered to ATMs communicating via dial-up, SNA, bisync, x.25 or TCP/IP. Graphics can be downloaded to ATMs on IP.
Source Technologies, whose software and printers are used by nine of the top 10 U.S. banks, will demonstrate its new MICR laser printer, which features a wide paper format and can print up to 45 pages a minute, in booth 9087.
According to the company, the printer offers an IRD solution for mid-volume production environments and ease of use for on-demand IRD printing -- providing a flexible platform for financial institutions that are still developing their Check 21 strategies. The new printer is compatible with Source Technologies' IRD Print Manager software application, which can help FIs manage IRD workflow processes.
"Secure MICR printing has been our core business for nearly 20 years, and developing both hardware and software solutions for substitute checks is a natural extension of that expertise," said Miles Busby, Source Technologies' founder and president.
The new product will be part of a "branch of the future" on display in booth 9087, including a high-tech teller window and self-service banking kiosks.
Source Technologies' kiosks will also be found in booth 3027, where Wincor Nixdorf will use them in a demonstration of its automated teller safes, or teller-assist units. Source Technologies is a reseller of the ATS units, which the two companies say help simplify cash transactions between customers and tellers.
Wincor Nixdorf also will demonstrate its Check/Cash Deposit Module (CCDM), which allows customers to deposit up to 50 checks or bank notes without a deposit envelope. The CCDM makes it easy for small merchants to use ATMs for deposits, according to the company. Along with IBM, Wincor Nixdorf also will demonstrate an end-to-end check imaging solution.
On the software side, Wincor Nixdorf will demonstrate ProTopas/Web-Extensions, a Web-based CRM solution that links conventional ATM applications to Internet technology. According to Wincor, the new product allows financial institutions to personalize product recommendations, advertisements and messages during the "please wait" portion of ATM transactions.
Retail Delivery will be the public coming-out party for Diebold's new Opteva 500.
Also on display in booth 3027 will be the Automated Postal Center, a Wincor Nixdorf ProCash 1500 ATM equipped with two cassettes used for postage dispensing, a "print from cassette" device that prints on secure paper stock in the ATM safe and a sidecar with a scale for weighing packages and second printer. A joint project with IBM, the APC allows customers to conduct routine postal transactions at the machine instead of waiting in line for a clerk.
The U.S. Postal Service has installed 2,500 of the terminals, which are an interesting example of how ATM technology can be modified for non-banking applications. As the market continues to tighten, it's likely that all vendors will work to develop such solutions.
In booth 6062, NCR will demonstrate the latest evolution of its Personas M Series, a set of flexible, configurable ATMs designed on a single platform. NCR will also show its new EasyPoint 62, an ATM designed specifically for non-branch ATM deployment.
Booth 6062 also will feature OCBC Bank's award-winning personalization solution, created using NCR's APTRA Relate software.
Level Four, a provider of ATM testing and development software, will give away more than $50,000 of its desktop testing software, which is used by clients like the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB and Den norske Bank, in booth 3177. One lucky banker will win a free license for Level Four's ATM Simulator and ATM Reporter, plus a communication driver. All attendees who receive a demo of the products are eligible for the drawing.
Also in booth 3177, Level Four will distribute copies of its white paper on "EMV and ATM fraud in the Americas." The paper ponders how the increase in ATM fraud in North America may encourage banks to follow in the steps of their European peers and adopt the Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) standard for smart cards.
Level Four CEO Martin Macmillan will be on hand with Jorge Fernandez, the CEO and president of the newly-launched Level Four Americas. The two men say the company has the potential to capture a dominant market share for ATM testing and development in the Americas by 2007. Fernandez believes the opportunity is especially strong in Latin American and the Caribbean.
Stratus Technologies, a provider of fault-tolerant servers, will show three of its latest Intel-based systems -- ftServer models 3300, 5600 and 6600 -- running the Windows-based applications of partners Mosaic Software, S2 Systems and eFunds in booth 4066.
Because the servers have come down considerably in price over the past few years, they now provide an alternative to traditional mainframe systems. According to Stratus, the benefits of using such servers include lower per-transaction costs and faster turnaround times for new services and added features.
In booth 8087, software developer KAL will exhibit its Triple DES upgrade package for ATMs, which includes a compliant EPP (encrypting PIN pad) and new processor with Microsoft Windows XP (Service Pack 2) in addition to KAL's own multi-vendor Kalignite NDC software. A "live" demo will appear on an NCR 5670 ATM updated with the KAL package.
Steve Hensley, KAL's executive vice president of sales, says KAL had airplanes in mind when it created its upgrade.
"Our package will allow financial institutions to add new technology but keep the enclosure, the dispenser, everything that's working just fine with the ATM," he says. "It's like the airlines, where you see 20- and 30-year-old planes outfitted with all of the latest technology. They don't just throw the planes away when it's time for an update."
In booth 8119, Triton will show the FT5000xp and RL5000xp. Similar to the FT5000 through-the-wall and RL5000 walk-up units introduced in 2003, the new machines run on a more robust Microsoft Windows XP platform. The "original" FT and RL run Windows CE.
The industrial-strength operating system is needed to better leverage Prism software, which the manufacturer licensed earlier this year from Fujitsu Transaction Solutions for use in its ATMs. Bill Jackson, Triton's chief technology officer, says Triton ATMs loaded with Prism can emulate Diebold's 912 message format. Plans are in the works to develop emulation for NCR's NDC.
Jackson says Triton usually mixes in some real cash with the test notes it dispenses from a selected ATM at shows. Tip to attendees: it will likely be the FT5000xp in Vegas.
In booth 7175, Sargent & Greenleaf will preview a biometric keypad it plans to add to several of its most popular electronic locks, the 6120, 6123 and ZO2. The locks may be configured to work with fingerprint access only or fingerprint plus PIN. The company plans to introduce the feature in early 2005.
The through-the-wall 3700 will be displayed in both walk-up and drive-up versions in Tidel's booth.
S&G is using the same biometric technology for its ASK (Automated Safe Keeping) System, used for safe-deposit boxes. Customers will no longer have to wait for assistance from bank employees, but will instead place a finger on a biometric reader and enter a PIN. The system dispenses an electronic key, and initiates access to a customer's safe deposit box. Afterward, the customer simply returns the key to the ASK terminal and receives a receipt.
Because traditional keys are eliminated and custom one-time-use keys are automatically created for each access, key management costs will be reduced. The system also eliminates the expense of re-keying relinquished safe deposit boxes, and reduces the need for lock drills. And bank employees can concentrate their efforts on more important transactions.
Diebold will host the public coming-out party for its Opteva 500, an entry-level model that offers many of the features found throughout the Opteva line -- but in a smaller footprint - in booth 5106.
Also in booth 5106, Diebold will show a concept ATM that it says incorporates technology used in luxury automobiles, cell phones and game consoles. The cell phone reference likely means wireless connectivity, based on Diebold's partnership with telecommunications provider Ventus Networks in which the two companies provided four wireless ATMs at the Ryder Cup golf tournament in September. As for luxury autos, it's anyone's guess -- perhaps a Corinthian leather keypad?
Also on display: an Opteva 520 cash dispenser equipped with text-to-speech voice guidance running live transactions and a number of security solutions, including surveillance systems.
In booth 7107, Tidel will show its through-the-wall 3700d ATM, housed in a drive-up enclosure designed by DASH ATM. Unlike TTW machines designed by some rival manufacturers, the 3700d can be deployed in low-profile enclosures such as the one on display; the low units are popular with tellers as they afford a clear view of drive-through lanes.
The 3700d and its sister 3700 unit boast stainless steel surrounds and keys and lead-through lights as standard features, resulting in a high-end look.
The model seen at the show will run on a Microsoft Windows CE platform. Mark Levenick, Tidel's president and CEO, says plans are in the works for a model that will run on a more robust Windows XP platform.
Tranax Technologies recently added the options of an automated print depository or check depository modules to its MBS5000 series of ATMs, which will be on display in booth 7097. The print depository module accepts envelope deposits and prints the transaction data on the envelope. The check module scans and images the check. The MBS5000 is available in walk-up or drive-up configurations, with rear vault access. If preferred, side access is also available on the drive-up model.
Tranax will also show a self-service terminal based on its MiniBank 2500 ATM platform that allows users to deposit coins and banknotes, as well as perform standard ATM transactions, and a check cashing terminal that offers users the option of receiving cash or the value of a check on a prepaid debit card.
Expanding into other banking equipment, Tranax will also exhibit a desktop check scanner/sorter which scans and images checks in black-and-white, grayscale or color and a desktop currency sorter that sorts and counts up to four denominations at a time.
As is frequently the case, Retail Delivery will provide multiple opportunities for attendees to register to win hot gadgets such as portable DVD players, PDAs and MP3 players. Some examples: the iPod Mini that testing and development software provider Lexcel is giving away in booth 8029 and the Treo 600 Smartphone Ventus Networks is giving away in booth 6171.