Any conversation about ATM software these days will probably involve at least one of four subjects: cost reduction, retail banking, mobile and security. Conversations at Wincor World this year will be no exception.
Software trends and technologies will receive a fair share of attention in sessions and exhibits at the annual trade fair. Recently, Stefan Wahle, vice president of banking at Wincor Nixdorf took time to discuss the global trends he's seeing.
Due to the economic downturn in Europe, cost control has become a critical issue for ATM deployers, Wahle said. And having experienced similar economic challenges, the U.S. is not much different from Europe when it comes to cost management.
"So [the need to control cost] means the level of automatism needs to be increased — avoiding too much staff in the branches for example," Wahle said. "Banks are looking for scale effects; they are looking for sorting options and [things] like that. So cost reduction as such stays very important."
Wahle said the financial industry was seeing a strategic refocusing on retail banking, following the investment banking downturn.
"In the past — five, ten years ago — retail banking was this little tiny business," Wahle said. "Everybody was looking for investment banking and banks were earning a lot of money on investment banking. That's true for the big U.S. banks as well as for the big European players. And after the financial crisis, they were desperately looking also for for retail banking because from a profitability point of view, retail banking is very stable."
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As a result of the renewed focus on retail banking, facilities and services are being reimagined and modernized, Wahle said, with movement toward new branch types, design staff, direct marketing and one-on-one marketing to customers. "And also concepts like assisted self-service, Wahle said. A lot of it is [revolving] around customer satisfaction and customer interaction."
It's what Wahle calls, "a big, big topic." And while it is true that mobile has been with us for quite a while now, it's also true banks are typically not first movers in these types of technology markets. But now that mobile has become an entrenched aspect of consumer's everyday lives, banks are increasingly getting on board with mobile banking and apps.
"It seems to be that the smartphones and the tablets — [they] really seem to change things," Wahle said. "A lot of discussions are going on around customer convenience, customer 'stickiness,' and decreasing of churn rate, and more or less the participation in the mobile ecosystem. That is also on the top of the priority list of the more innovative banks in the market."
Fourth, and arguably most important, is the growing field of software applications for security and fraud management. For ATMs, this includes physical security, logical security, and security of the underlying payment schemes, Wahle said.
The industry has been effective in battling many of the physical threats to ATMs, and has developed solutions such as EMV-enabled smartcards and anti-skimming devices to reduce the incidence of fraud.
But while these measures have been effective, they are not enough, Wahle said. In markets where anti-skimming devices and EMV-enabled smartcards have been introduced, criminals are changing their tactics, resulting in new patterns of fraud.
"We've added something we call fraud prevention, for example, and this is a solution where we are not monitoring the ATM itself, but we are monitoring online the payments queue," Wahle said. "Every single transaction is analyzed online before this transaction gets authorization from the host system. And this is also very effective."
Wincor is also working on fraud correlation, Wahle said. Here, the idea is to correlate information coming out of different channels in an intelligent system in order to avoid or detect fraud.
Wahle gave the example of a self-service branch lobby that would be available, but unattended, during late night and weekend hours. In these circumstances a customer would be required to use a card to gain access to the lobby.
"You could very easily detect if anybody is using this access point in the branch and you could monitor if anybody is initiating a transaction," Wahle said. "If there's no initiation of a transaction in the branch, then after 30 seconds or 60 seconds, [you suspect] something is going wrong and you could easily make a video of the branch and send it to a back office for further analysis."
Software at Wincor World
Wincor Nixdorf will present products and solutions for all of the trending categories of software at Wincor World, which will take place October 16–18 at an expansive new venue in Rheda-Wiedenbrück. Additionally, the company will present a number of keynote speeches and break-out sessions that will address software-related solutions and case studies in detail.
Wahle said he expects that the emphasis on software solutions will only increase. "And it will be more and more important for banks as well as for Wincor Nixdorf. We do have a big footprint already, but it will increase and we will definitely spend more and more money on new software solutions."
For more on this topic, visit the software research center.