Can ATM software be truly multivendor and truly omnichannel? Isn't it asking a bit much for one software solution to be all things to all platforms?
For the answers to these questions, we turned to vendors whose experience with multivendor software goes way back — and whose approach to omnichannel integration is forward thinking. They include:
- Homi Karkaria, vice president of software and services at Diebold Inc;
- Stacy Gorkoff, vice president of marketing at Inetco Systems Ltd.;
- Steve Hensley, vice president of sales and marketing at KAL ATM Software;
- Stacy Daniel, Nautilus Hyosung America; and
- Gregor Podkowski, senior marketing manager at Wincor Nixdorf AG.
Following are selected responses from the five, edited for length:
1) Can multivendor software create a truly seamless customer experience across all ATM models and platforms?
Diebold:Yes, multivendor software can provide a truly seamless experience across platforms to drive consumer satisfaction and also reduce the operational costs for the financial institution.
Multivendor software can provide a consistent look and feel across all channels by remembering frequently used transactions or settings, which enables consumers to be more confident using different technology and instills overall confidence in the financial institution.
Hyosung: Multivendor software can help create a seamless experience across all ATM models and platforms; in fact it is probably the best way to accomplish this. Challenges to a seamless experience are:
- obvious differences with the types of transactions supported at each ATM due to hardware capabilities;
- other hardware differences — such as where the devices are located on the ATMs — must be addressed by a multivendor application.
2) Does multivendor software have potential limitations in terms of ATM management?
Inetco: Although multivendor software can help with remote resolution and provide insight into ATM availability or hardware and software inventory, there may be limitations when it comes to holistically understanding end-to-end transaction performance, cash use, and building predictive servicing models with on-demand customer analytics.
KAL: The ATM management system must be fully multivendor compliant in order to properly and effectively manage the ATM estate. Software must be common across all of the ATMs in the network — running a single application regardless of ATM hardware vendor — and the ATM management system must be tightly integrated with that ATM application in order to have the level of detail and control needed to properly manage the ATMs.
3) How compatibly does multivendor ATM software integrate with an omnichannel environment?
Diebold: Software is just 0s and 1s — anything can be done from an integration standpoint. But truly trying to reinvent yourself and focusing on business orchestration is what will get it done.
Omnichannel goes beyond integration of technology. It includes methodology, sustainability and a path to the future while respectfully challenging past decisions and practices.
KAL: There may be services the bank offers, such as dynamic currency conversion, that are provided by Web services outside of the ATM host system. The ATM application must be able to access all of the cardholder accounts as well as be able to provide services offered by the bank outside of the ATM channel in order to provide an omnichannel experience.
Hyosung: The advantage of using a multivendor ATM application across a blended ATM fleet is that the integration into other banking systems would only need to occur once vs. a separate integration effort for each vendor.
That said, some multivendor solutions require that they provide all the pieces of the omnichannel environment. The best allow a financial institution to integrate in with existing pieces or best in class pieces.
4) How do evolving banking and payments technologies affect the integration and delivery of multivendor software?
Inetco: Within most ATM and digital banking channels, we are seeing more cross-channel services and more disparate product offerings, often coming from multiple third parties or internal organizations.
As customers engage with these new banking services in a broader, more digital self-service ecosystem, FIs may want to consider the adoption of operations intelligence tools that will help avoid "data chaos" and successfully deal with greater IT infrastructure complexity, cross-channel customer experiences and potentially new security risks.
Wincor: Multivendor applications play an important role in this. They enable solving the technology evolution independently from any given platform. This avoids financial institutions from having to develop this for each ATM-platform and also enables them to update to or acquire newer, more advanced, HW with better capablies of integrating with new technologies.
5) One major bank has decided to migrate to single-vendor ATMs and software to improve omnichannel performance and customer experience. Should we expect to see more of this?
Diebold: I would not expect to see more of this since banks are increasingly looking at diversifying their risks with at least two providers to get the most value.
The trends we are seeing in the industry indicate that many financial institutions are looking for a single-vendor software solution. However, many are considering multiple hardware vendors, as it is often costly to replace legacy hardware.
KAL: We don't think that it is reasonable to expect that one ATM hardware vendor will have all of the answers for a bank. That is becoming even more evident as we continue on the branch transformation journey, which may include the introduction of lots of new, innovative self-service systems. It is highly unlikely that any one vendor will have all of the solutions for such diverse needs.
Wincor: Omnichannel performance will not improve by selecting a single ATM-vendor. If, on top of that, the application is not multivendor, that may even limit performance and total cost of operation as better hardware platforms and concepts become available.
6) What is the most important factor in a successful multivendor, omnichannel software implementation?
Diebold: It's imperative that financial institutions consider the end-to-end consumer experience during all phases of the software implementation as consumers expect a seamless experience across all channels.
Inetco: Omnichannel requires a major overhaul in the way we think about, and manage, self-service banking ecosystems. Omnichannel also requires FIs to be ready to make adjustments to new agile technologies as they are introduced. This spend needs to result in profit rather than purely a customer retention strategy.
KAL: Multivendor omnichannel implementation projects touch many different areas of the bank — technology, infrastructure, security, marketing, and others — and it is critical for the bank to choose a partner that can manage and deliver complex projects like this.
Hyosung:It is important that the multivendor application is architected with enough flexibility and customizability to accept the variances from the different hardware vendors, as well as the various banking solutions being integrated into the omnichannel solution. The application will need to accommodate different levels of technology and varying or lack of standards within certain channels.
Wincor: You must have a good and clear vision of how you would like to evolve and be perceived by the market and an analysis of what the impact will be on branches and branch concepts, customer journeys, customer relationships, branch-staff, cash-cycles, IT infrastructures, processes … Omnichannel should offer a seamless user experience with all elements in balance.
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/ Suzanne’s editorial career has spanned three decades and encompassed all B2B and B2C communications formats. Her award-winning work has appeared in trade and consumer media in the United States and internationally. She is now the editor of ATMmarketplace.com and BlockChainTechNews.com