Once upon a fairly recent time, if you were a writer in need of background information on, say, the rumored acquisition of one ATM manufacturer by another, you would get in your car, drive to your city's downtown library and scroll through a bunch of microfiche to find what you were after. In all, this might take two hours.
Today, you would Google "Diebold in talks to buy Wincor" and get the same information in 11.8 seconds flat. This is the power of technology to find, filter and format tremendous amounts of data with mind-numbing speed.
And now, financial institutions are finding value in distilling this "big data" into potent information about how consumers are using banking and payment channels.
During a June 9 webinar sponsored by Inetco Systems Ltd. and hosted by ATM Marketplace, an engaged audience tuned in to find out how BECU, the nation's fourth largest credit union, used ATM monitoring and data analytics software to reduce enormous amounts of member transaction data into customized reports that helped the FI to increase the efficiency and profitability of its ATM channel.
Copresenter Kambiz Asrar-Haghighi, Inetco VP of product management, described the latent value of this data.
"We call it a goldmine of information, because regardless of what channel you're going on, every transaction, starting at the customer, goes through various different networks, third parties, different servers, authorizations — and this entire transaction life cycle carries a lot of information about the network and even about the channel: what they're experiencing, the response time and even the value being delivered."
Every transaction tells a story that can bring the FI closer to a clearer understanding of what customers want and how it can be delivered in the most cost effective way possible, he said.
Shirley Taylor, ATM channel manager at BECU, described how her team is was able to leverage transaction big data to increase channel profitability, reduce operational costs and deliver a better member experience.
Previously, she said, it could take as long as three weeks to get the previous month's data and reports, which had to be manually created as various Excel spreadsheets, which then had to be compiled to bring all of the information together. "It wasn't quick, and it was not necessarily efficient, and it required multiple resources."
Today Inetco's reporting and analytics platforms allow the FI to compile reports instantly and make decisions about its ATM fleet in a fraction of the time.
For instance, Taylor said, the time needed to gather and crunch data before deciding whether to add an ATM to the fleet is now a projected two hours instead of eight to 10. Lease decisions are similarly streamlined, reduced from four hours to one. And time spent determining cash needs with an outside provider has plummeted from eight or nine hours a week to just one.
Taylor and Asrar-Haghighi shared a number of dashboards that BECU has customized to show ATM performance by a variety of metrics, such as:
- transaction percentages by community;
- transactions for selected ATMs;
- average number of transactions at selected ATMs;
- number of queues and queue length by ATM;
- cash use for selected ATMs;
- replenishment events; and
- revenue per ATM.
Taylor said BECU has gained a truly accurate picture of its ATM revenues with a customized dashboard.
"We participate in the Co-op [Shared Branch] network giving surcharge free access to all Co-op cardholders in the U.S., so in order to make sure that we've calculated this properly and we're really looking at what's truly hitting our books here, we're actually using the Co-op bins to filter those out."
Taylor said that one of the biggest surprises about the software was the ease and speed of access to information.
"There's so much information right there at your fingertips," she said. "And compared to the traditional model we had of trying to get to the data — and things that we have access to now and didn't before — [the difference] is huge."
/ 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