The Chief Technology Officer of Wincor Nixdorf was interviewed at Wincor World 2009 about the cutting-edge software being developed for banks by the company, including the ProClassic/Enterprise Suite, a modular retail banking solution which runs on a multi-channel architecture. Rabenstein discussed the value proposition of the suite that supports the transformation of today’s service and sales processes into an expandable, future-proof retail banking business by achieving higher revenues and lowering costs.
Q. What kind of banking software solutions did Wincor Nixdorf present at this year’s Wincor World?
What was demonstrated at Wincor World was the ProClassic/Enterprise Suite which is our retail banking solution offering which runs on a multi-channel architecture.
Multi-channel architecture means that you can have different components running on a high-scale server, which can then be deployed to the different channels.
In a typical set-up of a retail bank you have so-called silos and every silo drives a particular channel. And we are combining these channels so that if you have one business component like a payment, this payment is used only once in the system.
So that means you can make the payment via the ATM, and this same payment can then be made by a mobile phone. So on the client or on the ATM side there’s almost no software running and all the intelligence that drives this ATM comes from the central server. And this is a big advantage because you have all the channels under one umbrella, making monitoring much easier. What we showed also to our customers and partners is our monitoring solutions. This is the multi-vendor solution within the multi-channel architecture. Wincor Nixdorf has developed cash management software which acts as a forecasting and optimisation tool, and this tool gives the bank freedom to organise the cash within the ATM in a much more efficient way. The bank can now organise the cash demand for all cash points of the bank. Cash goes into the device and goes out of the device using the same technology. And Wincor is the only provider of such a tool for cash recycling. The cash-out is just one level, but to organise the cash for a cash recycling system is much more complex. The cash comes in and you have to forecast the cash in, and likewise the cash goes out and you have to forecast it again. We have also developed a campaign engine which is connected to the banking system. We can make a payment directly into the slot of a typical ATM and then a HTML screen appears where a personalised message can be downloaded at that very second without extending the transaction time of the ATM client. And that is a very useful tool because when you use the ATM you will see special bank proposals like credit or loans which the customer can respond to by pressing the keypad if he or she is interested or not. This is an extremely useful automated marketing tool for the bank.
Q. Could you describe a little more about what the campaign engine does and how it is being used in terms of personalised product advertising?
The campaign engine is a tool where the bank can design, execute and monitor an entire campaign. The message goes from the ATM to the marketing company or whoever the decision makers are. The decision maker collects the information and can then determine exactly what product will cater to a customer’s profile. The decision maker then calls the customer. In terms of personalised product advertising, the ATM channel is the only electronic channel of the bank where the bank has physical access to a customer. If you put a card into the ATM, for at least for 30 seconds, the customer is yours. This is very helpful because banks can send personalised messages to the customer.
Q. What is ProSales and what do you see as being the key benefits of this kind of software?
If a bank wants to address its portfolio in an efficient way without incurring too many costs then it can use ProSales as a campaign engine. This software allows the deployment of the customer profile to be matched with a specific promotion.
And this promotion should be as targeted as possible to attract interest from the customer. In this space there is some competition for personalised software. But we are leading the way here because we understand what retail banks need and what is practical, which is why our competitors are standing on the sidelines. We have a multi-channel solution and if a bank has everything under one umbrella in this manner, then it is much easier to organise, control and monitor the channels.
Q. What are the core aspects of Proview and how much of an impact is this software having on the banking industry?
ProView is our fastest growing monitoring tool as we have now 207 installations worldwide. It is a server-based “fat client” solution for the administration, monitoring and control of self-service networks. It is a very important efficiency and productivity tool that is used by customers to organise their maintenance and get an overview about the samples and inventory of the system. Administrators are given an overview of the self-service network, enabling them to recognise at a glance the status of the various terminals under their responsibility. Changes of status are indicated automatically to protect the uptime of the ATM network. ProView is already proven in practice for global customers. Installations range from small network configurations with fewer than 20 systems to mid-sise configurations with 100 to 200 systems and large networks with well over 1,000 devices.
Q. Describe how Wincor’s branch optimisa¬tion software works.
Banks in the process of restructuring their branches go through two steps: process optimisation and branch design. In terms of process optimisation banks sometimes are unsure if they should place certain services in the consulting area or in the services area. So we have developed a branch optimisation tool to simulate where a bank would like to install these kinds of services. Banks can immediately see if a particular service is in the right configuration and in the right location. This helps a bank to find out whether more ATMs and cash recycling systems are required or whether they should reduce them in favour of putting more emphasis on the consulting area. Using this simulation environment we are able to track the bank’s transactions in one week and then present them with advice and consultancy services.
Alternatively, a bank can do the simulation itself to see what direction it should pursue. The other piece of the puzzle is branch renewal or branch restructuring, which is part of our new Win@Branch offering. Wincor Nixdorf can customise branch concepts, design a modern look and feel, install innovative technologies and work on efficient delivery strategies. Of course, we focus on creating a detailed analysis of the current situation in the branch. We review existing business processes, plus the current IT infrastructure and branch design at the bank. These evaluations and results then serve as the basis for designing the bank’s unique branch renewal concept.
Q. In a period where IT spending is under pressure, how difficult is it to drive innovation in the development of banking software?
We believe that even during this critical time, banks can still win market share. If you have innovative solutions which can drive productivity then you are a winner.
It might take longer to get into this position because of the current economic climate but the opportunities are enormous. We have a motto at this fair, ‘driving process excellence’. We are a strong believer in the business processes of the bank. We are not just selling a sexy ATM design but we are providing solutions for the total banking environment.
Q. Where do you see your software solutions heading in the future?
We may be able to double our software business in three to four years time if you see what’s possible in terms of software innovation and if we pursue the strategy of helping banks to optimise our processes. Plus, if we can implement something that helps banks to be more productive and increase revenues then this is also a big driver. But despite being the number one player in multi-vendor solutions, we will not sit back. Instead we will continue to set the pace and standards for the industry.
Q. What challenges does Wincor Nixdorf face in terms of the competition for customers in the banking software market?
There are some challenges for us particularly if you see where Wincor Nixdorf has grown from as a predominantly banking hardware provider. But we are gaining significant traction among banks’ that have realised our business solutions can offer enormous value. We would like to be recognised all over the world as the solution provider for the banking branch. In fact, nobody should beat us in this space and we are certainly winning in this area.
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