val u e i n a
c h al l e n g i n g
e c o n o my
A Supplement to American Banker | Produced by SourceMedia’s Custom Media Group
NOw mORE THaN
financial institutions need to rethink
their approach to self-service technology. The faltering economy has highlighted the twin
imperatives of today’s self-service devices: they must let institutions connect, interact and
transact with customers cost-effectively, while also supporting revenue-generating activities.
NCR Corp. has broadly re-defined self-service to include a host of innovative new technologies
that will position institutions to accomplish these goals and take advantage of the coming
recovery, even as they navigate the current downturn.
Without much fanfare, self-service technology has evolved to become the de facto
standard in so many aspects of consumers’ lives. Americans have easily adapted to pumping
gas, paying for groceries, checking in at the airport and performing any number of other
retail tasks on their own. For most, the transition has been so positive that they now feel
inconvenienced when forced to wait to receive service from an attendant.
In the financial services industry, the shift to self-service technology has been just as all-
encompassing. Automated teller machines first made it possible for consumers to conduct
transactions 24/7, and the concept has been further enriched through banking by phone,
the Internet and mobile devices. Self-service has become such an integral part of retail
banking that customers no longer view it as a distinct component of their total experience.
Many times, it is the experience.
All too often, unfortunately, banks do not deliver the experience customers expect. They
have tacked on delivery channels over time as the technologies have become viable, and
now manage each separately. While customers are doing their part by avidly jumping in to
use every method of self-service technology available, banks often are letting them down
with experiences that are disconnected, cumbersome and ultimately, unsatisfactory.
Analysts agree that banks should get on the same page as their customers. They should
embrace self-service technology as energetically as their customers have, by viewing it the
same way customers do: as a crucial set of services that are part and parcel of interacting
with an organization. As TowerGroup put it in a recent report, “The time has finally come for
financial institutions to realize that customers are multi-channel creatures and they will no
longer tolerate inconsistent experiences across a financial institution’s delivery channels.”
The fact is that consumers have yet to meet a channel they don’t like. They continue to be
avid users of the branch, even as they embrace new methods of conducting transactions.
This reality presents an opportunity for banks that adopt a clear strategy to connect, interact
and transact with their customers through all possible channels. These banks will get the
benefit of extremely loyal customers who will be pleased at the ease and convenience of
doing business with a multi-channeled institution. These banks also will be able to grow
relationships and generate revenue by making it easy and intuitive for customers to open
accounts and purchase new products through many avenues of access. Finally, they
will enjoy operational efficiencies by being able to migrate low-value transactions to less
It may seem counterintuitive that the time to make major investments in self-service
technology would be in the midst of a bruising economic crisis. The reality is that tough
times have a way of forcing the most pressing issues to the top of the agenda. The gloomy
economy will require banks to studiously focus on those initiatives that will contribute
most to their ongoing profitability and stability. A holistic and comprehensive approach to
self-service delivery channels fits this bill. Meanwhile, any spending plan that perpetuates
the model of multiple, siloed delivery channels is becoming increasingly untenable.
1 A Supplement to American Banker | Produced by SourceMedia’s Custom Media Group
Self-Service, Then and Now
Self-service technology was originally viewed as a means of eliminating branches.
That didn’t sit well with customers, who demand a more broadly defined approach.
The banking industry has come a long way already in its use of self-service technology.
Initially, the idea was to move transactions to self-service channels so that expensive physical
branches could eventually be phased out. That plan hit a wall, however, when customers
responded by using all the channels available to them. Today’s customer-focused retail
delivery strategy requires banks to fully embrace all the self-service channels, while also
making those channels co-exist efficiently with the branches.
The explosive growth of online activities, combined with the emergence of tech-savvy
younger generations, makes having self-service technology an imperative. Forrester Research
predicted last year that the number of online banking households in the U.S. would grow by
55% in less than five years to 72 million. If that happens, 63% of all households, or 76% of
online households, would be banking online. Most of this growth will come from the Gen Y
segment; 85% of them will be banking online, according to Forrester.
But the branch will continue to be a factor. Even though consumers prefer electronic
channels for transactions like checking account balances and transferring funds, they
“overwhelmingly prefer human channels for service transactions like problem resolution, fee
disputes and address changes,” according to Ron Shevlin, an analyst at Aite Group. This is true
“T h e T i m e
even among younger consumers who are more likely to use electronic channels.
The challenge for banks today is to emphasize revenue-generating sales and service activities
within the branch, while offloading routine transactions to self-service channels or minimizing
their presence in the branch. As TowerGroup put it, “Banks are now in the precarious position has finally come for
of requiring modern delivery capabilities to serve the savvy, electronically-oriented consumers,
while continuing to maintain strong relationships with the diminishing, yet profitable, set of financial institutions to
realize that customers
What Customers Want are multi-channel
Service through the branch is just one piece of what customers want.
They crave access through all channels, all the time.
While banks have made great progress in their use and understanding of self-service
creatures and they
channels, customers’ evolving expectations continue to set the bar higher. And according to will no longer tolerate
recently released research from Gartner, customers expect a lot.
Gartner surveyed more than 2,000 consumers in the U.S. and U.K., asking if they agreed inconsistent experiences
with the statement, “My financial services companies need to support me whenever I need
them.” Fifty-eight percent of U.S. consumers agreed with that statement, with younger across a financial
respondents agreeing more wholeheartedly. Sixty-five percent of 18 to 24 year olds, and
68% of 25 to 34 year olds agreed. institution’s delivery
Gartner also found that consumer preference for the branch is clear, no matter what the age,
geography or gender of the respondent. Gartner concluded that the survey data confirms that
channels.” — TowerGroup
“multi-channel integration is a prerequisite for customer-focused retail bank delivery. Consumers
… want banks to support them, wherever they are, whenever they want that support.”
TowerGroup notes that consumer expectations are constantly rising as customers
increasingly experience seamless service in other industries, and expect their banks to
perform at the same level. “Institutions that can fulfill these rising expectations will have
first-mover advantage while the remainder of the banking industry struggles to become
more responsive and agile,” TowerGroup said.
Paying attention to customer expectations is important. Providing service that meets,
and better yet, exceeds expectations can transform lukewarm customers into loyal ones,
representing a simple shift in attitude that can have a major impact on the bottom line.
Moving just five percent of customers from moderately to highly committed can lead to an
additional $1 billion of deposits, for every one million of customers, according to J.D. Power
and Associates’ Retail Banking Satisfaction Study. That’s because satisfied customers use
more products and services from the bank, as well as recommend them more frequently to
their family and friends. Having a self-service strategy that draws customers in and delivers the
type of consistent, multi-channeled experience that they expect will prove extremely valuable
to not just weathering the economic storm, but gaining a lasting competitive advantage.
A Supplement to American Banker | Produced by SourceMedia’s Custom Media Group 2
Executing in a Troubled Economy
Self-service should not be viewed as an extra expenditure, but a key tool in
moving customers toward new habits that will have a lasting impact on the
cost of delivering services.
The evidence all points to the need for banks to offer a wide range of self-service channels
and to ensure they are integrated to provide a consistent experience for customers. The
challenge is to execute all this, at a time when information-technology budgets are shrinking.
Banks need to keep in mind that self-service technology is vital if they want to ultimately
lower the cost of delivering retail services. By implementing a thoughtful self-service strategy,
banks can migrate low-value, time-consuming transactions to lower-cost channels. The branch
then can be optimized to handle transactions that require more face-to-face interaction with
customers and boost revenue. “Now more than ever, self-service is a critical tool for managing
the cost structure,” said Mike Webster, Chief Strategy Officer at NCR Corp.
Banks also need to consider the impact of not keeping up with competitors, many of which
are pursuing advanced self-service strategies. The more customers experience the ease and
satisfaction of depositing checks directly into ATMs via imaging, for example, the more they
will notice the conspicuous absence of such services at other institutions. Banks that duck the
Building a call to self-service technology will not only be missing out on the opportunity to acquire new
“n ow m o re customers, but the opportunity to cement customer loyalty.
The flagging economic environment actually presents an opportunity for banks. Many
than ever, self-service consumers are seeking the safety that comes with an FDIC insured bank account, making
deposit growth a “bright spot” in 2009 for information technology investments, TowerGroup
is a critical tool for said in a recent report. Banks that utilize self-service technology can take advantage of
managing the cost a wide range of delivery channels to reach out to customers and secure deposits, and
structure.” The bottom line is that banks should not refrain from taking solid steps to achieving their
self-service delivery goals, despite the troubled economy. Self-service technology, broadly
— Mike Webster, NCR Corp.
implemented, offers numerous opportunities to move customers toward habits that ultimately
will have a lasting and beneficial impact on the cost of delivering services. In addition, a bank
with robust self-service channels will be well positioned to gather deposits from many access
points, just as customers are seeking a stable place to put more of them.
The Future of Self-Service: Consistency
Banks need to adapt to a new, broader definition of self-service technology. Seamless
integration between all channels, including branch touchpoints, is the wave of the future.
As consumers go about their lives, they increasingly are coming into contact with self-service
applications that integrate multiple channels. For example, the airlines let customers reserve
and pay for tickets online, pick them up at a kiosk at the airport, and receive text messages
on their mobile devices warning them of delays or changes. Similarly, healthcare providers are
pushing the self-service envelope by enabling patients to schedule appointments and fill out
paperwork online, check in and validate their insurance information via portable tablets once
in the doctor’s office, and receive lab-test results or other information following appointments,
via mobile devices.
The banking industry is stepping up with its own version of these advanced applications.
One emerging solution employs multiple channels to address the waste of productivity and
time that occurs when customers miss their scheduled appointments with sales consultants
in the branch. The service, introduced by NCR Corp. in November, lets customers schedule
appointments with bank sales associates at a time and location convenient to them, via the
Internet, mobile devices or branch kiosks. It then confirms appointments immediately through
the customer’s choice of methods: text message, e-mail, or text-to-speech. “The airlines have
done a really good job of creating consistency of experience,” said Brian Bailey, vice president
of financial industry marketing at NCR. “We’re trying to bring that concept to banks so they are
more consistent in how they communicate across a range of channels.”
3 A Supplement to American Banker | Produced by SourceMedia’s Custom Media Group
n e w S Ta n da r d
i n S e l f- S e rv i c e
Under normal circumstances, customers miss their scheduled appointments 10% to 20% of
the time. Automated reminders can reduce these missed meetings by up to a third, according
to NCR industry marketing estimates, since customers are less likely to forget a meeting and
more likely to reschedule if they have a conflict. Sales consultants can then be freed up to NCR Corp. is inviting financial institutions to
meet with other customers, improving branch productivity. The booking system also provides experience a new world of interactivity, as it pursues
a real-time view of which specialists are available and registers any cancellations immediately, a strategic goal of helping companies connect,
ensuring a positive customer experience. interact and transact with customers.
Self-Service Business Banking “We are defining self-service more broadly,” said
Small businesses are ideally suited to taking advantage of many forms of self-service Brian Bailey, vice president of financial industry
technology. Not only are they avid users of mobile technology — a key self-service marketing at NCR. Self-service technology is critical
channel — but they have cash handling needs that cry out to be automated. for companies intent on building customer loyalty,
The future of self-service banking is also likely to include a heavy dose of mobile technology. growing relationships and driving operational
“Mobile banking is here to stay and will grow significantly faster than online banking,” according efficiencies, he added.
to Celent in a 2007 report. Celent predicted that 35% of online banking households would be
using mobile banking by 2010, up from less than 1% in 2007. Generation Y will gravitate to NCR’s self-service strategy includes four distinct
mobile banking faster than the general population, Celent said. Furthermore, 40% of Gen Yers areas of focus. The first is to provide software that
say that the availability of mobile financial services will be a factor in their choice of bank. ensures a consistent, high-level experience across
Mobile banking is also reaching the corporate market. Corporate users are excellent multiple channels. The second is to harness
candidates for mobile banking because this segment already takes full advantage of the self-service technology as a means of automating
flexibility of mobile technology. Banks need to step up with innovative solutions to meet the low-value transactions in the branch, to free up
needs of this demanding customer base. As many as 38% of small businesses surveyed by Aite more time for in-person, high-value transactions.
Group expressed interest in using mobile banking services. Further, the competitive wheels The third is to promote new fee-generating
are in motion: Celent estimates that eight of the top 25 banks will have a mobile solution for possibilities through existing self-service channels,
corporate customers available in 2008, and 14 of the top 25 will address mobile by the end such as third-party bill payments via ATMs. And the
of 2009. fourth is to provide highly graphic, intuitive tools to
The right way to add mobile banking services, experts agree, is to integrate them with the help institutions manage and ensure the uptime of
institution’s online banking services. In addition, the application should utilize a common their self-service devices.
platform to support both retail and commercial mobile-banking customers. Such an approach
offers consistency across all the channels and allows changes or updates to be reflected in NCR is striving to help institutions deliver best-in-
real time. NCR’s APTRA Mobile Banking and Mobile Business Banking software ensures this class self-service experiences to their customers.
type of optimal user experience by re-factoring a bank’s online site and transferring the content This means the transactions occur through an
to the mobile browser page to fit the handset screen. intuitive interface, they are highly available,
For transactions that can’t be handled through the mobile channel, such as cash and check and they operate consistently through multiple
deposits, other forms of self-service automation exist. Having to make a run to the branch to channels. Finally, “they present transactions of
deposit money can be a huge drain on the time and resources of a small business. Automated value where and when customers want them,”
services, such as NCR’s Intelligent Deposit Business Services, lets merchant customers said Mike Webster, chief strategy officer at NCR.
take care of time-consuming tasks, such as depositing checks or paying bills, at self-service Financial institutions can ensure they deliver
machines that are available whenever it is convenient for them, 24 hours a day, seven days a world-class self-service by tapping into hosted
week. Small businesses don’t have to wait on line to see a teller, or worry about getting to the or managed services from NCR that remove
bank during business hours. Banks benefit from transaction costs that are four times lower, as upfront resource requirements from the equation,
well as the opportunity to ultimately reduce dedicated business teller functions in the branch. while ensuring extremely secure, highly available
Generating Revenue: Another Pillar of Self-Service
There are two sides to the self-service argument: the ability to cut costs, Investments in self-service technology will pay off
as well as boost revenue. now and in the future. During the current economic
There’s no doubt that self-service technology offers an opportunity to lower the cost of crunch, self-service lowers the cost structure by
delivering retail services. But financial institutions also need to recognize that a well-executed creating operational efficiencies and opening up
self-service plan can help them acquire new customers and cement relationships with existing the possibility of revenue generation. By the time
ones, driving loyalty and ultimately revenue. the recovery is underway, high-quality self-service
A well-conceived, broadly implemented self-service strategy should take advantage of routines will become standard. “Customers are
technology available today that can help customers complete tasks in a timely, efficient and demanding this capability,” Webster said. “We will
friendly manner. Being able to fulfill customers’ needs at the moment they need help — not reach a point where you’re just not competitive in
just when the branch happens to be open — will go a long way toward promoting lasting and the marketplace if you’re not offering it.” n
A Supplement to American Banker | Produced by SourceMedia’s Custom Media Group 4
One innovative way of being in the right place at the right time is to make it easy for
customers to complete mundane but necessary tasks, such as paying bills. Citibank
Romania, for example, is taking advantage of ‘No Envelope’ Intelligent Deposit ATMs with
Korean-american BanK APTRA software from NCR to encourage people to pay their bills through the bank. The
K e e P S Pa c e advanced technology makes it easy for the bank to accept and validate bundles of cash
wiTh clienTS inserted directly through the ATM. There is no need for customers to deal with an envelope,
or for the bank to reconcile consumer claims against amounts deposited in an envelope.
Devastatingly simple, the service easily lives up to its billing as ‘Easy Payment.’ Even
better, the bank is generating revenue in the form of per-transaction fees from the billing
Los Angeles-based Hanmi Bank, the nation’s companies. The companies meanwhile are enjoying reduced operational costs, improved
largest Korean-American bank, wanted to offer cash flow from more timely payments, and increased customer satisfaction ratings.
its retail and merchant customers a premier Personalization and targeted marketing offer other avenues for sealing customer
experience whenever they interacted with the bank relationships and generating revenue through self-service. OCBC Bank in Singapore, for
through the Web or mobile devices. With consumer example, is using sophisticated APTRA Relate software from NCR to create customized
and business interest in online and mobile transactions and marketing messages, without impacting transaction times. Customers
interactivity expanding, it also wanted to develop have responded positively. Sixty percent have saved their favorite transaction option. And
service delivery channels that would be capable of response rates to targeted marketing campaigns through the ATMs have been 50% higher
attracting new customers. than direct mail campaigns, at 50% less cost.
So it turned to NCR for help in rebuilding its online The Branch in a Self-Service World
banking experience, and applying the improved The branch continues to be hugely important to consumers, so banks must
features to a new mobile banking system. The work to understand consumer drivers and habits there.
result, made possible through NCR’s APTRA Mobile Given the growth of alternative delivery channels, it’s almost staggering how popular the
Banking and Mobile Business Banking software, branch remains. Studies show that the branch still resonates with customers of all ages. In its
is a self-service solution that offers a consistent 2008 U.S. Consumer Channel Preference survey, Financial Insights found that nearly 77% of
format and real-time updates across multiple respondents visit a branch at least once per month. That percentage far outstripped the 61%
channels. Even the bank’s marketing messages who went to the ATM and the 55% who used an online banking site. Even as online banking
will be uniform across the online, mobile and usage has increased from 15% in 2001, branch usage has remained consistently high.
ATM channels, through the use of NCR’s APTRA The Financial Insights research found that the vast majority of consumers would prefer to
eMarketing software. open accounts or apply for credit at a branch. More than 85% of consumers said they prefer
to use the branch to open an account, while about 9% would use the Internet. Similarly,
Equally important, Hanmi is taking advantage almost 77% of consumers said they would prefer to apply for a consumer loan in a branch,
of NCR’s hosted services, enabling it to deploy while 12% would prefer to use the Internet.
the APTRA Mobile Banking suite quickly without Perhaps most startling, banks cannot count on younger generations to alleviate the
the usual upfront capital demands of traditional pressure to have a branch presence. In one of the more surprising outcomes of the Financial
software installations. NCR’s state-of-the-art Insights survey, the youngest adults, aged 18 to 24 years, have the highest branch utilization.
redundant data centers ensure the peace of mind Surprisingly, more than 86% of this group visits a branch at least once per month. Consumers
that comes with superior security and unparalleled aged 25 to 34 were the least likely to visit the branch at least once per month.
application availability. The unexpected results of the survey underscore the importance of carefully researching
channel usage trends before making investments. Banks need to fully understand how
Hanmi Bank understands that customer retention customers use each of the channels, and why. Consulting services are available to help
increases markedly the more touchpoints a banks develop models that can assist them in understanding transaction volumes and
customer has. Its partnership with NCR, signed in flows, as well as customer motivations and attitudes. Particularly in a tight economy, banks
late 2008, positions it to keep pace with its clients need to base their technology investment decisions on bona-fide data from the field, not on
in a cost-effective manner as they expand their use what they presume is going on in the branches and through their alternate channels.
of various channels. “NCR’s solutions are helping NCR offers a Branch Effectiveness Modeling service that uses sophisticated
us extend our customer reach and raise our level benchmarking and simulation techniques to map consumer behavior to branch operations,
of service for both retail and business clients,” ensuring new self-service and other solutions have optimal impact. Similarly, NCR’s Branch
said Wesley Won, senior vice president and MIS Design Service creates branch layouts that work to steer customers to self-service channels,
manager at Hanmi. n helping banks offload more routine, non-revenue-generating transactions from the teller line.
Banks have another very powerful tool at their fingertips to help them manage the overall
dynamics of their delivery channels: the trove of transaction data created through their
day-to-day business operations. When overlaid with leading-edge analytical capabilities,
transaction data provides actionable information regarding channel availability. Perhaps
more important, it offers valuable insight on where investments should be made to maximize
5 A Supplement to American Banker | Produced by SourceMedia’s Custom Media Group
the customer experience and the full reach of various channels. With NCR’s APTRA Vision
Management software, banks can set targets related to the performance of specific devices
and — through Google-like maps and other useful graphics — track the results, as well as the
impact on customer service
Gaining Efficiencies in the Branch
A new, broader definition means self-service technology should be deployed
within the branch, not just alongside it.
With the branch network continuing to play an outsized role in the total mix of delivery
channels, banks need to develop a plan for wringing the most efficiency possible out of each
individual branch. One proven method of doing this is to deploy self-service technology — not
as an adjunct to the branch channel — but within the branch. “A well-defined self-service
strategy can create a better experience in the branch,” said Bailey of NCR.
Adopting a broad definition of self-service can help banks minimize the time spent on
routine teller transactions, so more time can be devoted to sales and service functions. For
example the automation of non-cash transactions such as check re-orders, money transfers,
electronic bill payment and change of address can be automated through NCR’s Account
And with secure customer authentication, fast-track product applications are now
possible. The ability to print product documentation or completed application forms using
NCR’s patented two sided thermal printing provides another revenue opportunity for a
financial institution’s self-service channel. By giving more options and deployment methods
to automate transactions and sales processes, banks can differentiate their customer
service no matter what physical constraints they operate within, allowing staff to focus on
their customers. Account Service Terminals from NCR similarly offload routine transactions,
such as check re-orders and statement requests, from the teller line.
Improving Cash Handling can create a
Consumer and merchant customers alike can benefit greatly when time-consuming
tasks like counting cash are automated.
Another traditional teller function that can be automated is cash handling, a costly and
time-consuming part of the retail branch operation. According to NCR research, tellers spend
in the branch.”
an hour a day on cash-related activities, including counting up their drawers at the beginning,
— Brian Bailey, NCR
end, and mid-points of their shifts, and counting out each cash-in/cash-out transaction. In fact,
it is not uncommon for a banknote to be counted by hand at least six times on its journey from
the vault through the branch.
About half of all teller transactions involve cash, according to NCR’s research, with the typical
retail cash transaction taking two to four minutes, and the equivalent business transaction
taking five to ten. In cash transactions, tellers are fully focused on the cash component 25%
to 50% of the time, resulting in limited engagement with the customer and eroding the
possibility of a more sales- and service-oriented conversation.
Branch managers can re-orient how tellers spend their time in front of customers by freeing
them from the burden of cash counting. The latest development along these lines is the Teller
Automated Cash Recycler, which eliminates the need to manually count cash, while also
making the deposited notes immediately available for withdrawals. The first impact of the
cash recyclers is to reduce the time required to complete a transaction, by an average of 60
seconds for deposits and 30 seconds for withdrawals.
Another feature of cash recyclers is that they store the cash in a secure safe with restricted
access, rather than in tills at each teller station. The automated system efficiently deploys the
cash, reducing the possibility of manual errors while also enabling less cash to be held at the
bank at any time. Perhaps the biggest benefit — at least from the customer’s perspective — is
that they do not have to stand face to face with physical barriers designed to protect the cash.
By significantly reducing cash exposure at the branch, a bank can take down the physical
barriers and pursue an open teller-station design more suitable for engaging in sales- and
A Supplement to American Banker | Produced by SourceMedia’s Custom Media Group 6
A final benefit of cash recycling is strictly economic. Recycling cash can help banks avoid
recirculation fees, which the Federal Reserve began imposing in July 2007. In a bid to save an
estimated $35 million a year, the Fed began requiring banks to recycle cash within their own
networks. The Fed charges banks that do not do so $5 per bundle (after certain exemptions are
reached) whenever they send in $10 and $20 notes during the same week in which they order
those denominations. Since this policy went into effect, financial institutions have had to pay
almost $8 million in recirculation fees, TowerGroup said.
Cash recycling is one of those technologies that can be useful to a variety of organizations.
Banks have an opportunity to install cash recycling technology on site at retailers with whom
they have treasury services relationships. The technology can help their retailer customers
alleviate the burdens of cash handling, while also reducing fraud.
T h e e n d ga m e
The Flexible Branch Network Self-Service Tech n o lo gy
Branch networks are vast and far from static. Banks need to ensure they optimize the mix i S i n T e g r al T o g e T T i n g
of branches and self-service devices they support as customer tastes and habits evolve. Through The currenT
Even as banks strive to re-orient the mix of transactions occurring at the teller line, they must
also pay attention to the branch network as a whole. With consolidation continuing apace,
e c o n o m i c m al a i S e a n d
the nation’s largest banks are acquiring networks that contain thousands upon thousands P r e Pa r i n g f o r T h e
of branches. It is unrealistic to think that each of these branches should be set up to serve i m P e n d i n g re c ove ry.
customers in the same way, utilizing the same self-service and design elements.
As the president of a $20 billion-plus asset bank in the Midwest put it in a recent interview, the
branch of the future must be viewed by customers as a destination. “In the past, it was a chore to
go to the bank,” this banker said. “The challenge is to make the experience more fun, while still With the economy showing no signs of improving,
dealing with the serious subject of money.” The definition of an attractive destination will differ, a broadly defined and aggressively managed
the banker said, depending whether the branch is located in a large city, a rural area, a student strategy of deploying self-service technology is
neighborhood, or a small town. “There will be different kinds for different people,” he said. more important than ever before. An effective
Not only will the branches themselves differ, but so will the design and feature set of the self- plan will involve more than just adding on new
service terminals within them. Automated teller machines located in branches heavily populated self-service channels to support expanded customer
by students, for example, may be outfitted to accept third-party bill payments and check-image interaction. The channels also must be integrated
deposits, rather than just allow for “cash and dash” transactions. Not only are customers better to present a consistent and intuitive experience
served, but banks get a reprieve from striving to be all things to all people in all places. for merchant and consumer customers.
Consulting and modeling services available through NCR can help banks define the
characteristics of their customer bases by geography, and design branch and self-service Broadly implemented, self-service technology can
solutions to best serve them. In addition, customer expectations are constantly evolving as help banks drastically lower their cost structures
their familiarity and confidence with certain types of transactions grow, and as new capabilities during the current economic downturn. Exemplary
become available through self-service devices. The NCR models can take these evolving self-service technology — consistent through
preferences into account. multiple channels — is critical to helping banks
meet and exceed customer expectations and
The Value of Managed Services guarantee satisfaction. And customer satisfaction
Self-service terminals will sorely miss their mark if they are not available when customers is nothing less than an insitution’s lifeblood when
want them. Moving to managed services is one way of providing that critical uptime. it comes to persevering through tough economic
One of the biggest drivers of customer satisfaction is the availability of services, whether times. When the rebound happens, banks that
through ATMs that are up and running, or tellers who are able to access their terminals. make it easy for customers to connect, interact
Increasingly, banks are maximizing systems availability through managed service offerings and transact through a broad set of self-service
that ensure uptime, while also providing insight to business analytics that can help them run channels will be the competitors to catch. n
the business more efficiently.
In today’s rough economic environment, one of the big benefits of moving to a managed
services plan is the ability to save money by keeping fixed operational costs off the balance
sheet. Banks can draw down resources when demand spikes and ease up during the troughs.
One overseas bank recently documented a 30% savings in ATM operating costs by moving to
a managed services plan through NCR. Besides being more cost-effective, managed services
ensure access to the most up-to-date technology available, without requiring any internal
investment of resources to get up to speed.
Similarly, hosted services let entities successfully shift from higher-cost upfront capital
expenditures, to lower-cost, hosted system implementations. Institutions can quickly deploy
new applications and be assured their operations will be highly available with maximum
security. NCR already hosts more than 500 clients worldwide. n
A Supplement to American Banker | Produced by SourceMedia’s Custom Media Group 7