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Review from Self-Service Banking Europe - Day 1

24 May 2017

Review from Self-Service Banking Europe - Day 1

James Roberts/James Eaglen,
Product Manager - CTS,

Greetings from RBR’s Self-Service Banking Europe 2017 Conference in London. Styling itself as the “premier ATM and self-service banking event”, this years’ event is taking place from the 23rd to 24th May and is the first time we have seen the conference in this form looking at self-service banking, having previously had a greater focus on the ATM only.

With a wide range of attendees from the world’s leading financial institutions, the new generation of challenger banks and fintechs, the event promises to increase the self-service focus, whilst retaining its roots in ATM.  

Representing Vocalink on the first day was Ian Gausden, Managing Director of Card Transaction Services discussing how changes in payments will drive changes in retail banking and Andy McGonnell, Head of Product Management for CTS who was co-presenting on the topic of globalising an ATM network.

After a few warm introductions and opening remarks the conference kicked off in earnest with the Keynote Addresses including representation from NCR, Microsoft and Google. These presentations were aimed at getting ready for a digital future and that customer experience is key.

Jose Resendiz of NCR was keen to highlight that the financial industry is under pressure to innovate and set about highlighting how institutions could meet the needs of their customers with Jose stating that we need to use technology to create customer experiences and learn from other industries, environments and situations. Don’t think of ATM as a separate experience but as an extension of mobile and other common interactions. A message we’ve heard before; will the ATM experience become more like a mobile experience?

Richard Peers of Microsoft put digital transformation to the fore discussing four pillars:

1) Engage your customers

2) Empower your employees

3) Optimise your operations

4) Transform your products


With a focus on the product and how you can unlock new revenue opportunities. Capturing and understanding data on an individuals’ interactions through distinct channels, reasoning on that information enables you to better understand your customers’ needs and how you can deliver a better user experience through the “optimum channel, optimum time with optimum message”. Banks can’t be all things to all people so will a market place of approved service providers create a banking market place?

Time to listen to Vocalink’s Ian Gausden discuss how change in payments will drive changes in retail banking. “Payments are no longer a big deal, just a small IMPORTANT part of many things”. Taking a look at some of the major changes throughout the last 20 years shows just how much both expectations and capabilities have changed, but let’s not forget the things that haven’t; the absolute need for SAFTEY, SECURITY AND RELIABIILTY.

With the first break looming and the smell of coffee filling the room there seems to be some key messages from the morning that really resonate. You have to embrace the vast amounts of data now available; you have to reason with the data to improve the user experience and you have to strive to remain relavant.

Following the quick coffee pit stop it was time to swing by the conference hall again with Andy Matters from Diebold Nixdorf providing a view from the hardware vendors, discussing the changing environment of the bank. His stance is that the bank of the future will “cross over between a coffee shop and a bank” carried out with a small footprint and retaining the human element for relationship building and technology managing everything else. Digitisation of the “machine” will be key to ensure the high levels of up time that a branch of the future will require, in order to provide a unique customer experience.

Next up, Marco Vagnerini, the Head of Self-Service Banking at UniCredit talking about the changing banking landscape and the critical factors for a successful Self-Service strategy. Marco highlighted that a self-service strategy starts with the customer and understanding their needs – something that applies in all businesses all over the world. From there we can start promoting the technology, interestingly in order to do this UniCredit needed to retain its staff as they were key to assisting the customer in getting a stronger level of engagement.

The final presentation of the session was from Prakash Hariramani from Google discussing the  role of mobile payments in a multichannel self-service ecosystem. The issue at the moment is that very few mobile wallets that offer a universal service allow you to leave your physical wallet at home – when asked, certainly nobody in the hall did. The example from an ATM/Self-Service perspective being that if a customer can enable the debit card in Android Pay, they can also use NFC technology to withdraw cash, helping to prevent fraud in a self-service environment. A simple concept but one that surely needs to be explored in more detail?

Lunch is calling but another theme is emerging from the discussions. The human element remains key to a successful self-service strategy. Without staff to help bridge the gap from the old world to the new, our industry will struggle to migrate to new business models.

The afternoon saw the conference split into different streams providing more in depth focus on certain themes. First up the hot topic of how the industry could exploit the power of ATM software. The presentations showcased strategies to utilise ATM software to introduce advanced technology into self-service devices. Cumhur Guven from Yapi Kredi (Turkey) remarking that a move to multi-vendor ATM software has allowed the banks to escape the issue of legacy systems and provide the customer with a more user friendly interface and faster transactions.

What is clear from the conversations is that irrespective of the software provider of the ATM, a seamless self-service banking experience allows financial institutions to be more cost effective, closer to the customer and ultimately generate more revenue.

The second stream focused on Maximising ATM Availability and Acceptance. The speakers covered topics from outsourcing to building and managing a shared non-branch ATM network. As part of the discussions, Vocalink’s Andy McGonnell teamed up with Chris Winter from Discover Financial Services to highlight the growing importance of looking at an ATM network as a global entity. This confirms that in a global world, access to ATMs via the connectivity of schemes will become increasingly more important in providing customers with a seamless user experience.

The final session of the day looked at digital transformation and how by using self-service, a financial institution can enhance their customer experience.

The customer experience stream looked at the journey many financial institutes may need to take in re-thinking their digital on-boarding process and digital transformation.  Emily Barton from Barclays gave some strong evidence of the move to mobile, with 33.4 million app logins per week. There’s an obvious need to follow the customer, be where they are and make a great first impression (because we all know you can’t repair that). This is the start of the journey, nobody should rush, but we should all learn as we progress.

Now it is time for the evening drinks reception, so we will sign off but look out for an update tomorrow on what happens on Day 2.

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