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Why self-service reliability is more important now than ever before

By : Lisa Kellermeyer

May 01, 2018 08:00 AM

The retail banking industry has gone through some big changes in recent years, and will continue to evolve in the years to come.

 

One of the most significant trends is the gradual reinvention of the branch model. As the self-service channel becomes increasingly powerful, there is less need for people to visit the branch counter to complete routine transactions.

 

This migration of customer activity away from tellers and into self-service opens up potential benefits for financial institutions and consumers alike, but the system only works if the devices people are being asked to use are available and reliable.

 

Reliability is everything

 

The gradual transition of regular transactions and core banking tasks away from the teller and into the self-service channel is a logical progression for the industry, especially if they are looking to drive cost out of the branch model.

 

For financial institutions, it opens opportunities to lower costs by making branches more focused on product sales and efficiency. Tellers who once spent large portions of their time taking deposits and handling other routine transactions at the counter can now use their expertise to build relationships with customers and nurture new revenue opportunities.

 

For the bank customer, the option to manage everyday financial affairs on self-service devices can provide maximum convenience. It means no more waiting in line at a local branch or unnecessary travel to make a deposit when a next-generation, full-function ATM is just around the corner.

 

However, for all of this to work, self-service networks need to achieve the highest possible levels of reliability. Some customers might already be uncomfortable with being asked to use a machine instead of their favorite teller, but if the device they are guided to then fails to work, the damage to a bank’s brand could be considerable.

 

So, the key question is, how can branches achieve the necessary level of reliability?

 

Complete visibility

 

As a bank’s fleet of self-service devices evolves to play an increasingly important role in its wider business model, it's more important than ever to have complete visibility over the network. By gaining detailed, real-time insights into device performance, banks can deliver unrivalled availability for the customer and resolve problems as swiftly as possible.

 

A unified solution such as Vision Management Solution from NCR offers financial institutions the tools required to monitor every piece of equipment in their network. This provides access to valuable, actionable data, and can also help to ensure that customers are receiving a consistent experience across all self-service channels.

 

Use of data will become an increasingly significant trend as far as self-service performance and reliability are concerned. By identifying machines that are holding more cash than they need, or require a software upgrade, for example, banks can take prompt action and reduce the risk of inefficiencies for the business or an unsatisfactory experience for the customer.

 

Another big consideration is incident management. When self-service devices encounter events or problems that need attention, tools that allow management to take targeted, decisive action prove invaluable.

 

As the retail banking sector continues to evolve in the years to come, these sorts of technologies could provide a key competitive advantage for those businesses that want to keep up with the times while maintaining the highest possible standards of customer experience.

Lisa Kellermeyer

Global Marketing Manager

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Lisa Kellermeyer is a Global Marketing Manager for Management Solutions, based at NCR's World Headquarters in Duluth, GA. Lisa is responsible for the marketing of NCR's Financial Device and Transaction Management portfolio.