Mind the Gap: The Challenges of Managing a Multi-Vendor ATM Fleet

The top three trends affecting fleet management in today’s financial environment

Just about one year ago this month, Citigroup’s CFO John Gerspach announced that he planned to close out 2014 with approximately 30,000 employees dedicated to working on regulatory and compliance issues.

That’s a lot of bandwidth — and with good reason. Regulatory and compliance issues are not only critically important, they play a key role in both the business and technology strategies of financial institutions.

Now think about this: Within your FI’s organizational structure, who’s fielding the onslaught of incoming regulations and requirements from the FFIEC, PCI Security Standards Council, Office of the Comptroller of Currency, FDIC, Federal Reserve, NCUA and the rest of the alphabet soup?

Whether you’ve got a good answer to that question or not, none of us can deny that roles and responsibilities are shifting. I’ve watched the financial industry go through a massive sea of changes over the past decade, and I know that these days, everyone is expected to do more with less. That can mean critical issues simply fall through the cracks. From my perspective, there are three major trends changing ATM network-management as we know it. Read on to see how your FI stacks up against this evolving landscape.

No. 1: Newer, More Complex Technology
Our CEO, Andy Mattes, has shared many insights on the Great Disruption Of 2014, otherwise known as migration to Windows 7. According to some reports, up to 95% of the world’s ATMs were running Windows XP — and some banks have yet to make the switch. It was a costly, arduous process that we hope won’t happen again.

Yet it illustrates the vastly different technological landscape we operate in today. Gone are the days of simple ATM operating systems like OS/2; we’re working with more and more sophisticated systems, requiring updates, patches and support in real-time, along with software and hardware that can operate nimbly in an agnostic ecosystem. And as more and more transactions are migrated to self-service terminals, the devices must advance in complexity, too.

Simultaneously, the bar for service has been raised exponentially. Truck rolls and on-site technicians are no longer enough. Consider your smart phone: How many apps do you currently use? How many would you use if you had to go to the Apple Store every time one of them needed an update? We’ve managed the largest field network in North America for decades, but we also anticipated the need for real-time, 24/7 monitoring and updates to provide more effective lifecycle management and protection. It’s the reason we introduced our Managed Services solution almost a decade ago, and the reason we’re industry leaders in ATM monitoring thanks to real-time device management capabilities leveraging our software, services and dedicated data centers throughout the country.

No. 2: Security, Security, Security
We wouldn’t be Diebold if we didn’t talk about security. Today, security at the ATM is more necessary — and the threats are more diverse — than ever before. Whether it’s the physical security of the cash inside the terminal, threats to software in the form of malware, or the enormous ramifications of skimming, every day seems to bring a new form of attack that must be dealt with.

In ATM Marketplace’s 2014 ATM Software Trends & Analysis, among FIs who said they planned to change the size of their fleet, 87.9% said they wanted to expand their self-service network. That means a growing, enhanced network of terminals with greater functionality — most likely a multi-vendor network at that — which your organization must secure and monitor. And as transactions become more complex, there’s an additional need for security around the new transactions and services within a bank’s expanding self-service ecosystem.

Several companies have sprung up hoping to address the evolving ATM software and hardware landscape, but we see some major red flags with these non-banking-oriented companies. Often they’re small operations, which means that an FI may have little to no recourse if the company under-delivers or underperforms on expectations. Additionally, and more troublingly, these vendors may not operate under the strict security and compliance protocols of industry leaders in the ATM market who have proven expertise in the field. As part of Diebold’s ATM management solution, FIs receive the premium level of security they have come to expect from Diebold.

No. 3: Management & Overhead
A decade ago, we met primarily with dedicated ATM Ops groups at the banks we collaborated with. As roles have evolved and the dancefloor has become crowded with mobile and other remote banking options, we’ve begun meeting with a much wider range of departments. But most often, we’re connecting with the IT department first and foremost.

For some FIs, this shift in responsibilities has created opportunities to re-evaluate the management of the ATM network, as IT groups traditionally focused on PCs, firewalls, routers and the like are being tasked with managing a vast network of terminals that includes hardware, software, security and services. For many teams, it’s simply outside the scope of their core competencies.

Additionally, we’ve found that most FIs have, on average, eight to 10 vendor relationships in their self-service channel alone. Doesn’t sound so bad, until you factor in the multiple person-to-person relationships within those partnerships, from the legal contact to the sales contact to the day-to-day steady state management. One executive we spoke with estimated he interacted with approximately 50 outside individuals, just to competently manage his self-service channel.

Many banks (or at least many banks’ C-suites) might believe they’re saving costs by using a DIY approach to ATM management. But we see time and time again that there are huge, not-so-hidden expenses in the form of administrative overhead, staffing and technology. We’ve designed a consolidated business process outsourcing solution specifically to address that challenge, and provide FIs with a turn-key management system that’s simple, holistic, secure and compliant.

So what’s an FI to Do?
In a recent survey, Forrester asked FIs to rate the top five business requirements needed to drive their branch transformation initiatives. Unsurprisingly, three of the top five offered significant opportunities for improvement at the ATM, especially from a management perspective: 44% stated the need for increased operational efficiency, 39% wanted increased channel integration and 34% noted the importance of managing costs.

Did any of those wants or needs make your 2015 wish list? Maybe they did. Or maybe your ATM fleet management challenges are something else altogether. We’d love to hear what’s keeping you up at night. Talk to one of our Managed Services experts to find out how we can help relieve the burden of monitoring, updating and servicing your ATM network – and manage all those regulatory and compliance concerns along the way.

One Response to “Mind the Gap: The Challenges of Managing a Multi-Vendor ATM Fleet”

  1. telly jones

    I would like 2 apply 4 a position l have 16 years of experience with alarms cameras 404 313 3378