A frequent conversation in our industry is the dilemma over centralization versus localization. We see this challenge whether we’re collaborating with global financial institutions (FIs) or regional operations, and it’s exacerbated by the wide range of functions (and thus, departments) that are under scrutiny: ATM network supervision, branch lifecycle management, IT management and implementation, transformation projects and more. As the financial landscape evolves, it’s critical that FIs have the right conversation about how to manage their own peripheral needs while focusing more on their customers’ needs.
Severe headwinds are coming in many forms. The old days – when banks were stalwarts in the community and networks were smaller and less complex – are gone. Today, the market is flooded with non-traditional fintech competitors offering solutions to both digital natives and a more tech-driven general population that is clamoring for innovative, omnichannel interactions. The branch has become just one option out of many.
In response, FIs have worked diligently to expand their delivery channels, resulting in a complicated ecosystem that must be managed and monitored (while somehow controlling costs). And compliance requirements have become increasingly difficult to navigate. Banks are under significant cost pressure at both the global and local level, yet must work harder than ever to drive efficiency and enhance consumer experiences. FIs must ask themselves, where does customer experience fit in to this puzzle – how much of a priority is it to our continued success?
The right managed service provider (MSP) can answer that question. An external, global partner can adhere to an FI’s highest standards for service availability across all channels and locations, because that’s their top key performance indicator (KPI). An MSP can provide guidance and expertise for proactively implementing security measures, performing compliance checks, and delivering real-time reporting to central management. A provider with the right portfolio of solutions can become a true partner, providing end-to-end (E2E) centralized support that enables bank staff to prioritize customer experience – concentrating on upselling products and providing more comprehensive support to customers conducting advanced transactions.
Consider some of the ways an MSP can create meaningful change:
- Fresh ideas. The right external partner can provide FIs with the benefit of rich global and local expertise. They can also meet an FI where it is – that is, they offer local experts with a deep knowledge of a particular region, and global experts who have a broad, high-level understanding of major industry challenges and relevant proven solutions.
- Economies of scale. MSPs like Diebold Nixdorf offer the benefit of experienced global networks with the ability to drive down costs through economies of scale and best practices sharing. Our organization, for example, can reduce installation and deployment costs at an ATM network by up to 50%, thanks to a world-leading network of service professionals, E2E local coverage capabilities and a stronger bargaining position.
- Global and local partnerships. In the debate over globalization vs. localization, partners like Diebold Nixdorf can help bridge the divide at the outset. We work with our clients both in-region and from a holistic perspective to determine the proper strategic roadmap for change. We can advise on the best opportunities for cost saving synergies, unpack local security challenges, manage deployments and upgrades, and tailor services and solutions where appropriate.
Flexibility and the willingness to partner, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, should be the key attributes to look for in an MSP. With a thoughtful approach and the right provider, FIs can steer their staff toward solutions that simplify internal processes, increase availability, drive efficiencies and free employees to focus on the core business: enhancing customer engagement and loyalty. Modular, multi-vendor, scalable solutions – provided by a single point of contact with E2E capabilities – can provide the infrastructure and support to make it happen.
How could managed services drive efficiencies and empower your employees? Let’s start a conversation.
This article originally appeared in the June issue of RBR Banking Automation Bulletin.