Enhancing service without sacrificing security

World Finance rewards Latin America’s leading automation technology provider


Itautec’s success in the financial industry is directly linked to the competitive advantages of the solutions it offers to the market. After more than three decades of operation, the company has been able to provide clients with a comprehensive range of banking automation solutions designed to improve transactions at the highest levels of customer service.

This year, World Finance has awarded Itautec three prestigious accolades: Automated Banking Branch Technology of the Year, Latin America; Retail Banking Systems Technology Provider of the Year, Latin America; and Security Technology Provider of the Year, Latin America.

To achieve this technological leadership position, the company invested in a development area capable of creating solutions that are highly competitive worldwide, supported by two pillars in which they have great expertise: the transactional environment in a financial organisation, and a friendly interaction with bank account holders and end users at the bank teller counter or self-service terminal.

Itautec reached the forefront of technology for the transactional environment by developing solutions that offer speed, efficiency, lower operating costs, and flexibility in line with business needs and processes – all focused on providing security across the value chain related to operations with clients. Additionally, by focusing efforts on these aspects, it has created solutions that optimise the work of customer service staff in bank branches while contributing to operating earnings and increased customer satisfaction.

Customer-focused design
Itautec’s understanding of the importance of a friendly interaction with the end user is based on the company’s deep knowledge of the relationship between customer and financial institution. As a result, it can provide solutions that significantly improve the customer experience in terms of accessibility, responsiveness, convenience, and interactivity, offering customers recognition in order to create a personalised service.

This maturity is only possible because of Itautec’s close relationships with major financial industry clients in Brazil, in other Latin American countries, and in Europe – a commitment strongly linked with a dedication to customer service and development areas, in line with the most advanced market trends.

Understanding the specifics of the financial market, the internal processes of a branch and the level of demand for each element of this chain enabled Itautec to offer solutions with a strong adherence to the needs of the financial market and thus receive the World Finance awards in 2011.

Automated banking
The award for Automated Banking Branch Technology of the Year, Latin America, acknowledges Itautec’s ability to provide service in a bank environment, including all points of contact with customers, from the moment they walk into the branch to when service is made available, using solutions such as SIGA – Itautec Queue Management System. A touchscreen linked to software manages queues, providing faster service to account holders, be it with a cashier, customer service officer, investment advisor, insurance agent, or the branch manager.

Itautec offers several solutions for cashier stations, such as operator keyboards with proven ergonomics acknowledged by design awards; sturdy, high-performance CPUs and cash registers; and note recyclers that speed cash count, reduce errors and improve security. At peak times, attendants using mobile devices can expedite service following customer service policies previously defined by the financial organisation strategic planning.

In addition, Itautec lines of ATMs have a modular architecture that enables implementation of various functions widely used by the financial industry, which facilitates the incorporation of new features according to each market’s demand. In the Latin American context, there is a strong trend to adopt the recognition and validation of checks with the help of image processing systems. The same goes for note recyclers, among other transactions. The key to commercial success of these products is an architecture that allows great flexibility when customising the equipment according to the customer’s needs, resulting in robust products that help to expand the bank’s business.

In addition to the prominent position that Itautec holds in Brazil, the company has a significant stake in several Latin American countries and a growing presence in the Americas as a whole, where the company has been developing projects based on the flexibility of its platform. Importantly, clients in these markets have subtle differences, and Itautec’s future growth relies on adapting its products according to specific needs, customising solutions and equipment in accordance with the processes in which they will be immersed.

Retail banking
The award of Retail Banking Systems Technology Provider of the Year, Latin America, highlights Itautec’s expertise to develop solutions focused on the processes of the company’s clients. In Latin America, Itautec serves large financial organisations, including major retail banks, which are constantly concerned with improving their operational efficiency in handling large volumes of transactions, which tend to grow further in the region thanks to the bankarisation process – a strong element linked to the growing economic activities of Latin American countries. Therefore, the award recognises Itautec’s ability to support retail banks in expanding their service channels, improving processes, and promoting business growth.

Given this context of expansion, a strong retake on investments in technology is noticeable, benefited from the resumption of investment postponed by banks due to the global economic crisis. In response to this challenge, Itautec has invested in research and development to prepare for the opportunities brought by this expansion; working on innovative processes to improve ATM productivity and convenience, and helping to increase clients’ profitability.

It is also interesting to note that the specific requirements of the Brazilian market helped Itautec learn lessons applicable in other Latin American countries. In Brazil, although there are ATMs with specific functions, it is more common to find multifunctional equipment which allows for banking enquiries, transfers, withdrawals, deposits and bill payments. Some units even integrate note recyclers that, by their nature, can lower costs with money transport and cash replenishment in environments with a balanced flow of withdrawals and deposits.

In other Latin-American countries, the most commonly found ATMs provide just the basic transactions: banking enquiries, transfers and withdrawals. Itautec’s value proposition is to show to clients in these markets the opportunities that exist in offering a wider range of transactions. This would increase convenience for bank account holders, while making the ATM a business platform. Itautec has successful stories in the Brazilian market where the offer of financial products like loans, insurance or investments made through ATMs presents significant results.

Security technology
As the company demonstrates a consistent position regarding experience in the transactional aspect and familiarity in customer service in the branch and self-service environments, the strategic and operational importance of the security aspect, recognised by the award for Security Technology Provider of the Year, Latin America, cannot be ignored.

Security is essential for prevention of fraud and theft in branches and self-service terminals, bringing tangible benefits and greater reliability for the bank operations and for the customer’s relationship with the financial institution. There is a clear trend for other countries to adopt the purchase profile currently practised in Brazil, where financial organisations are focused on the incorporation of systems and technologies that increase equipment security and availability. This can include resources such as monitoring, biometrics and contactless card systems, designed to protect the user and combat fraud, in order to preserve the client’s return on investment.

Financial institutions want to ensure security for bank account holders and, at the same time, preserve the integrity of their self-service platforms. Accordingly, security in this context translates into availability management functions, which Itautec provides with software solutions that monitor in real time the operational status of equipment.

This is the purpose of Itautec’s AutoManager: it monitors self-service equipment, servers and networking devices in a branch, detecting problems that may require replenishment of cash and supplies or replacement of parts; creating corrective and preventive maintenance routines according to rules determined by the bank. All this combined brings reliability to operations, while resulting in increased returns for Itautec’s clients on their IT investments.

Itautec believes that the boundary between client and supplier has become increasingly permeable – i.e. the company becomes a stakeholder in the success of the client’s operations, playing a progressively more important role that goes beyond that of a simple technology provider. Acting as a partner truly committed to clients’ success is a principle that is bound in the company’s operations, having been a key element to acquire and retain clients by providing a positive experience for financial organisations and their end customers.

For more information: www.itautec.com; contactus@itautec.com