Innovation and integration were the overarching themes of this year's Wincor World trade fair. The annual event, held in the company's base city of Paderborn, Germany, serves as the launch pad for many of Wincor Nixdorf AG's plans, technology, and, as was the case this year, new products.
At the core, it's all about the cash cassette, says Uwe Krause, head of bank marketing for Wincor Nixdorf. It's a banknote storage concept, really, that allows cash to be exchanged between different cash points within a branch and/or between a branch and retailer. So cash that is deposited in automated teller safes at the teller window, for instance, can be used to replenish ATMs or cash-recycling systems in the branch. Or, funds that are taken in at a retail location can immediately be credited to the bank that provides the retailer's cash.
It's a revolutionary way of viewing and handling cash, Krause says.
"This is the right track for the future," Krause said, seated opposite my notepad and me during the fair a couple of weeks ago. "A lot of bankers and retailers are talking about the future, how they can cut expenses and work more closely together. At Wincor World, we bring them together; and now we've come up with a solution that they both need. This is end-to-end thinking, where cash-cycle management is concerned; and it's the first time ever that the industry has seen something like this. In 12 months, I'm sure you will see your first recycling ATMs in the U.S., and these cassettes are going to make the whole migration process so much easier."
The cassettes are "intelligent" in all directions. They track serial numbers, so accurate cash counts are ensured. They detect fraudulent notes and can provide specific information to the Fed or central bank, since serial numbers are tracked and recorded. The cassettes log access points and times, so if any cassette is damaged or comes up short, there is a record, housed on a server far from the cash point.
For the retailer, the enhanced protections are enormous, Krause says. Once the cash is in the cassette, it becomes the bank's responsibility. Even if the retailer switches the cassettes out — sharing them between and among cashier stations and/or self-service terminals within the store — the tracking and counting of the cash notes remains intact, because it is all affiliated with the cassette or cassettes, which have embedded chips that serve as microprocessors, recording every bit of transaction data.
The service component
From a servicing perspective, CINEO and Wincor's eServices Platform are closely linked, says Kerstin Zilla, head of marketing for Wincor Nixdorf's services division. With CINEO systems, all of the transactions are guaranteed, which differs greatly from traditional or "classic" service contracts, she adds.
The link between service and cash eliminates the need for retail or bank customers of Wincor's to concern themselves with total cost of ownership, or TCO, since the cost efficiencies and accuracies are guaranteed. It's a lofty proposition, admittedly, but one that Wincor Nixdorf sees as fault-proof.
"CINEO backs up everything, so there is always a record," Zilla said. "From that, we can ensure high availability and quality with fewer costs. The hardware and the services are sold together, so it's truly integrated. You don't get one without the other. It is not possible."
Incident reports are delivered online via the Web to servicing specialists who are kept abreast of potential issues in near-real-time. To date, Wincor Nixdorf says it has 1,700 service technicians and 29 customer-care centers positioned throughout the world, making the guaranteed delivery of service possible.
"We do the IT management and the cash management. It is very important to have them integrated," Zilla said. "You have a â€˜connecting box' that connects all of the cash points to the eServices Platform. And because everything is connected, we can deliver the same, standard processes to everyone. This is new, and it's so important for servicing our global clients. With so many mergers and acquisitions in the banking and retail spaces, it is a necessity, really.
From banking and retail to foodservice and hospitality, Wincor's solutions cover a wide range of industries, but the core technology is the same. Here is a brief slide show from the Wincor World fair, highlighting the company's broad range of products and services, from ATMs to kiosks.