Banking showcased at Wincor World
*Click here to view a slide show from the fair.
 
Innovation, integration and international interests are topping Wincor Nixdorf International's priorities for 2007. The Paderborn, Germany-based company says it plans not only to push its products and solutions but also its services in countries where its presence up until now has been less pronounced.
 
It was with that focus in mind that the €1.95 billion (U.S. $2.54 billion) company, which is the world's third-largest ATM manufacturer, put on its annual trade fair, Wincor World, Jan. 30-Feb. 1.
 
This year's fair was reportedly one of the company's largest, with more than 2,000 visitors attending opening day. Over the event's three days, Wincor recorded attendees from 88 countries. And the company said it expected between 7,000 and 8,000 attendees in total.  
 
From its 7,500-square-meter exhibit hall, Wincor gave its partners and visitors a taste of the future. From banking and services to retail, the circular layout of the show floor tied in well with the Wincor World theme: "Compass to Innovation."
 
"Wincor World 2007 was a tremendous success in terms of the internationality of the trade show's visitors," said Andreas Bruck, Wincor's head of corporate communications. "The trade fair reflected Wincor Nixdorf's continued international growth, which we are especially pursuing outside Europe's borders."
 
 
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A focus on banking
 
Wincor's former chief executive, Karl-Heinz Stiller, helped Wincor amass its business over the last seven years by focusing on banking. The company's new CEO, Eckard Heidloff, is poised to follow the same path.
 
"We had a very clear strategy about seven years ago," Stiller said Jan. 31 during his opening address. "Now we have a company that is well-positioned for the future."
 
Over the last six years, the company's net sales have jumped 46 percent. And the company's profit has more than doubled during the same period of time. But Heidloff is quick to point out that Wincor will not let its success go to its head.
 
This company must remain hungry," he said. "For the last 50 years through Nixdorf, Nixdorf via Siemens and now Wincor-Nixdorf, we have been a leader in retail and banking. That's our core business, and we feel in particular that the branch will be a key focus."
 
With an aggressive plan to attack the banking market, Heidloff said Wincor expects to grow through global expansion, innovation, solution orientation and branch automation that incorporates self-service.
 
"We can use that experience from the branch in other markets, like the post office," he said.
 
Deposit automation is expected to be a focus in 2007. To that end, the company's cash/check deposit module or CCDM has been incorporated into its ProCash ATM line to meet market demands. Cash recycling, also featured prominently during the fair, is expected to have a big impact on the market this year as well.
 
The ProCash 2100xe and 3100xe, extensions of Wincor's regular ProCash 2100 and 3100 lines designed to meet the needs of international markets, garnered some attention during the show — the 2100 for its deposit capabilities within the branch and the 3100 for its deposit, dispense and cash-recycling functionality.
 
But it was the ProCash 4000 line that got the most buzz, as well as a new coin-acceptance and dispense side car that can be added to the 4000.
 
And compact version of the 4000 made its debut during Wincor World. It includes a cash-recycling function and the ability to deposit up to 200 notes in a bundle. The terminal holds five cassettes, four of which can be used for recycling with eight notes processed per minute. Each cassette holds between 2,000 and 2,500 notes.
 
Also introduced during the show was the ProCash 4100, a multi-function ATM that promotes branch optimization by building on what the basic 4000 offers. It can be used in a teller-less branch or in countries with high check volumes, like the United States, said Wincor's Stefan Okroy. The 4100 includes two separate safes — one for cash, one for checks.
 
And from a servicing perspective, the 4000 line had something else that is new — a graphical operator panel that walks branch managers or operators through error messages and minor repairs.
A graphical operator panel located on the back of Wincor's ProCash 4000 ATM line walks branch managers or operators through error messages and minor repairs.
 
"It's similar to a copy machine that shows you where the paper jam is," Okroy said. "The benefit is not just the display but the software that makes it a detailed description of the problem for the operator."
 
Beyond the terminals themselves, Wincor spent a great deal of time talking about integration — integration facilitated by a network-centric approach. It's about tying all the channels within a branch together, said Matthias Lorz, Wincor's marketing manager for software and solutions.
 
"Why is a net-centric approach important?" Lorz asked. "Well, in the teller environment, for instance, I can make use of the teller for cash-out, typically a function of the ATM. By having one central solution or service, I can share service between the channels to optimize my branch."
 
Services can be integrated, shared and combined.
 
"As we see banks and retailers offer similar services, we see a real need for cross-over integration," he said. "And the opportunity we see is, if a retailer and banker work together, they could team for a loyalty program, for instance, that could be offered at the ATM within the branch (and by the clerk at the retail location)."
 
Know thy customer
 
Radio frequency identification technology is being used for many things, including customer relationship management. At the "bank of tomorrow" display, Wincor showed how RFID can be used to enhance the customer experience. Users holding RFID cards issued by the bank are greeted when they walk into the branch on a digital display that is prominently displayed at the entrance. Once inside the branch, their experience can be enhanced as the cards track their movement.
 
"It's all about knowing the customer really well," said Michael Struempfler, Wincor's marketing manager for branch automation. "The digital display welcomes the customer, and then the account manager sees his profile and is able to serve him better."
 
RFID in this test branch also was used to help users get information about accounts, investments, etc. Using labeling technology, users can wave brochures in front a screen that displays additional information about the account or investment brochures they pick up. That information is then tracked by the bank, to help branch managers know the types of products their customers or members are interested in.
 
"We show our customers how new technology can be used to know what their customer does in the branch, and how to make the branch more enjoyable for their customer," said Uwe Krause, Wincor's marketing director for banking.
 
But one of the most eye-catching parts of the bank of tomorrow was the situation room, where branch operators can change the décor and setting of a room to make the user experience more enjoyable. With projectors, Wincor showed how the room's four screened walls could alternate from a warm room with a fireplace to an open, lighted room with glass and windows.
In a meeting room paneled by screens, Wincor showed how the setting of the room could be changed to make customers feel more comfortable in the bank branch. Adjustments can be made to meet the comfort levels of different demographics.
 
Enhancing the consumer experience focuses on moving toward well-rounded solutions, Heidloff said.
 
"We've got to get away from products and move toward solutions," Heidloff said during the Jan. 31 opening address. "An example of our move in this direction is the eServices Platform. And an area where we can grow with solutions is in cash-management — managing the money cycle."
 
Beyond the branch
 
Managing the money cycle goes beyond the branch. An entertaining set-up during the show was the mock-up casino, where attendees could toss chips on a table and watch the dealers do their magic with the cash. It wasn't about pulling a big win — it was more about watching how the dealers handled the faux money.
 
Wincor holds Las Vegas' highest ATM installed base, said Karsten Kemna, who works in the company's banking division. Now the company is pushing its branch solutions to the casino space, where it's optimizing cash management.
 
"We use a teller-assist unit at the casino," Kemna said. "It's safer and more secure, because the money goes directly into the cassette. It's a concept that is similar to what we do in the branch. It eliminates the handling of cash."
 
The ProCash 5000 mini, a teller-assist unit that can be overseen by one teller, and the iCash 50, a cash-deposit solution for the retail environment that recycles cash and eliminates the need for cash drawers, were the casino-display highlights.
 
A retail ‘revolution'?
 
The same technology that assists the bank teller and blackjack dealer also can serve the retailer. As Wincor's s visitors moved around the showroom to the Retail Horizons display, they saw how Wincor is taking its banking expertise to the retail environment. From mobile payments to the checkout, Wincor covered the gamut.
 
Joachim Pinhammer, Wincor's marketing director for retail, says the retail environment is changing, and Wincor is working to revolutionize the way retailers interact with their customers.
 
"We are supporting service and self-service in the retail environment," Pinhammer said. "We can unify the platform so that everything, including different devices, runs on the same software application. The only difference is the user interface."
 
With TP.net, a retailer can manage and monitor his entire operation. As ProClassic Enterprise now works on the banking side to integrate all of a branch's channels, TP.net Enterprise is advancing on the retail side to integrate the retail enterprise — including data analysis and reporting, administration, and campaign management.
 
"These things will enable the retailers to be closer to their customers," Pinhammer said.
 
In a retail mock-up, Wincor showed how a cashier counter could be turned into a self-service counter with the mere swivel of a touchscreen. The graphical user interface can be changed from one that faces the cashier to one that faces the customer. The concept was designed to address peak hours in a retail store, when a mix of self-service and service would help expedite check out and shorten lines.
With the swivel of a touchscreen, a service counter can be turned into a self-service counter in the retail environment.
 
Speeding the checkout process is always an issue, Pinhammer said, especially in big-box retail outlets and grocery stores. This year Wincor displayed technology that separates the scanning and payment processes at the self-service checkout line — a technique the company is seeing take off in Europe, Pinhammer said.
 
"It's the payment process that slows down the checkout," he said. "We call it a divided process, where you move payment from scanning. So you scan your items and then you go to the pay tower (Pay Tower 200R) and scan your receipt to pay."
 
All of the checkouts also included cash-recycling features, which help retailers maximize cash and coin volumes.
 
"It's important to note that we don't just have to have the right software; we have to have the right hardware, too," Pinhammer said.
 
But the most interesting technology displayed in the retail arena this year was found in the hospitality display, where RFID technology was used in a cafeteria setting.
 
With an RFID embedded plate, consumers can track their own purchases in the cafeteria.
 
With plates embedded with RFID chips, self-service is taken to a new level. Users select food items from the counter and then put them on the plates that record their selections.
 
"You can read and write on the plate, so it's easy to change the programming for daily food selections," Pinhammer said. "Each bin has its own code, so you scan the code at the top of the service counter to record your selections."
 
At the end of the process, users present RFID cards that are issued by the cafeteria. Payments can be deducted from an account set up by the cafeteria or they be deducted from the card, which could be prepaid.
 
"This speeds up the process in a large cafeteria, when people are in a hurry to get their food and move through the line."

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