How Diebold Nixdorf is leading the banking digitalisation charge in Africa

How Diebold Nixdorf is leading the banking digitalisation charge in Africa

In an increasingly digitised world, global ATM manufacturer Diebold Nixdorf has made a concerted effort in recent years to implement its solutions globally to further encourage total financial inclusion. By incorporating alternate power sources, mobile banking capabilities, as well as digitally onboarding new consumers, Diebold Nixdorf is leading the charge in banking digitalisation.

With a 32% market share, Diebold Nixdorf is the only ATM manufacturer in the world to have more than a million ATMs installed, placing them at the top of the global ATM market. Every day, Diebold Nixdorf enables businesses to provide seamless, secure and personalised experiences in both the physical and digital world of cash and consumer transactions, in addition to placing significant focus on the customer experience.

“We are constantly introducing new solutions to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers,” Ricardo Dias Marques, Managing Director for Algeria, English Speaking Countries (ESC) and West Africa, and Portuguese-speaking African countries says.

As a global leader in driving connected commerce, Diebold Nixdorf has optimised its capabilities to ensure positive customer experiences, each time cementing its presence in over 130 countries, and working with nearly all of the world’s top 100 financial institutions and a majority of the top 25 global retailers.

“Today’s financial institutions and retailers need a services partner with the capabilities and expertise to enrich the customer experience,” adds Marques. “They look for a trusted advocate who deeply understands the industry, business objectives and related systems, software, security and service components that keep everything running at the pinnacle of efficiency.

“Service delivery is based on a powerful, interconnected system of people, processes, tools and technology, risk management controls and ongoing performance measurement. These are all designed with the consumer experience in mind. Our platform is based on global standardisation and best practices worldwide.”

Financial solutions

Building collaborative, customised solutions through new and existing partnerships, Diebold Nixdorf has become the backbone for both the financial and retail sector, and its technologies are highly scalable in order to adapt to consumer needs in alignment with emerging trends in the market. This all centers around its mission to provide end-to-end connected commerce solutions that seamlessly moves from the financial to retail space.

However, Marques believes that the humble ATM will continue to offer long-term solutions for businesses seeking to integrate the unbanked African market into an effective, complete financial ecosystem.

“Migrating certain transactions traditionally done at the branch to the self-service channel via ATMs, kiosks, or other digital solutions can support banks’ efforts to drive revenue generating strategies, such as marketing at the ATM, which in turn can create additional selling opportunities,” he said.

Advanced data analytics have unlocked Diebold Nixdorf’s ability to provide its customers with data-driven insights, which can help transform traditional business processes for consumers, ensuring they remain the business focus.

Emerging technologies and mobile growth

Viewing technology as an enabler, and keeping ahead of the curve surrounding key trends in the market, Marques explains that emerging technology will help to aid and facilitate greater financial inclusion. Biometric authentication, for example, is one of many emerging technologies that deliver convenience and security.

However, Marques says that this technology will not necessarily replace existing systems. “As long as there is a need for cash, the ATM industry will find new and innovative ways to assist. We don’t see cash going away anytime soon. In reality, the use of cash actually tends to increase as additional methods of access are introduced. ATMs will continue to play a significant role,” he explains.

According to Marques, a current area of exponential growth across Africa is the implementation and emergence of mobile technology and services, which has simplified the banking experience for consumers. With over a billion unbanked customers across Africa utilising mobile technology, there is significant market opportunity for Diebold Nixdorf to tap into and support.

Mobile technology has also supported the integration and application of further digitisation strategies and financial technologies, and has encouraged a more efficient, connected customer experience.

“Mobile technologies have enabled banks to partner with major service providers to transform the access and payment of services,” explains Marques. “The consumer experience should always be at the center of technological development.

“Financial institutions must provide a seamless interaction through different physical and digital channels (mobile, online, ATM), where they can leverage Diebold Nixdorf’s solutions to create such experiences.”

Research results from ATM Marketplace’s ATM Future Trends 2017 report identified mobile technology as the number one factor that will have the greatest impact on the ATM industry globally.

“Ironically, according to a 2017 Forrester research report entitled Banking on Millennials: It’s not all about mobile, more than half of younger millennials and almost two-thirds of older millennials expect to access all their accounts with a bank within a single mobile app,” Marques continues.

“Furthermore, almost three quarters of older millennials and two-thirds of younger millennials have used a smartphone or tablet for day-to-day banking in the past three months. Today’s consumers want personalised, secure transactions and a seamless experience.

“Consumers demand to be treated as a unique individual, not just a number,” notes Marques. “Therefore, financial institutions need to not just provide value, but rather customised experiences using secure technologies to engage, onboard and deepen relationships with consumers.”

Mobile banking vs ATMs

“The mobile smartphone boom across the continent and the rapid adoption of mobile banking will certainly not hinder the rate of ATM distribution,” continues Marques. “The rise in smartphone penetration has led to the increased use of mobile banking services, and it’s a trend that will continue as our society becomes ever more connected through the Internet of Things (IoT).”

Marques says that the use of mobile technology will support the need to transform cybersecurity services surrounding ATM technology and reduce cases such as ATM fraud and improve current cybersecurity levels.

“As the boundaries between the branch, the computer and the smartphone disintegrate, we’re seeing digital banking become inclusive of the entire banking experience – with the bottom line that consumers want the ability to bank where they want, how they want, with no hiccups along the way.

“Nonetheless, there are still many hurdles. Africa’s financial infrastructure is still lacking in many regions. The cost to open a banking account itself can be prohibitively high, whether for the financial institution or for the consumer. Financial literacy is an ongoing issue within cultures that have traditionally taken very different approaches to money management. Collaboration between stakeholders in the industry, coupled with advancements in technology, will ultimately have a positive impact on financial inclusion in Africa.”

ATMs will continue to be an essential tool for consumers, and the customer experience will remain the fundamental pillar of Diebold Nixdorf’s evolution. As a result, the company has launched a new, advanced software solution,  Vynamic Mobile, which, among other things, empowers consumers to access information on the next closest ATM right at their fingertips, should the ATM they are in front of be unavailable. Putting the control back into customers hands has, therefore, turned an inconvenient situation into a positive experience for the customer.

Further advantages

Working with financial institutions to address the challenges seen regularly by the financial and retail sectors, Diebold Nixdorf will continue to be focused on providing tools catered for its customers to drive consumer satisfaction and retention. The implementation of mobile, cross-channel interactions will support this goal and enable consistent consumer experiences across all of its platforms. However, according to Marques, the consumer must stay informed to ensure overall success.

“Financial education is imperative in this new era of banking, especially when it comes to educating consumers about new technologies, such as fingerprint, document readers and virtual tellers. Providing personal, face-to-face assistance to consumers while they are using an ATM is one of the best ways to provide education, and it creates an opportunity to collect immediate feedback and reactions to added features.”

So, what does the future of financial and retail banking look like?

“As financial and retail markets converge, and synergies expand in the areas of mobile, contactless technology, smart data and more, it will become even more vital that companies recognise and react proactively to emerging trends,” Marques concludes. 

“Our strategy is to always put the consumer at the centre and develop solutions which provide the utmost convenience for them. We want to enable more seamless experiences, remove pain points for consumers, and then identify the touchpoints that deliver what they need. Experience-driven banking offers a much more holistic approach to connecting with consumers.”

Ricardo Marques