Towards banking automation

A company can only be competitive if it has a well-designed global strategy. That was the cornerstone of Itautec’s international operations. What is more, this competitiveness has enabled the company to achieve an outstanding position that has been kept over the past thirty years of existence. The efficient implementation of this strategy has allowed us to expand our presence to eleven countries in the Americas, Europe and Africa. In addition, this strategy has provided the company with the magnitude and intelligence to maintain its best potential competitiveness in automation and technology. On the other hand, meeting the demands of each different market gave us the capacity to identify technological trends beforehand, what adds value to our offers.

On the highroad to success, we have learned to create flexible products to meet the needs of specific markets such as Latin America, for instance. This knowledge has granted us this mention from the World Finance as the culmination of a process that we have conducted with high professionalism and in complete alignment with our clients’ needs.  

The key to Itautec’s success in the region was determined by the deep understanding of the demands of the financial services industry, fruit of the company’s high performance and experience in this segment in Brazil. A glance at the current strong economic situation of Brazil and its smooth recovery from the recent global crisis is a significant encouragement for a market that has faced a long and difficult period of hyperinflation, which has submitted financial institutions and, as a consequence, the company’s IT vendors to tough times.

Fortunately, these difficulties have lead Itautec to create comprehensive solutions and deepen the company’s knowledge of the bank industry’s needs. More specifically, our line of ATMs gained a modular architecture that has enabled an increase in the scale of manufacturing and repair services, and, at the same time, the flexibility to meet the specific demands of each country in which we operate.

We aim at not just creating a good design for our products, but we also take into consideration esthetics and functionality, in addition to considering ergonomic demands and space optimisation. These efforts resulted in our products earning several design awards, such as the iF Award, granted in Germany and acknowledged throughout the world. We have invested in the creation and training of an IT development team that presently has more than 400 professionals. This highly qualified group is comprised of engineers and technicians who provide a significant competitive differential to the company, developing innovative solutions and patents.

What is more, it is worth mentioning that to achieve such accomplishments, a strategy involving higher levels of investment was necessary. Indeed, attaining such a success became possible by adopting an approach of increased value added, which resulted in earning our clients’ trust. We developed, for instance, the Security Way, a solution that manages CPU maintenance and cassettes replenishment. This solution prevents unauthorised opening of equipment and automatically locks all units in case of a breaking in.  Additionally, it includes encryption between CPU and notes dispenser to provide protection against logical attacks, that is, in the event that an intruder attempts to trick the ATM by sending commands that seem legitimate. Furthermore, Secure Way features the Itautec Protection System comprised of several features that create a reaction that stops an attack, if an attempt to break into a safe occurred.  

With solutions aimed at security, which consequently increase the equipment availability, Itautec provides its clients with a higher return on investment in banking automation. As a consequence, we became able to expand our participation throughout Latin America with over 190 thousand ATMs.

Nowadays, the importance of self-service structures for banks is widely recognised as fundamental. What has been on the discussion table at this time – and is the concern of several of our clients – is whether the self-service structure is appropriate, what the use and availability levels are, and if it offers flexibility.

Evidently, other important concern is if the structure is supported by vendors capable of ensuring the equipment delivery and regular maintenance as well as repair services in conformity to the strictest standards of service.

Itautec technical support is an area of the company that also makes us very proud for its capillarity and capacity to serve clients in a great variety of markets, including the ones with the most demanding SLA requirements. We have been able to increase our presence in markets such as Argentina and Mexico, as well as Portugal and Spain, among others.

The first step taken by the company in regards to the concepts of sustainability was the adoption of an Environmental Management System in our organisation. The implementation of an EMS has lead us to pursue improvement in the raw material processes and in the use of technologies that allow reuse of residues, lowering the operational costs and increasing the quality of our production. Following this vision, dating back to 2006, we have started a new project of an ATM line manufactured in total compliance with the European RoHS directive, which restricts use of hazardous substances to the environment, such as lead and cadmium, among other substances, in the manufacturing process. Considering our operations in the European market, it came naturally for us to offer products aligned with the requirements of that market. At the same time, it would not make sense to have in Brazil two different production lines, one for RoHS compliant products and another for products that did not need to comply with the RoHS directive. On one hand, keeping two separate production lines would have made more difficult to manage vendors and components. On the other, having a single production line for all products would certainly bring potential gains in the production scale.

Thus, making an unprecedented decision in the local market, we have determined to adapt all our banking and retail automation lines to the ROHs directive. We wanted to become ready for any future chances in the regulation standards of the use of such substances in those markets. By doing so, our IT managers were enabled to incorporate the concept of sustainability and respect to the environment to their IT processes at the same time that they were meeting the requirements of service, management and availability.  

By having already surpassed all the technical challenges involved, we have reached a vanguard position in sustainability. Accordingly, the same has happened to our clients who have adopted these products in their self-service network.

It is important to highlight that incorporation of sustainability elements in the manufacturing process brings indeed an additional production cost that can have an average increase as high as two percent. This cost increase is due to the adaptation of equipment, manufacturing processes and specific components, which we have incorporated in our structure for strategic reasons. In regards to that, we have started manufacturing high-energy efficiency ATM lines in partnership with major providers of information technology. This is an additional way of contributing to the reduction of operational costs in the self-service channels.

By adopting a sustainable approach, we are positive that Itautec clients can count on equipment that offers high availability and security, besides adding value to their operations. Additionally, clients can be assured that all equipment are designed to meet the business demands of financial institutions with efficiency. Moreover, clients can rely on having the support of a solid company with over 30 years experience in banking automation. In summary, this is how Itautec is structured to expand its participation in the international market. Our company strives to offer value-added products, with advanced functionalities and high availability. In addition, we operate in partnership with our clients, aligned with their strategic objectives, providing automation solutions that offer high level of service to their ultimate customers.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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