Edinburgh, United Kingdom - On the surface the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Branch Automation systems of today look similar to those of yesterday. However, just beneath the surface great changes have taken place.
The retail banking channel delivery industry has slowly and cautiously evolved to the point where the buyers of ATMs and branch automation systems can successfully and confidently separate the software and hardware buying decisions. This is due largely to the overwhelming acceptance of the eXtensions for Financial Services (XFS) standard for systems using Microsoft Windows-based software along with the emergence of major independent ATM software companies such as KAL.
The acceptance of the XFS standard in the banking industry is acknowledged by all of the major players in the ATM and Branch Automation business including the leading hardware vendors. For instance, NCR's Andrew Medford, Senior Marketing Manager for the Financial Solution Group's Software Applications was quoted recently as saying "The days when banks always bought their software from the same companies that supplied their ATMs, those days are over." ('Crash Course in UK ATMs', www.atmmarketplace.com, 21 Jan 2003).
The message is overwhelmingly clear that the retail banking industry has fully embraced this view. Recently numerous Requests for Information and Requests for Proposal have been issued by major banks and network processors who are searching for the world's best ATM and branch application software specifying the XFS standard and hardware vendor independence as mandatory requirements.
Many of these organisations are turning to KAL and partners of KAL to provide solutions which fulfill these requirements using Kalignite, KAL's XFS-based software platform. They are confident that solutions based upon Kalignite software can robustly interoperate on all of the vendors' hardware systems. The same cannot be said for the major hardware vendors themselves who find it very difficult to work with one another due to fierce competition.
KAL has always fully embraced open standards such as XFS as well as the new ATM communication protocol standard known as IFX. KAL's fully XFS compliant product, Kalignite is the world's most advanced and comprehensive, fully independent ATM and Branch software platform.
Features and Benefits of XFS:
- Banks world-wide are increasingly demanding open standards-based systems
- XFS, the only industry standard accepted by all of the major vendors world-wide, separates the hardware and software buying decisions
- Banks are free to choose the best solution in each category (hardware, software, service, etc) with the knowledge that systems built by independent providers using acknowledged standards will successfully interoperate among various hardware systems.
- This acceptance of software standards is extremely challenging for the major hardware vendors who are much more adept at producing hardware than software
- The XFS standard is particularly difficult for the major ATM hardware vendors to successfully implement at the solution level since they cannot work effectively with their direct competitors for integration purposes.
- The acceptance of XFS poses a direct challenge to the high margins historically enjoyed by the hardware vendors where banks were tied into a single vendor.
- The primary beneficiaries of the acceptance of standards-based software systems are the end customers (buyers) as well as software companies - especially KAL and its many worldwide partners - who have always worked independently of the hardware providers