RBC benefits from close ties between vendors

As ATM provider NCR Corp. beefed up its relationship with money-management software maker Transoft International Inc. this past summer, one Canadian bank counted itself a beneficiary of the close ties the vendors forged, according to a spokesperson for the financial institution.

James McGuire, senior manager, self-serve networks at RBC Financial Group in Toronto, said the NCR-Transoft relationship helped his company deal with a cash-management quagmire. Years ago, RBC had a mixed bag of applications for cash management in ATMs, McGuire said.

“For any of our full-service ATMs, each of the armoured car providers had each of their own mechanisms for managing cash….There weren’t really strong mechanisms in place with our armoured car providers to make sure they were maximizing the cash.”

To alleviate the situation, RBC outsourced ATM management to NCR. Thanks to NCR’s relationship with Transoft, the bank got hold of the software maker’s cash-management apps: OptiCash, which helps balance ATM cash levels; OptiNet for cash orders; and OptiVault, which optimizes treasury cash. “I would suggest that over time we’ve seen about a 20 per cent reduction, give or take, in the amount of cash on hand, and a corresponding reduction in cost of cash as well,” McGuire said.

According to Brenda Kettering-Peck, spokesperson for Dayton, Ohio-based NCR, RBC underwent the first major OptiVault installation. “The product was developed by Transoft, but with Royal Bank being our first large implementation, we’re learning things along the way. I guess you could say it’s a cooperative endeavour.”

McGuire said RBC benefits from the cooperative NCR-Transoft environment. “NCR spends all the time working with Transoft to develop the system based on our business requirements. I don’t have to have resources aligned with that activity.”

In August NCR announced that it would extend its affiliation with Transoft by reselling the software maker’s wares. Kettering-Peck said, as a result, her company can extend the sorts of services it offers.

RBC is an NCR outsource customer. McGuire said the bank considered its options before choosing the hands-off approach. This was at a critical point for the company; a few years back its existing, in-house-built cash management system was becoming obsolete. RBC considered rebuilding versus outsourcing. “We were looking at continuing to do [cash management] ourselves,” McGuire said, but certain questions came up. “How do you continue to manage and monitor whether branch staff are using it, and how do you put that into the hands of the armoured car operators? It meant a lot of different groups and servicing partners.”

While NCR helped consolidate the disparate systems in RBC’s cash-management world, McGuire said it’s imperative that banks scrutinize their internal processes as well. “I know some organizations have the responsibility split up into different areas….You really have to manage all aspects of cash management, not just focus on one or two pieces of it.”

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