Interview with Alexandru Savinov, Sales Director of the International Group of Companies DAAC digital.
Alexander, hello. The first question concerns the name of the company. I’ve been a friend of DAAC since time immemorial and the company name DAAC System… is familiar to me.
This spring, DAAC System Integrator became the basis for the creation of an international IT group of companies DAAC digital. Today, our group’s offices operate in Chisinau, Tashkent and Bucharest. In three years the company will celebrate its 30th anniversary. Our product portfolio includes consulting, software development, engineering and information security products and services, as well as hardware and software platforms produced in-house and by over 50 international vendors. It is worth noting that the group’s IT specialists have obtained over 700 certificates in our partners’ global IT programmes.
Now I understand why at the recent FinTech conference in Moldova you spoke under the DAAC digital brand. However, your speech at the conference was not the kind of speech today’s teenagers would call “drowning for digital” …
You are right. I even started with the phrase: “I’ll probably be the anti-hero of this conference…”.
Why? And, in general, what was your speech about, because I was not at the conference and I only saw the programme of speeches, which included yours.
You probably know that today DAAC is the largest supplier of ATMs and payment kiosks in the Republic of Moldova and the largest company for their maintenance. We cooperate with such a manufacturer as Diebold Nixdorf, and they, in turn, are the largest in the world. My speech was dedicated to banking automation. But not in online channels, but at the points of “physical presence” – ATMs and bank kiosks. The starting point of the speech was the results of a Forrester Research study already conducted in the “post-COVID period”.
And what does the study say?
That most of the programmes initiated by banks in the post-COVID period to change the way they interact with customers will not deliver results
The main reason is the growing gap between the channels that bank customers are forced to use and the channels they choose to use voluntarily. The simplest example. If you need advice on a new banking product, what would you choose, face-to-face contact or chatbots, IVR or messenger?
I’m a personal contact. But perhaps, given my age, I am already a representative of the “old school”.
No, it is a general preference. It also extends to cash handling. You can, of course, pay for services and deposit money in a terminal, but the fact that the “buyurno” works may make you prefer to simply visit a bank. And while the share of cashless payments is growing, don’t expect caching to disappear in the next few years. After all, it has survived in developed economies such as Germany and Japan. Somewhere it’s a tribute to tradition, somewhere it’s a desire to preserve the privacy that is inherent in people, regardless of the level of development of cashless transfers.
But I remember about 10 years ago, not terminals but ATMs, which can operate with stacks of banknotes, were actively advertised to replace a bank branch in a single machine. Am I right?
There was such a technological attempt, but it “didn’t take off”. The complexity of the technological limitations of the software and old protocols was too great. Banking specialists simply cannot cope with the limitations of old technologies.
Then how do you see the development trend of this direction. Is it impossible to solve all the problems online, so the workload for branches and bank staff will increase again?
This is exactly the subject of my presentation. In addition to launching a new series of ATMs, now ATM manufacturers have come out with a new software product. The new software removes the fixation on the old protocols, when all the information that needed to be processed went to the processing centre. Now, only part of the data goes to the processing centre and the ATM is managed by special software in which the bank can create any kind of service. Such software can be a real breakthrough in the banking market, transferring to ATMs, and thus automating, those services that can only be provided by a person in a bank branch.
But that’s still ‘digitisation’, isn’t it?
Yes, but this is the digitisation of services not in online channels but in physical points of presence. I can say with certainty that this combination of online and point-of-presence automation will be the trend in the near future of banking.
But this means an increase in the number of ATMs, and they require maintenance. Can DAAC digital cope with the growing workload?
Today we are objectively the best company in the republic on ATM service. Our specialists work 24/7/365 throughout the country.
What conclusion have we come to? More precisely – you have arrived, and I will act as its translator…
I would use the wording of a Forrester Research study. “Don’t force customers to do things they don’t like”. I would add for my part that if some prefer self-service techniques, make them as convenient as possible and that this is possible with state-of-the-art software.