Banking and Financial Institutions

Banks and financial institutions have very specific and stringent requirements for their telecommunications system. The current communications topology that many banks generaly use consists of separate branches and systems. Each branch has its own stand-alone communications system. Much of the decision-making is centralized, including day-to-day decisions such as loan approvals. This means that inter-branch communication is a major part of the bank’s day-to-day business. Moreover, branches have no real call center or a centralized client response team. This means that clients have to find help by calling more than one number and speaking with more than one bank agent before finally finding the correct bank agent. Moreover, there is no quality assurance or monitoring. This means that each client receives varied, non-standard and unpredictable customer service. There is also no standard voice-mail system, meaning that clients trying to reach someone who is not on their desk or who is busy on another call would have to try several times before reaching the required agent.

Many banks also have no standardized reliability or security requirements. This means that communication system failures can disrupt business and that there is no real control on who can listen-in to what calls. Moreover, data and communication system administration and management is also non-standard and decentralized, translating into additional costs and inconsistencies. Finally, the bank’s current systems are generally old and therefore contribute negatively to a modern look and feel to the bank.

Solution

Avaya can provide banks with modular solutions to respond to each of their specific needs. Avaya’s core communication system consists of duplicated servers providing high reliability and high throughput, and is expandable up to 36,000 users. This centralized server may also control the Bank’s branch offices, thereby centralizing management and administration of the Bank’s communication system. The design is also very scalable and expandable as adding new branches will be as simple as adding simple premise equipment and managing it through the main centralized servers. The system will also provide an extremely robust and rich feature set. For example, Avaya’s IP Softphone and Avaya IP Agent will allow employees to work virtually and keep the business running at full capacity.The Branch Communication Systems would consist of branch gateways provided at branch locations in order to provide local connectivity. Since they are controlled by the main processor at the HQ they would provide full feature transparency. Survivability and redundancy can be enhanced at each location by installing local survivable processors in the gateways at the branch offices. The gateways simply connect the branch’s extensions to the main processor, meaning that there is no difference between an extension at headquarters and one at any of the branch offices. At the same time, for branches outside Jordan, or for systems with weaker data links, the branch systems can also be configured as complete stand-alone systems and connected to the main site by IP trunks. Finally, these same gateways have the ability to integrate with the existing legacy PBXs, allowing Jordan National Bank to migrate to the new systems at its own pace, translating into a smooth phased migration.The resulting solution will provide a robust, feature transparent system with a unified dial plan and centralized reporting, management and administration.

Avaya also provides the world’s leading Contact Center proposition, with the number one contact center solution both globally and in the Middle East, Avaya can provide the best possible contact center for any bank’s needs. The solution can be distributed or centralized, and will provide ACD skill-based routing. A complex call center with advanced skill-based routing capabilities will allow a Bank to make the best use of call center agents and improve customer experience and satisfaction. Having the right agent handle the right call will reduce hold time and handle-time, in addition to having the customer call only one number, one time. Matching clients to the right bank agent will also increase significantly the opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling. Having special treatment for VIP or international customers will highlight the bank’s customer service and enhance revenue. Integration with the bank’s systems will allow for faster response and happier customers. Centralizing or distributing call centers will allow the bank to make the best use of their existing offices and systems, while allowing for a unified customer interface and centralized reporting.

Recording and Workforce Evaluation Solutions allow for agent recording and evaluation, serving to protect the bank legally and ensue good customer service. First, recording specific calls may be important for legal considerations and for protecting the bank from conflicts or problems with customers. Second, recording may be used with agents or employees handling important customers to monitor the service the bank provides to its customers. Agents can be evaluated later to make sure that the calls are responded to in a timely and courteous manner in accordance to the standardized greeting the bank uses. The solution also includes customizable score cards and other evaluation tools which help the supervisors grade and evaluate call center agents. Other features include on-demand recording which can be used by managers and other employees when they feel a certain call is important enough to be recorded. Once the user decides to record the call, a button is pressed on the phone and the phone call in recorded starting from the beginning of the phone call (not only from when the customer presses the button).

Although most customers in Jordan still prefer face-to-face interactions, phone and internet banking (Telephone Banking or IVRs) services are becoming more common due to the tight schedules everyone has and due to the ease and security with which these systems work. Avaya’s Interactive Response allows callers to access information about their accounts and credit cards by getting information from the customer and integrating with the bank’s systems and databases. The system provides smooth text-to-speech which clearly reads out the information, and can optionally use voice recognition (in both English and Arabic) to gather information from the customer. All this allows for better customer service, a modern look for the bank and less work for human tellers (who are expensive both in terms of salaries and office space).