Installing a Key Management System in the Banking Industry
An Easy Way to Manage Keys
The UK banking sector is at the beginning of a journey that has the potential to drive financial firms to offer more services and to completely change the way people bank. Here, Tom Smith, Traka Market Development Manager, looks at the transforming retail banking industry. He uses Traka’s work with Nationwide to demonstrate how supporting operational efficiency can benefit banking staff and ensure they can focus on serving their customers, without compromising on security.
The year 2018 has been a pivotal year in retail banking. Not only have we seen the implementation of regulatory mandates including GDPR and rise in use of mobile banking, with continued concerns over cybersecurity and the impact of Brexit, underlying the year has seen the influence of ‘open banking, open doors.’ Whilst, in theory, open banking has made switching banks easier, the real result is a new sense of loyalty that has arisen between the most in-tune customers and the most effective banking services. 2018 has become an opportunity for the best brands to really dedicate themselves to their customers, through exclusive service-driven models.
What Nationwide Stands for
A great example for that is Nationwide Building Society. As one of the world’s largest building societies, as well as one of the largest savings providers and the second largest mortgages provider in the UK, it has *recently scored in the top three for overall service to personal banking customers. Nationwide has approximately 18,000 employees and around 650 branches across the UK and prides itself on running for the benefit of its customers, or ‘members.’
Richard Newland, Director of Branch & Workplace Transformation at Nationwide said: “Even more than getting a good ‘deal’ from a building society, the quality of our welcome, or our renowned level of service, we make sure our members feel safe with us, enough to trust us with their greatest assets. We are doing everything we can to evolve our business and focus our efforts on providing the best and most secure services that people value.”
Why Was a Key Management System Necessary?
Whilst some banks and building societies have been quite conservative in their technology adoption, Nationwide has recently enhanced its operational efficiency to better provide for its members, by phasing out manual processes when it comes to key management.
As Richard explained: “Branch managers were being relied upon to have ensured the management and safety of branch keys throughout the working day, and overnight.
This has been a time-constraining and manual process, effecting every aspect of branch operations, including potential opening times. And yet it remained an essential part of branch security. There was an opportunity to greatly improve our key management process, to make it easier for our colleagues to manage branch keys.”
Nationwide originally tested a number of different key management solutions across its UK branches. Traka was selected as the system of choice due to its offering of a future-proof system that can be installed over a phased programme of works, to cover every UK branch.
Traka worked in partnership with the Nationwide team right from the initial design and specification process, to ensure the right system was selected to cater for the requirements of each branch. The M-Touch series was chosen as an intricate management solution. It presented Nationwide with the capability for keys to be readily available 24/7, outside of branch hours, with instant access enabled for authorised users only. The system has the built-in option of being able to be accessed via a PIN code or biometric fingerprint reader. Traka’s M-Touch series also presents branch managers and authorised personnel with instant access to a full audit trail of all key transactions, retained within the system by the internal solid-state memory.
The initial installation was planned over a phased programme of works and completed by Traka’s engineers to create a simple supply chain and one point of contact. Due to the careful planning of a seamless installation process, work could take place during branch opening hours, with no disruption to everyday operations for staff or members.
Whilst currently the systems have been installed as a standalone solution, the M-Touch series has been supplied as ‘Network Ready’ for a potential future upgrade. Installation was complete across all branches within six months.
Lisa Brown, Head of Branch Network Operations comments: “The real appeal of Traka’s M-Touch system was its flexibility. This is right from the access choices, PIN or biometrics and installation options, standalone or networked, enabling simple initial installation allowing our team to familiarise themselves with the new ways of working, with the choice to network in the future.”
Continuing its partnership approach, Traka worked closely with individual branches to ensure staff had full training in the use of key management systems and access control solutions for authorised personnel.
Lisa says: “The introduction of Traka key management systems moved us into a more digital management system. Although it may seem to be a cultural change, the benefits and added value of intelligence and interactivity soon became clear. Our colleagues no longer need to solely manage keys, and the audit trail capability has helped us to remove the manual paper recording and see the instant status of keys at any one time.”
In summary, whilst key management may only seem a small element of security across Nationwide’s branch network, it actually has made a significant difference from an operational perspective.
Staff no longer need to solely manage keys. and instead, they can focus on servicing members needs more efficiently. Nationwide has total peace of mind they have a secure and accurate audit trail of all keys, across every branch in its network.
Traka has ensured Nationwide’s teams across the UK and as a building society can transform themselves to grow in a sustainable manner and continue to excel at the provision of services to its growing loyal member base.
In conclusion, whether it be the impact of Brexit, banking reform or evolving regulatory agendas, adapting to change ‘whilst doing your day job’ is the constant for building societies such as Nationwide and the retail banking sector as a whole.
Embracing technology and intelligent systems to help every aspect of branch operations can ensure staff are best placed to be able to ride the consequences and continue to deliver on top quality service.
*Nationwide appeared third in Great Britain for personal banking customers, following the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decision from 15.08.18 that banks must publish information on how likely people would be to recommend their bank: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/best-banks-uk-customer-...