May 10, 2018

Networking Trends in Omni-Channel Banking

The push for omnichannel banking has many financial institutions wondering how to implement a more application-rich customer experience without disrupting network stability and consistency. As a Managed Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) provider, Ventus often hears about the day-to-day and year-over-year challenges of enterprise banking WAN. Here are some of the more pressing ideas and directions we’ve been discussing with our customers:

Remote ATM Deployment

ATMs are among the most important customer-facing assets financial institutions can utilize. As ATMs expand capabilities with functionality including card-less transactions, multiple bill denominations and larger screens for remote banking customers, it is expected that by 2018 they will be able to process up to 90% of the transactions currently performed by a teller, according to Business Insider. Ensuring these machines receive persistent, reliable connectivity in a secured WAN environment is critical to preventing downtime and surpassing customers' expectations. ATMs will continue to grow increasingly more capable and complex, requiring more bandwidth and placing more demand on the network. Managed NaaS solutions for remote ATMs are utilizing cellular 4G LTE for the primary network to provide SLA-backed connectivity for installations, especially when the cost to deploy wireline is prohibitive.

Future of Branch WAN – Hybrid and SD-WAN Options

In order to satisfy growing customer demand for modern, omni-channel banking experiences, financial institutions are seeking WAN solutions that can prioritize network capacity and increase optimization while supporting complex cloud-based applications and services. As a result, many large institutions are utilizing cost-effective public internet for connectivity and partnering with managed services providers to handle network-related sourcing and support. In adopting this strategy, financial institutions have discovered the necessary flexibility to provide the most efficient network at each branch location. SD-WAN solutions deliver a dramatically more efficient alternative to traditional WAN, optimizing traffic flow at the application level and distributing it efficiently over multiple, logical WAN segments including MPLS, broadband and cellular. Taking advantage of new methods such as these will help financial institutions keep costs down while growing customer-oriented banking services.

Isolating Branch ATM Networks for PCI DSS

Flat networks with interconnected systems and shared devices are increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attack, particularly where payment data is concerned. Limiting the size of the Cardholder Data Environment (CDE) by way of network segmentation can offer partial protection and reduce the costs and scope of a PCI assessment. However, because a segmented network is still vulnerable through firewalls or other services (i.e. major retailer Target was breached via their HVAC system), complete network isolation has proven to be more effective for CDE applications. When network engineers work with their client’s internal teams, they make sure to comprehensively assess the full scope of the CDE. In doing so, the whole team can make an educated decision on which network strategy to pursue.

Ventus is a leader in Managed Network-as-a-Service solutions with over 18 years’ experience providing wired and cellular WAN networks to over 400 financial institutions in the U.S. Supporting over 1 billion transactions annually, Ventus collaborates with clients to design, build, host and maintain their business network at all times, delivering maximum availability.