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Understanding the power of real-time transaction analytics

A Whitepaper by Stacy Gorkoff, VP, Strategic Marketing – INETCO®


Unlocking Your ATM BIG DATA
Unlocking Your ATM BIG DATA

Banks and credit unions are heavily investing in technology initiatives such as mobile infrastructure and more sophisticated, interactive ATMs. These new technologies allow customers to initiate a broader range of cross-channel and self-service transactions that were typically handled by costly branch tellers and customer service representatives, such as applying for mortgages, inquiring about account balances or depositing checks. Expanding services and the growing number of customers choosing self-service channel options are resulting in an explosion of ATM “Big Data”. This mass amount of data is making it hard for banks and credit unions to keep service management risk in check with support costs.

This whitepaper discusses how real-time transaction monitoring and analytics software will help banks and credit unions gain easy access to complete ATM network traffic, quickly process huge amounts of transaction intelligence, and create timely, actionable statistics across a broad range of use cases, including:

  •  Customer service management – Reduce failed customer interactions by 25%
  • Support and systems management – Isolate ATM service issues 65-75% faster
  • Business and cash management – Improve ATM network profitability and cash flow handling

With real-time transaction monitoring and analytics, ATM channel managers, operations support and marketing teams will be able to utilize a centralized deposit of rich transaction information to analyze service delivery trends and produce customized performance analytics that can lead to improved customer satisfaction, lowered support costs and increased ATM profitability.


 An ATM network is a rich data environment. It plays host to an “always on” data source –your transactions. There is a massive amount of value in the real-time transaction data that flows through your ATM network.

Each transaction that travels across your ATM network contains information on what the customer is experiencing, how networks and applications are performing and what the business value of each transaction is from a revenue or service perspective.  Meta data reveals details such as the ATM terminal ID, geographic location and transaction status. Application message data contains valuable information such as the transaction type and transaction amount. Network level protocol information enables you to review the response and request times for each “hop” on the transaction’s network path. Switch response codes indicate what type of error may be affecting the completion of a transaction.  And the list of valuable data contained in each individual transaction goes on.

ATM channel managers, operations support and marketing teams all know transaction data holds great value when it comes to improving customer experience, speeding up problem isolation and analyzing profitability based upon card types, ATM locations and value added services. But the cost of retrieving and analyzing this data should not exceed the benefits.


While existing ATM management solutions produce statistics based on device performance, withdrawal and deposit transactions from the ATM, many do not capture statistical information on ancillary service transactions, zero revenue transactions or cross-channel initiatives. These include transactions such as mobile e-receipts, interactive teller exchanges, bill payments, balance inquiries, account to account transfers, marketing fulfillment campaigns and value added services such as mobile top-up, prepaid gift cards or transit ticketing.

There are a variety of ways to acquire ATM transaction data, including switch logs, journals, core banking system databases, 3rd party data feeds, your network and agents. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

Growing volumes and diversity of ATM transactions is translating into massive data sets that present new challenges when it comes to security, operational support and business analytics. In a world where services are becoming more decentralized, banks and credit unions often face storage wars, capacity issues and forwarding issues as they attempt to mine an overwhelming amount of data. It often takes many manual labor hours for this information to be gathered and pieced together across multiple tools and department silos. Tracing end-to-end transactions that span complex, virtual and Cloud-based infrastructures is also challenging due to limited visibility.

The resulting incomplete transaction intelligence makes it tough to control management risk. This is why forward- thinking banks and credit unions are now investing in real-time transaction monitoring and analytics software to complement existing ATM management solutions.

SOURCE                   ADVANTAGES                       DISADVANTAGES


Switch logs


Contain transaction and timing data for every transaction the switch processes

Lack visibility into the growing number of

transactions the switch doesn’t process (value added services, RDC, incomplete transactions). Imposes overhead on switching infrastructure

ATM journalsContain a record of every transaction ATM attemptsDisparate formats, only available on demand (or once a day), no timing information
Core banking databases 

Definitive record of all consumer transactions

Highly summarized data, may lack ATM details, no timing information, failures and incompletes are missing
3rd Party data feedsTypically well-formatted for easy analysis. Includes financial breakdowns of fee income.Can be expensive. Only delivered periodically (e.g. daily or monthly). Little flexibility in requesting additional information
Your networkDefinitive source of everyLots of data, diverse formats

ATM agents

Can provide access to transaction data when you don’t own the network or the switch.Need to distribute, install, and update agent periodically



The desire for banks and credit unions to tap into more timely, “actionable” data is driving demand for more flexibility and insight into how defined ATM terminal groups, authorization hosts, ancillary service offerings and card types are performing.

Real-time transaction monitoring and analytics software offers a cost-effective way to access a centralized deposit of rich transaction intelligence. The software either displays transaction data within its user interface, or streams it to a management platform of choice, such as NCR’s APTRA Vision, Gasper, NCR OptiCash, Splunk, HP Operations Manager or IBM Tivoli. This helps financial institutions analyze transactional data directly from their networks and correlate it with other ATM-generated data to harvest deeper insights across the entire ATM network.

Transaction analytics captured by a real-time transaction monitoring and analytics solution can be collected over a set period of time (e.g. one hour). This data can be used to create more profitable ATMs, quickly isolate issues affecting customer interactions and uncover opportunities for cross-selling and customized marketing campaigns. By having the ability to aggregate real-time transactional data by ATM, service type or card base, banks and credit unions can also establish proprietary insights into consumer or card trends, and offer these reports to their clients.

Transaction interval statistics commonly tracked today are based on:

  • Transaction  status – The total number of approved, declined, failed, reversals, force posts and abandoned transactions by ATM terminal ID, service application, card base or switch host
  • Cash totals by transaction  type – Cash positions for withdrawals, deposits, account transfers, failures, approvals, declines, force posts, reversals on any ATM 
  • Key code function – A breakdown of customer transactions by function such as withdrawals, deposits, inquiries, bill payments, transfers and other value added services
  • Data events – Includes transaction events such as ATM card capture and PIN failures
  • Card BIN related information – Information on competitor cards using your ATMs, “on us” versus “off us” transaction comparisons or ancillary service tracking
  • Network information – A breakdown of slow transactions due to TCP/IP issues such as third party or telecom connection time outs, latency of transient connections or application response time issues
  • ATM device statistics – Information on transaction errors occurring at the ATM such as cassette usage, bill dispenser or printer issues
  • Response code errors – Total number of transactions by switch response code error


The right transaction monitoring and analytics software will help banks and credit unions gain easy access to complete ATM network traffic, quickly process huge amounts of transaction intelligence, and create timely, actionable statistics to feed a broad range of KPI’s, including:

Customer service management – How can I better serve my ATM customers?

  • Customer usage by time and function
  • Number of incidents reported by end customers
  • Number of approved transactions by card type (debit, EFT, credit, prepaid, etc.), service type (withdrawal, deposit, mobile top-up, bill payment, etc.) and ATM terminal ID

 Incident and systems management – How can I reduce ATM support costs?

  • Uptime and availability specific to ATM, switch, third party service connections, card types
  • Direct business cost associated with system downtime (service violation compensation and operational support costs)
  • Payment failure rates by root cause (lost communication errors, host or third party connection time outs, message authentication code (MAC) errors, transaction status errors and decline response code errors)
  • Number of first call resolution rates (lost communications or no fault found service calls)

Business and cash management – How can I make my ATM channel more profitable?

  • Total business cost associated with system downtime (loss of business)
  • Failed customer transactions by value of service revenue lost
  • Total cash withdrawal, deposit, and account to account transfer amounts by ATM terminal (on an hourly basis for more precise information on cash level holdings and cash replenishment planning


This is an example of a bank in the United Arab Emirates who faced the following problems:

  • ATM profitability reports were becoming difficult and time-intensive to prepare
  • The ATM operations and marketing teams lacked visibility into the customer experience
  • These teams were reliant on an incomplete, fragmented view into ATM device, transaction and cash flow performance to make key decisions

The goal was to help their ATM operations and marketing teams manage targeted campaign performance, enhance the profitability of their ATM channel, and ensure important customer interactions are secure and reliable. By investing in real-time transaction monitoring and analytics software, the bank was able to:

  • Produce 30+ customized analytics to enhance profitability of the ATM channel
  • Isolate ATM service issues 65% faster
  • Reduce failed customer interactions
  • Improve customer segmentation and manage targeted campaign performance
  • Conduct near real-time monitoring of cash levels at the individual ATM level

Rich, actionable transaction data is being forwarded into their existing ATM management solution on an hourly basis for a complete, one-stop view into ATM device, cash management and transaction network performance, including:

  • ATM deposit and withdrawal cash totals, broken down by currency type
  • Number of withdrawals on us, broken down by debit, prepaid and E-Dirham
  • Number of withdrawals by others, broken down by UAE switch, Visa and MDS
  • Number of prepaid card reloads, credit card and utility bill payments, broken down by type
  • Number of account to account transfers, cardless transactions, pin changes, balance inquiries, and statement requests broken down by on us, UAE switch, Visa and MDS


Transaction data and analytics offer transformational opportunities for today’s financial institutions. Yet a lot of this data loses its value because analyzing and acting on it in real time can be a challenge. Transaction monitoring and analytics software makes it easy and affordable for banks and credit unions to access a centralized deposit of rich transaction intelligence found on ATM networks and in the Cloud, providing significant opportunity to improve customer experience, reduce support costs and make your ATM channel more profitable. Comprehensively manage your ATM business, and successfully deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time, by harnessing the power of real-time transactional data today.

About INETCO®—Every transaction tells a story™

INETCO® Systems Limited provides real-time transaction monitoring and analytics to IT operations teams that are looking for a faster, non-invasive way to identify application and infrastructure bottlenecks and ensure optimal service and business process delivery within their production environments. INETCO’s  solutions are currently deployed in over 50 different countries. Happy INETCO Insight® partners and customers include a variety of global companies spanning the banking, ATM, retail, healthcare, travel, telecommunications and payment processing markets. www.inetco.com