Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Best Teller Cash Recycler (TCR)–Vendor Product Analysis

Being a vendor, some time back, I had an opportunity to recommend a customer with teller cash recycler machine. The plan was to have initial sessions with the vendors, analyze the pros/cons based upon the customer requirement and then propose a vendor for proof-of-concept (POC).

Just so, it may help anyone looking for a Teller Cash Recycler (TCR) based upon various aspects, following might help.

This article is analyzes TCR machine vendors’ specifically focusing on the ease-of-integration (EOI?) of TCR software with existing enterprise application; and the ways seamless authentication could be provided.

Business requirement

Teller cash recycler is a hardware requirement, and TCR software requires integration with the centralized/unified user interface, that is, one interface for all applications.

Solution Proposal

In order to achieve the above, TCR software shall be integrated with the enterprise, more specifically the CRM application, and Agent Desktop (ADT) application.

CCA delivers contact center functionality and by combining, displaying, and manipulating data from disparate line of business applications in a single user interface. CCA provides a number of capabilities, including:

  • Integrated agent desktop
  • Scripting to eliminate duplicate data entry
  • Agent activity reporting

Some of the items that we assumed as a part of customer requirement for the enterprise integration; one of the item was that

  • .NET based UI api will be provided by TCR vendor.

How Proof of Concept activity will flow?

Following the flow of events that may be performed with TCR vendors to identify the possibility of seamless integration with the enterprise applications.

  1. User shall log in to the system using internet browser (Internet Explorer 8 above).
  2. System shall validate the user from Active Directory (LDAP)
  3. User shall perform TCR functionality (cash deposit, cash withdrawal). Note that this TCR also provides counterfeit detection besides currency counting.
  4. System shall call the TCR user interface Application Programming Interface (API) with TCR software provided credentials
  5. TCR shall authenticate the user.
  6. TCR shall provide respective User Interface in HTML format.
  7. The software will render the HTML in internet browser.

What could be test scenarios?

There could be lots, but some, above the top of my head are as follows:

  1. Perform cash deposit functionality
  2. Perform cash withdrawal
  3. System shall call the cash deposit api, along with the user id/password

Legend

Following weights are marked considering keeping in consideration integration mechanism, security authentication, maintainability, time impact, scope of work, and required changes:

  • 3, High: Highly desirable; minimal changes
  • 2, Medium; some changes, including writing code
  • 1, Low; considerable change, not desirable but may work with low level workarounds
  • 0, function not available, or not wanted.

 

Vendor 1: TALARIS - CashInsight Assure

Benchmarks

#

Category

Type

Available

Weight

Comment

1.

Architecture

Local

Yes

L

1

2.

Branch Server

Yes

M

2

3.

Centralized Server

Yes

H

3

Required: Talaris to confirm

4.

CCA

Integrated before

Yes

H

3

Un/fortunately, I don’t know much about TwinSafe, it is also not used here, but I can give you the details of how the core banking application is communicating with the Talaris device.

· There are three actors in the scenario, the corebanking UI, The CCF and the Talaris UI.

· The core banking user interface application is hosted inside the CCF and these two have their own ways of communication.

· Talaris has a java client application (user interface) and also provides a programming interface in the form of a java API.

o Since Talaris did not have a .NET version of the API, they implemented a socket server into this UI application to listen for commands to dispense or collect money.

o Talaris promised to provide the .NET version of the API if the bank would select Talaris as their cash recycling device.

· Once the business decision to dispense or collect Money is made, the core banking UI passes this information to the covering CCF application.

· The CCF application then opens a tcp connection to the Talaris UI and forms and sends the respective command

· The Talaris UI handles the request and dispenses or collects the banknotes or coins, returns the response, success or fail, along with some additional information (# of banknotes disposed each, etc.)

5.

Two teller, one machine

Two teller, one machine

Yes

H

3

6.

Independent

No

L

0

If the machine that on which, since device server is on one machine;

7.

Connectivity port

Serial port

Yes

L

1

8.

USB port

Yes

H

3

9.

OS Support

Windows 2000

Yes

M

2

10.

Windows XP

Yes

M

2

11.

Windows 2008

Yes

M

2

12.

Windows 7

Yes

H

3

13.

Database

MS SQL Server

Yes

H

3

14.

Derby

Yes

L

1

15.

File based

No

L

0

16.

Memory based

No

L

0

17.

API

User Interface API calls

Yes

H

3

18.

Low level API calls

Yes

L

1

19.

Development platform

C#

Yes

H

3

Talaris to provide C# based implementation

20.

Java

Yes

L

1

clip_image002

Any matrix available to use the default, or acceptable values in this code? is a question! that you should ask Talaris, because they did not have any answer to this. Probably they don’t have it.

Where/how to provide the password of this username?

21.

C++

Yes

L

1

Provide example

22.

Communication mechanism

TCPIP

No

L

0

23.

Web Service calls

Yes

M

2

Required: How UI will render when integrating with web service calls?

24.

DLL calls

Yes

H

3

25.

Security

SSO Integration

Yes

H

3

Available as a part of API; Is handled by CashInsight software itself

26.

Custom security

Yes

L

1

Available in the database

27.

Roles/permissions

Yes

M

2

Reside in machine

28.

Encryption

RSA

No

M

0

Required.

29.

3/DES

No

H

0

Talaris to respond on this.

30.

Reports

Transaction log

Yes

H

3

31.

Audit log

Yes

H

3

32.

Theft Proof

Velocity

Yes

H

3

A rule, to dispense the cash per minute; or do not dispense the cash of same amount

33.

Jamming

Upper/outer surface

Yes

H

3

Easy, no vendor intervention

34.

Inner surface

Yes

H

3

Difficult, requires vendor intervention

35.

Safety

Fire

Yes

H

3

36.

Water

No

H

0

Table 1: Integration benchmarks, based upon initial discussion with vendor

Result of the above table is: 67

Conclusion – Points to Ponder!

  • There are three actors in the scenario, the corebanking UI, The CCF and the Talaris UI.
  • The core banking user interface application is hosted inside the CCF and these two have their own ways of communication.
  • Talaris has a java client application (user interface) and also provides a programming interface in the form of a java API.
  • Since Talaris did not have a .NET version of the API, they implemented a socket server into this UI application to listen for commands to dispense or collect money.
  • Talaris promised to provide the .NET version of the API if the bank would select Talaris as their cash recycling device. So, if you are a customer, and looking a Talaris API port of .NET, you need to request them and they can provide you that.
  • Now it depends upon your customers’ business department’s decision on how to dispense or collect Money is made, the core banking UI passes this information to the covering CCF application.
  • The CCF application then opens a TCP(synchronous) connection to the Talaris UI and forms and sends the respective command.
  • The Talaris UI handles the request and dispenses or collects the banknotes or coins, returns the response, success or fail, along with some additional information (# of banknotes disposed each, etc.)

Impact

1. Screen shall be created to render TCR options

2. Screen shall be created to map TCP users to Back Office users

In this case, following may be required from vendor

1. .NET based C# user interface API wrapper

2. SSO connectivity samples

3. Dictionary required for: Transaction name, and currency code, etc.

4. Demo application in VM to perform code level integration

 

Vendor 2: NCR – Aptra

Benchmarks

#

Category

Type

Available

Weight

Comment

1.

Architecture

Local

L

1

2.

Branch Server

M

2

3.

Centralized Server

H

0

No centralized reporting, for instance for all of the branches

4.

CCA

Integrated before

No

H

0

5.

Two teller, one machine

Two teller, one machine

Yes

H

3

6.

Independent

Yes

L

1

7.

Connectivity port

Serial port

L

1

Serial - Not on network; requires, Drivers, and installation apps, aptra cash connect

8.

USB port

H

USB - Not on network; requires, Drivers, and installation apps, aptra cash connect

9.

OS Support

Windows 2000

Yes

M

2

10.

Windows XP

Yes

M

2

11.

Windows 2008

Yes

M

2

12.

Windows 7

Yes

H

3

13.

Database

MS SQL Server

No

H

0

14.

Derby

No

L

0

15.

File based

Yes

L

1

16.

Memory based

No

L

0

17.

API

User Interface API calls

No

H

0

18.

Low level API calls

Yes

L

1

Will require re-implementation/verification the business rules that will be added on custom user interfaces; all configuration needs to be in place

19.

Development platform

C#

Yes

H

3

Vendor to provide sample documentation

20.

Java

No

L

0

21.

C++

No

L

0

22.

Communication mechanism

TCPIP

No

L

0

23.

Web Service calls

Yes

M

2

24.

DLL calls

Yes

H

3

25.

Security

SSO Integration

Yes

H

3

26.

Custom security

Yes

L

1

27.

Roles/permissions

Yes

M

2

28.

Encryption

RSA

No

M

0

29.

3/DES

No

H

0

30.

Reports

Transaction log

Yes

H

3

Using api calls in form of delimited text; as well as management console UI

31.

Audit log

Yes

H

3

Using api calls in form of delimited text; as well as management console UI. No centralized reporting, for instance for all of the branches

32.

Theft Proof

Velocity

Yes

H

3

33.

Jamming

Upper/outer surface

Yes

H

3

34.

Inner surface

No

H

3

Requires help from vendor

35.

Safety

Fire

Yes

H

3

36.

Water

Yes

H

3

Table 2: Integration benchmarks, based upon initial discussion with vendor

Result of the above table is: 54

 

Impact

  1. Screen shall be created to render TCR options
  2. Screen shall be created to map TCP users to Back Office users

Items you may required from vendor:

  1. .NET based C# user interface API wrapper
  2. SSO connectivity samples
  3. Dictionary required for: Transaction name, and currency code, etc.
  4. Demo application in VM to perform code level integration

 

Vendor 3: Wincor Nixdorf - ProAKT Automated Teller Safe(ATS) PC/E – Manager

 

Introduction

Wincore suggested ProCash 6000xe development automatic teller safe (Cash Recycler), a PC/E Cash Recycler Manager teller safe application (for client workstations utilizing the Cash Recycler) and an approach to integrate to the proposed teller applications in the future.

 

Benchmarks

#

Category

Type

Available

Weight

Comment

1.

Architecture

Local

Yes

L

1

2.

Branch Server

Yes

M

2

3.

Centralized Server

Yes

H

3

Following architecture options were discussed:

1. Thin client - using Sunray-270 +DANCE (not sure what does it mean?) architecture + black box

2. Thin client - scenario 2: Server deployed on main server, and rest of the clients having java swing UI, connected to central server

3. Thin client - scenario 3: main server deployed on centralized data center/head office

4.

CCA

Integrated before

No

H

0

5.

Two teller, one machine

Two teller, one machine

Yes

H

3

Two tellers can work on same machine

6.

Independent

Yes

L

1

If one machine is down, then other machine can be run smoothly. It is not dependent on machine one.

7.

Connectivity port

Serial port

Yes

L

1

8.

USB port

No

H

3

9.

OS Support

Windows 2000

No

M

0

10.

Windows XP

Yes

M

2

11.

Windows 2008

No

M

0

12.

Windows 7

No

H

0

13.

Database

MS SQL Server

No

H

0

14.

Derby

No

L

0

15.

File based

No

L

0

16.

Memory based

Yes

L

1

No database?! Data is saved inside the app

17.

API

User Interface API calls

Yes

H

3

18.

Low level API calls

No

L

0

19.

Development platform

C#

Yes

H

3

A wrapper needs to be written to access java based WOSA.XFS

20.

Java

Yes

L

1

21.

C++

No

L

0

22.

Communication mechanism

TCPIP

No

L

0

23.

Web Service calls

Yes

M

2

24.

DLL calls

Yes

H

3

25.

Security

SSO Integration

Yes

H

3

26.

Custom security

Yes

L

1

27.

Roles/permissions

Yes

M

2

Custom roles/permission defined inside the machine itself.

28.

Encryption

RSA

No

M

0

29.

3/DES

No

H

0

30.

Reports

Transaction log

Yes

H

3

Reports, where are they stored: electronic journal inside machine; time open/close, denomination.

31.

Audit log

Yes

H

3

32.

Theft Proof

Velocity

Yes

H

3

Safe - out door 2 keys; door - numeric/physical lock

33.

Jamming

Upper/outer surface

Yes

H

3

34.

Inner surface

No

H

3

35.

Safety

Fire

Yes

H

3

36.

Water

No

H

0

Vendor to come back to us.

Table 3: Integration benchmarks, based upon initial discussion with vendor

Result of the above table is: 53

 

Clearly, Talaris was the way to go.

 

References

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