Fortis Bank Chooses Diebold for Modernisation Projects in Belgium and The Netherlands

LONDON, 25th November 2004 - European financial group Fortis has signed an agreement with Diebold to manage a cutting-edge deposit automation project in Belgium and The Netherlands.

Diebold's newest generation of bundled-cash deposit technology will provide Fortis with the systems it needs to modernise the bank's ATM network. European trends favour systems with improved automation and efficiency.

Although the needs in the two countries vary according to local markets, Diebold's deposit automation solutions will enable Fortis to meet its goal to migrate traditional cash-deposit functions directly into self-service terminals. Diebold's system allows bulk-cash deposits to be credited in real-time. These operations are easily managed by customers and provide secure, user-friendly access. The automation of deposit functions enables bank staff to spend less time on basic administrative tasks, freeing up time to concentrate on value-added customer services.

In The Netherlands, Diebold installed its new family of ATMs - Opteva®. The installation included more than 160 Opteva cash dispensers and advanced-function ATMs. Half of these systems include modules for deposit automation. The supported functions include cash-in, cash-out, account information and money transfers from saving to current accounts.

Diebold used its Agilis® Power platform as the development tool. The Agilis platform provides "open," state-of-the-art technology that enables Fortis Netherlands to support the business functions of units provided by Diebold, as well as other vendors.

In Belgium, Diebold's solution involves a pilot installation of Diebold Cumulus units. Cumulus is a Diebold Custom Built Solution (CBS), enabling Fortis to pick and choose options that best meet the needs of its branches and its customers. A modular concept, Cumulus is produced by Diebold's Cable Print Research and Development in Erpe Mere, Belgium, and is built around a base unit to which various modules can be added at the customer's request.

The Cumulus units combine cash deposit and recycling features and are fully compliant with the European Central Bank's Article 6. The article requires the accurate detection, handling and retracing of counterfeit notes and the separation of suspect from genuine notes, as well as fit from unfit notes.

Fortis Bank Belgium has opted to activate the deposit mode of its new machines, allowing for significant cost savings. Cash can be immediately reused by a branch teller or in other cash terminals within the branch without having to be sent back for validation at the bank's central cash centre. The majority of Fortis Belgium's self-service terminals are Diebold solutions, consisting of a mix of customised cash, noncash and statement printer terminals. These units were developed by Diebold at its Cable Print Plant in Belgium.

"We responded to the bank's individual market needs by creating solutions that would help it meet its business goals while meetings its customers' needs," said Henrik Funch, division vice president of Diebold Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA).

The Fortis/Diebold partnership also includes other projects such as a noncash platform roll out and upgrades to Europay/Mastercard/Visa (EMV) and Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES) in both countries.

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