Level Four eases migration to SPAN 2 and EMV for Middle East’s largest ATM network operador

-The National Commercial Bank selects software from Level Four’s ATM Channel Development Suite-

London, 17 May 2005 – The National Commercial Bank (NCB), the largest bank in the Arab world, has chosen Level Four Software, the leading provider of ATM testing and development software, to help upgrade its ATM infrastructure ahead of migration to the SPAN 2 national network and to meet the Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) mandate for smart chip cards. The technology is being deployed at the bank’s headquarters in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The implementation includes a range of tools from Level Four’s ATM Channel Development Suite, including ATM Developer, EMV and 3DES FastTrack modules, and Bunch Note Acceptor.

NCB has also chosen to licence Level Four’s ATM Network Stress Tester. This module’s functionality is unique in its ability to simulate an entire ATM network. ATM Network Stress Tester uses the core logic of ATM Simulator, replicated to realistically simulate the stress of ATM network usage and provides for full, accurate and meaningful stress testing conditions to be created, enabling direct analysis of system capacity. With 960 ATMs throughout the Kingdom, ATM Network Stress Tester provides NCB with the ability to ensure its extensive ATM network can cope with the anticipated transaction volume.

In countries such as Saudi Arabia, the ATM channel is heavily used due to the vast number of services available at the ATM channel. In addition, Saudi Arabian banks’ host systems are required to adhere to stringent stress performance standards. ATM Network Stress Tester provides NCB with the necessary confidence that the network can cope with these high volumes and meet the required performance standards.

Mohammed Al-Maghrabi, head of software quality assurance at NCB, said: "NCB’s vision is to maintain our position as market leaders by providing our customers with innovative technology and the highest quality of services. Prior to our relationship with Level Four, we were using the traditional, manual way of testing ATM transactions. We needed to totally re-evaluate the way that we conducted our ATM testing."

"We assessed current market offers, to support the automation strategy to meet NCB goals, and it soon became clear that Level Four’s reputation as the best-of-breed ATM test and development solution provider was well deserved. With Level Four’s technology, we will ensure a smooth migration to EMV compliance by improving our automated regression testing, enabling faster deployment of new services across our ATM network, and delivering a more self service orientated ATM experience to our customers."

Osman Mehta, Middle East general manager at Level Four Software, says: “The completion of this deal with NCB, our fourth in Saudi Arabia, reaffirms our position as market leader in the Kingdom. This project marks our largest ATM network operator win to date in this region and is testament to our growing presence and increased reputation as the de facto standard for ATM testing in the Middle East."

Mehta continued: "We understand the drive from banks such as NCB to provide their customers with more sophisticated transaction sets at the ATM. We look forward to an ongoing relationship with NCB and will be on hand to deliver further functionality, such as the Cheque Processing Module, as they continue to deliver innovative new services in the region."

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