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Brazil’s Caixa Transformed into Digital Bank

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Brazil’s Caixa Transformed into Digital Bank

2017/5/25 0:00:00

Background

Caixa Econômica Federal (Caixa), founded in 1861, is the second largest state-owned bank in Brazil. Its 36,000+ branches and agent banks are geographically dispersed across Brazil. Caixa helps the Brazilian government manage the country’s National Institute of Social Security and Unemployment Guarantee Fund. These agencies play a key role in city and social development, such as housing, healthcare, infrastructures, and services that help improve people’s livelihood.

In order to reduce capital and operating expenditures, Caixa required reliable, one-stop access to these branches.

Challenges

The bank’s legacy network could not meet customers’ ever-increasing service demands at branch offices, such as financial requests (account openings or cancellations, deposits or withdrawals, transfers, handling customer complaints, and promoting financial products). Caixa needed a way to uniformly connect its branches so that the bank could centrally manage them and provide stable banking services.

Caixa required a reliable, high-performance, cost-effective solution that would meet its service requirements and reduce network construction and maintenance costs. The bank’s goal was to transform itself into a digitalized, modern bank.

Solution

Based on its extensive experience in constructing financial IT systems, Huawei proposed that Caixa use its AR G3 VPN access solution. This solution ensured interconnection and interoperability between Caixa branches and headquarters. The access solution used Huawei AR1200 series routers as core components. This reduced the number of devices previously required in Caixa branches, thereby cutting costs and simplifying O&M.

Huawei’s AR1200 series routers ensured access security by establishing GRE over IPsec high-security VPN channels between the branches and headquarters for encrypted E2E data transmission. By using the VPN connections, Caixa can provide secure, stable, and efficient financial services at low cost.

In the past, Caixa purchased equipment based on applications. This wasted resources, since much of the equipment was not integrated nor fully used. Now, by using Huawei AR1200 series routers, Caixa has a flexible, configurable network architecture that thoroughly integrates and streamlines information, services, and fund flows. The routers:

  • Integrate routing, switching, voice, VPN, WLAN, and security functions and provide a variety of service interfaces.
  • Provide “one-stop” deployment that features one cable for one access device. This meets Caixa branches’ service access requirements and reduces equipment investment by over 30 percent.
  • Support USB-based deployment, batch configuration, and automatic upgrades — all of which help reduce deployment and maintenance costs.

Previously, Caixa’s technical personnel had to configure and manage each device on-site to provision a new banking service or bring a new device online. Considering that Caixa maintains thousands of branches, the workload of O&M personnel was overwhelming.

  • Provide GUI-based, one-click configuration and operation that lower technological requirements, simplify system maintenance, and improve management efficiency, enabling Caixa employees to focus on core businesses.

Benefits

  • Caixa’s digital transformation reinforced the significance of the physical branch as the point-of-sale-and-service for customers who prefer face-to-face communication with bank personnel.
  • Huawei’s SDN-based branch network solution replaces traditional IP-based network management with agile user-based and role-based network administration features.
  • In addition, the AR1200 series routers provide integrated switching and routing for voice, data, and wireless communications in remote office environments. They feature:
    • 3G, WLAN, and 100 Mbit/s LTE
    • Resilient bandwidth for voice and data traffic
    • Wired and fiber-optic interfaces, configurable to 1 Gbit/s
    • Comprehensive security features, fault detection, and dynamic hot-swapping to ensure safe, secure, scalable communications
    • Stable operation in harsh environments
    • 3G + LTE dual-uplink to enhance connection reliability

Digital banking relies on digital products and services provisioning, digital channels for daily financial activities, and ICT infrastructures for real-time digital interaction. The future will see continual technological evolution. Huawei will invest more into innovations and work with industry-leading partners to continue optimizing its industry solutions.

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