Bringing Secure Interactive Financial Services to Rural Regions with SD-WAN

The financial services market is embracing SD-WAN as a way to achieve bandwidth expansion and maximization, optimize connectivity to cloud resources and reduce branch device footprint. As more and more customer information is stored in the cloud, fast and secure access to this data becomes critical to servicing customers. Additionally, financial services, primarily banking, needs to reach customers in remote areas, often through innovative means such as specialized ATMs and kiosks.

One such institution that has embraced SD-WAN to help is enable customers and provide an exceptional user experience is STAR Financial.

STAR Financial Bank provides in-branch and kiosk banking and financial services to its customer-base. Banking services were provided using a combination of locations such as branches, insurance offices, automated teller machines (ATM) and interactive teller machines (ITM). Based in Indiana, the majority of its customer-base live in rural areas, which creates obstacles in setting up a reliable and secure banking infrastructure as bandwidth availability is limited. With an initiative to expand its service availability to even broader markets, STAR Financial needed to reconsider its existing infrastructure that was based on legacy devices and connections such as MPLS and routers.

To continue to offer an exceptional user experience to its customer base, STAR Financial planned to expand its deployment of ITMs. ATMs and ITMs offer very similar services, but ATMs do not require human interaction, whereas ITMs offer a direct connection to a live banker via a video connection. Because video has much higher bandwidth requirements than voice or data traffic, STAR Financial was running into network issues.

To streamline the management of its core business, STAR Financial was undergoing a migration to the cloud in adopting Office365, which required continuous cloud access. In addition, as with any financial institution, STAR Financial was required to abide by cyber security regulations, which required that data needed to be encrypted at all times.

STAR Financial began exploring alternate solutions to support its current business and its expansion plans. Increasing its bandwidth availability across its existing legacy infrastructure was prohibitively expensive. In addition, the legacy infrastructure often had outage or long latency during video and voice calls. With a focus on providing an exceptional customer experience, delivering a clean video experience was a critical component, and STAR Financial required that the alternate solution would need to be robust, flexible, and easily deployed.

Requirements for the new solution included:

  • Expanded significant bandwidth to support video, voice, and data without compromising quality
  • Visibility and management of network performance
  • Provide cost savings over existing infrastructure
  • Support redundant connections for load balancing and failover

To read the full case study on STAR Financial’s decision to deploy SD-WAN and the results it obtained, click here.


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