Panini: A Respected Player in the Financial Technology Space

Richard Kane, CEO of Panini
Richard Kane | CEO | Panini

Today, many financial institutions are striving to leverage technology in order to reduce operating costs, build infrastructure to reduce fraud and risk, and plan for the next generation of banking. Panini is responding to these needs with effective technological solutions and a suite of value-driving services.

Panini’s mission is to improve customer efficiency and fraud prevention via trusted and innovative technologies for check truncation and secure identity.With a successful history of enabling clients to capitalize on shifts in the payment processing market, Panini has become a highly respected player in banking technology. The company has been in business for over 75 years since its foundation in Torino, Italy in 1945, but its global expansion took a decisive turn in 1995 with the foundation of Panini North America in Dayton, Ohio. The U.S. is currently Panini’s largest market, and the company’s products and services are utilized in over forty countries across six continents.

Panini’s scalable check imaging systems address the complete range of distributed capture opportunities, resulting in the world’s largest deployed base of scanners. Its expanding portfolio of secure identity technologies includes reliable, user-friendly options for identity verification and authentication.

We at CIO Look caught up with Richard Kane, the CEO of Panini, to know more about the company and how its technology can make a significant difference for its customers.

Below are the highlights of the interview:

Describe your top-notch offerings that address the need of your customers.

Panini’s core offering is related to check scanning – allowing financial institutions to truncate paper checks – i.e. convert them into digital data as early as possible in the interbank process, enabling important efficiencies and savings to our customers. The latest frontier in this application is the emergence of “intelligent” scanners, with Panini leading the way. These devices are capable of autonomous processing, are easier to install and support than traditional peripherals, and allow a wider range of applications.

Moreover, we are now stepping into the market of identity verification and authentication solutions with a brand new and evolving portfolio meant to increase the security of our client base while keeping their individual and business customers at ease.

How is Panini improving customer efficiency and fraud prevention?

Over the past decade, we have done important work on our core technologies to reduce check fraud, such as incorporating ultraviolet and infrared light to help spot counterfeit or forged checks, and micro-perforation detection via ultrasounds, which is a specific advantage in Italy.

Today, we are venturing into the prevention of other types of fraud, such as identity theft and impersonation, with our new secure identity offering that leverages biometrics-based authentication. Biometrics, one could almost say by definition, stands for security coupled with convenience. An innovative, cost-competitive and low-friction application built on biometrics is what many financial institutions are either already looking for, or perhaps ready for without even realizing it. We believe most customers will embrace it enthusiastically, if it’s proposed and justified to them in a meaningful way.

As a well-known organization, what innovative technologies are you implementing to elevate your services to be more productive?

We believe intelligent devices are the future – devices that you can access with simplicity from a variety of hosts, with multiple interfaces, and capable of their own choices. It’s impressive for me, as a newcomer, to acknowledge that while the paper check has not substantially changed for decades, we haven’t given up innovating on the related technology: today, we are implementing a new fleet management system that leverages our last generation scanners as a means to simplify maintenance, freeing up our customers’ technical staff for higher value tasks and increasing their overall productivity.

And while we proudly acknowledge that the application of this new architecture is determining the undeniable success of our latest scanners, we are extending this philosophy to our secure identity products: in the near future, bank customers will be able to authenticate offline, using their biometrics and an encrypted credential they own and control, with no need for the institution to worry about storing and protecting sensitive biometric data. This truly combines security and convenience in an unprecedented way and we’re sure the market will understand this outstanding value proposition.

Describe the values that drive your organization.

I’ve been in Panini for ten months, and I must say I have never encountered such a level of perseverance as I can find in our employees. It all starts from customer-centricity: we strive to understand our customers’ pain points and to solve them with our ingenuity – though never forgetting that excessive customization is dangerous, so we keep our eyes and ears open on general market requirements.

Then comes empowerment: once we know where our goal is set, Panini people will act with an entrepreneurial mindset and relentless determination, and never give up until we get there. This attitude has truly impressed me.

In what ways have you or your company contributed to the community?

Our employee base is engaged, and willing to give back to our communities. Panini made a substantial donation to a few Italian and American healthcare institutions fighting COVID-19 in early 2020, but it’s giving our personal time which really fills us with pride. Our North American subsidiary has recently engaged with the Dayton Food Bank and Hannah’s treasure chest, a non-profit supporting the lives of children in need.

In Italy, during these challenging times when working with people has been subjected to restrictions, we have carried out initiatives oriented towards the environment, such as cleaning hiking trails. I would also highlight that our core products, which transform paper documents into bits and bytes, have an intrinsic positive impact on the environment – because moving payments data pollutes significantly less than moving paper.

What are your future aspirations? Where do you see Panini in the next five years?

Panini will continue to evolve, both with our technology and with our people, as we further our expansion beyond the financial market. The business world is becoming increasingly more complex and riskier than ever before.

Identifying your interlocutor in a secure way, while not making them consistently jump through hoops to ensure that the proper confidence levels are being met, is becoming a widespread requirement not only for banks but across many industries: the public sector, healthcare, travel, and entertainment – and I could go on.

We believe that we have something interesting to say in this domain, thanks to our research & development capabilities coupled with our ability to listen to our customers. So while we will still be involved in the world of payments, prepare to hear more about our expanding identity-related offering!