Bernd Kümmerle, Managing Director, Banknote Solutions Division, G+D Currency Technology GmbH
Can you tell us a little about your company?
Yes, we already know each other so well, so some key points only. Giesecke+Devrient is an international Group headquartered in Munich, providing security technology in four key areas: payment, connectivity, identities and digital infrastructure. Innovations by G+D make the lives of billions of people in the digital and analogue world more secure.
Here at Intergraf Currency+Identity we are represented with our comprehensive security solutions for secure public currency, both cash and digital form from G+D Currency Technology, as well as ID solutions from Veridos, safeguarding Identities and authentication of persons and their interface with regulatory controls.
Furthermore, solutions for the protection of digital infrastructure systems, networks and confidential data from secunet are of relevance in an increasingly virtual world.
With regard to the pandemic G+D has overcome this challenging time quite successfully – so far.
From the beginning it has been our highest objective to safeguard our people, and be perceived as the trusted partner by our customers. We achieved this by implementing immediately preventative actions and rigid measures in order to keep our critical businesses and operations running.
Adaptability, agility and effective digital communication platforms supported us to maintain our touchpoints internally, and with our customers, partners and suppliers.
What was/is your biggest challenge selling your products and services in times of COVID-19?
In the business sectors where we could deliver products, like banknotes, ID documents or banknote processing systems, we were able to draw on our own resources and were able to supply continuously.
Large system installation at customers’ sites as well as some logistic services like airfreight have proven to be challenging at times. Particularly the implementation of our major projects abroad still pose a great challenge, as travel is essential.
However, the trustful partnerships with many customers and suppliers built over many years have helped us tremendously to overcome bottleneck situations.
Our worldwide service network and the co-operation with our customers allowed us to keep our local services operational.
Despite the very efficient means of virtual work, we are missing the personal human meet with partners, and look forward to being able to travel again soon.
Do you think your market has changed in the past year, and if so how?
Yes and no. In the event of crisis, the world often turns to cash, and we quickly realised a high demand from issuers. And we are confident that cash will continue to play an important role in the world long after COVID-19.
But also as a contrast, the contact restrictions during the pandemic boosted demand for advanced IT security solutions and e-government solutions. This pandemic has also initiated an accelerated implementation of respective projects which will bring IT based services onto a new level.
You will be exhibiting at Intergraf Currency+Identity Online (24-26 March 2021). What can participants look forward to seeing on your virtual exhibition space?
G+D is representing some inspiring topics:
- Two “Innovation Tracks” – one from G+D and one from Veridos.
- Together with our print works customer Banco de México, and Orell Füssli, we will offer a roundtable session entitled Driving efficiency via Banknote Note Inspection.
In their presentation our colleagues from secunet will talk about the cryptography’s role in protecting digital identity and identity documents, and last but not least:
- a roundtable of experts will focus on the question of whether privacy is possible with CBDC.
All themes will, of course, also be displayed on our virtual booth and I am sure there will be an interesting topic for every participant.