The Best Defense is a Good Offense

Plan now to manage ATM changes and compliance requirements.

September 15, 2013

Credit union leaders have learned to expect change. From economic uncertainty to compliance mandates, no year is ever the same. Often, change managers find success by following one key philosophy: planning ahead.

This philosophy will be tested in the coming months, as credit unions prepare for several compliance, technology, and supplier-support changes to the ATM channel. These changes will require credit unions to upgrade existing ATMs and/or re-evaluate deployment strategies.

The required changes include:

Windows 7 migration: As Microsoft ends support of its Windows XP operating system, an upgrade to Windows 7 (before April 2014) is required to keep up with the latest patches and to maintain payment card industry compliance.

Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) liability shifts: A series of updates, which began in April, will shift the liability for card counterfeiting losses from card issuers to transaction acquirers that do not enable EMV transactions.

Payment card industry 3.0 compliance guidelines: An enhanced version of the encrypting PIN pad will be required to maintain compliance on ATMs purchased and installed after April 2014.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates: Federal regulations for ADA compliance, in effect since 2012, make any neglected upgrades even more critical.

It seems daunting, but if you plan now, you can manage the changes holistically for maximum efficiency regarding cost and process. If you delay your planning, you’ll likely spend more time and money.

What’s the best approach? Follow these five steps:

1. Study the timeline. Each credit union has different priorities. Study the deadlines and the impact each change will have on goals and priorities for your ATM channel—both now and in the coming years.

2. Evaluate your fleet. Examine the hardware, soft ware, and network implications related to each of the changes. Does your ATM soft ware support Windows 7? Are your units equipped with EMV chip card readers? What about network certification? These are just some of the issues you must consider when creating your plan to manage the changes.

3. Calculate your capital investment. What’s your readiness to invest? Options to manage the changes include upgrade, replace, and/or migrate to outsourcing. Each credit union will have a different solution.

Some credit unions are ahead of the game because they recently invested in upgrades or replacements to meet ADA requirements. For those with smaller staffs or more complex environments, outsourcing ongoing needs might make sense. It puts the maintenance burden on the provider, while offering a predictable monthly expense.

Consider how your plan will affect future initiatives. If more robust ATM marketing technology is on the horizon, for example, it might make financial sense to plan for this upgrade at the same time.

4. Develop an implementation plan. Here’s where you create the plan that allows the changes to take place. Timing is critical. Because you’ve planned ahead, you can implement many of these changes in tandem to meet multiple requirements, which broadens the impact of your investment.

Be sure partners, especially network providers, share your commitment to planning ahead. Your network provider might schedule its certification around Windows 7 at a time that delays your migration plan. Speak up! Ask to have the schedule moved up to meet your timetable. Think ahead when scheduling EMV and payment card industry certification needs.

5. Start today. The ATM fleet changes that Microsoft , MasterCard, Visa, and the U.S. government mandate present challenges. But there’s a bright side. As you implement your plan, you’ll not only meet compliance requirements and supplier support changes, you’ll also have a fleet that’s better equipped for meeting future ATM channel initiatives.

Simply put, planning ahead works. You’ll have fewer headaches, maximize your investment, and, most important, you’ll minimize the risk to your credit union.

DEAN STEWART is senior director of core solutions product management for Diebold, Inc.