Outrunning the Bear

What’s Making News in the World of ATMs

Feb 26, 2019

Outrunning the Bear

What’s Making News in the World of ATMs

Feb 26, 2019

At the recent ATMIA show in Orlando, the talk was all about the future: what new technology will be introduced, what the future for cash looks like, how ATM deployers can futureproof their business. What’s the best strategy to achieve all these goals? In a word: PLAN. Develop a plan, work the plan, have a backup plan, and be nimble enough to adapt your plan as needed.

Planning is Everything

Keynote speaker Chris Bertish stressed the importance of planning as he told the incredible story of his 93-day solo journey across the Atlantic Ocean on little more than a stand-up paddleboard. During 3 years of prep, Chris learned to: “Be prepared. Things are always changing…to survive, you must adapt your plan.” At one point during the journey, the current was pushing Chris rapidly back to his starting point. He couldn’t fight the current directly, but he adapted: “If you can’t go forward, at least don’t go backwards.” He paddled parallel to the current and outlasted the setback until he could restart his forward progress.

Plan to be Affected by Crime

One session speaker said, “It’s not IF it’s going to happen to you, it’s WHEN.” Heavy attendance at the security sessions confirm that ATM deployers are concerned about crime but don’t know what to do. It’s understandable…with the growing complexity of technology and the increasing sophistication of criminal attacks, many deployers, especially small independents, feel overwhelmed. Luckily, forums like ATMIA exist and are the perfect way for deployers to learn first-hand about all the security solutions available to them.

Have a Backup Plan

During multiple sessions on security, the term “multi-layered” came up again and again. What it means is that as criminals diversify and find new ways to overcome security measures, ATM deployers have to keep existing measures in place and add more. The goal is to put enough roadblocks in place so that the criminal gives up and attacks the next guy’s machine. “I don’t have to outrun the bear” one of the presenters said, “I just have to outrun the slowest guy.” How does this multi-layering play out in the real world? It starts with the simple things, like making sure all installed software and patches are up-to-date. Protect against physical attacks with barriers, inkstaining and/or GPS. Install skimming protection that detects wireless attacks as well as fascia tampering. Finally, stay up to date on technology to thwart jackpotting attacks. As an audience member noted, the days of simply deploying a machine and letting it “just run” for 10 years are long over.

Adapt Your Plan as You Look to the Future

What does the future hold for ATMs? There were some interesting thoughts including the prediction that banks will move away from providing ATMs and instead work with retailers to allow customers to receive cash from a register instead. This solution would eliminate security headaches for the banks, but might just transfer the crime to retailers…and would retailers still play along if that happened? And what about cash? Is Cash King or is Cash Dead? It’s an ongoing debate that certainly isn’t going to be settled anytime soon. The best tack is to follow Chris Bertish’s advice: Plan and be prepared for changes and challenges, keep trying amid those challenges, and have a plan to make your business resilient.

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