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Find ways to offset upgrade costs

By Kelly Flynn, National Director

Migration from magnetic stripe to EMV-chip (Europay MasterCard Visa) card technology—which began in 2015—continues to progress. Some interesting stats courtesy of the U.S. Payments Forum include:

  • nine out of 10 consumers have at least one chip-enabled card in their wallet
  • approximately one-third of U.S. merchants have updated their equipment to accept chip card payments
  • an estimated 79 percent of ATMs will be EMV-ready by the end of 2017

While the MasterCard deadline requiring ATMs to upgrade to EMV chip technology to avoid liability for fraudulent transactions has been in effect since October 2016, the deadline for VISA compliance is set to take place October 1 of this year. Overall, migrating ATM machines to be EMV-ready continues to remain as an important project for many of our clients.Do your ATMs pass the service and security test?

For today’s consumers, convenience and security are top-of-mind expectations when completing financial transactions. With that said, providing access to EMV-compliant ATM services is an important safeguard for protecting their personal financial information, as well as reducing the threat of fraud liability for your bank or credit union. If you’ve put off updating your ATMs there is no time like the present to review your existing service specification and determine what it will take to ensure that your equipment is capable of meeting users’ demands. For example:

  • Do you have the appropriate hardware and software to support the new industry expectations?
  • Does your current operating system provide adequate processing and/or memory capacity to support current and emerging technology?
  • In addition to ensuring EMV compatibility, are your ATMs in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements that call for special-use features to accommodate hearing and/or visually impaired users?

Managing the impact of equipment upgrades

Maintaining updated ATMs that function safely and efficiently while authorizing and processing transactions efficiently can be costly, especially if you are limited by contract terms that have been in place for years. And, of course there is a big difference between ATM upgrades and replacement costs.

If your organization doesn’t have the internal knowledge of what to look for when reviewing what can often be complicated or complex contract terms and conditions, why not seek some professional advice? A review of your existing ATM or card contracts and agreements can uncover areas for potential savings and improved service, or lead to recommendations for alternative providers that might offer better service and pricing options.With this information in hand, you can make a more informed decision regarding whether your existing agreement or vendor is meeting your needs, or if it is time to consider other options that offer better value, service, security and peace of mind. You’ll not only be in a better position to evaluate the terms of the agreement, but can analyze the traffic and usage patterns to see if adding new features will help to address account holder preferences for increased convenience and security.

Finding ways to offset ATM upgrade costs

If you  haven’t yet converted to EMV chip-enabled cards, consider this: A review of your existing card brand vendor agreement could lead to better overall contract terms and increased revenue opportunities to help to cover the cost of necessary ATM product upgrades.

Without question meeting all of the EMV compliance standards involves facing the financial challenge of not only distributing new cards, but upgrading your ATMs, and more. For our bank and credit union clients, the objective knowledge and expertise to negotiate on their behalf has proven extremely beneficial and in many cases the results in far exceeded their expectations.

For one client, while using a third-party for help negotiating their card brand agreement was not something they had considered in the past, it truly was worth the effort. It was a great success—they not only received a signing bonus, they also obtained better interchange rates.  They were able to complete a mass card conversion, upgrade all of their ATMs to new EMV specifications—plus, add two new interactive ATM machines to their fleet.

Additional benefits of the new vendor contract included terms that helped their financial institution improve its operational efficiency and provide account holders with the option of signing up for free identity theft protection. What’s more, with the help of a team of professional contract experts, their staff could stay focused on other important initiatives throughout the contract review and negotiation process.Read the full case study to learn more about the potential savings and benefits of a getting help with negotiating your card brand agreement. It is possible you too could realize greater benefits.

Act now to increase ATM security and improve vendor contract terms

Providing safeguards against the threat of potential fraud is essential for maintaining trusted account holder relationships and reducing your liability risk. An expert in contract reviews and negotiations can help to ensure that your ATM products are EMV-ready, while also providing valuable recommendations for better service and potential revenue opportunities that can have a major impact on your bottom line.

To learn more about uncovering savings opportunities by renegotiating your service contracts contact Kelly Flynn at Kelly.Flynn@JMFA.com or call 800-809-2307.


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