We read about some new technological advance or breakthrough every day. Technology is evolving faster than the human brain can comprehend. But keeping up with the advancement of technology has its costs, both in financial capital and human capital.
Consider your ATMs.
Today’s ATM may look similar to yesterday’s. But it is a much more complicated beast. And Windows 10 is a prime example of a change that will directly affect your credit union. Most credit unions went through a series of expensive upgrades when Windows 7 and EMV were released just a couple of years ago. Some even had to buy brand new equipment, spending tens of thousands of dollars in capital, to stay current with technology. Now, Windows 10 is on the horizon and will require even more capital.
How much capital? Well, even if you were able to escape the EMV transition with your existing ATM, you may need to buy brand new machines this time. Many older ATMs simply cannot be brought up to date with Windows 10.
That means the ATM you spent thousands to upgrade will become worthless. And if you bought a brand new machine during the EMV upgrade? Well, your Windows 10 upgrade will still cost you thousands of dollars. For older ATMs the cost could be as much as $13,500 per machine.
Now, is Windows 10 a mandate? No. And don’t let any consultant or vendor tell you it is. Windows 7 is sunsetting. So as of January 2020, Microsoft will no longer support or provide updates or patches for the software. This will make your ATM more vulnerable to malware and intrusion after the sunset date. But, similar to the EMV update, thousands of ATMs won’t be updated until months after the January 2020 timeline.
What should you do with your ATMs? Keep your options open. Don’t get locked into a long-term service and maintenance agreement with your current provider that extends beyond January 2020. If you do, you may find that your only remaining option is to purchase new equipment from that maintenance provider. You have time to evaluate and research options.
If your ATMs are too old to handle the Windows 10 upgrade, now is the time to consider other ATM providers and even outsourcing. As a credit union, member service is at the core of what you do every day. But ATM management is not. As ATM technology continues to advance, the burden on your staff will continue to grow. Letting someone else manage it for you can relieve that burden.
With outsourcing, your ATM will still be there, wrapped in your brand, waiting for your members. But when an update or patch is required or when something happens and the machine goes down, it is someone else’s job to manage. That lets you turn your focus from equipment to your membership.