The great Windows ripoff

In what may be the most under-reported ATM story of 2019, a growing number of financial institutions are making the decision to walk away from PC-based Windows ATMs. Others are questioning the wisdom of continuing to spend heavy capital on an ATM platform which appears to be headed for extinction. This widespread change in ATM buying patterns is a threat to manufacturers and deployers alike, yet has thus far flown largely under the radar. It is powerful market forces which are driving the stampede away from Windows ATMs, including:

The spiraling cost of continuous Windows ATM upgrades.  Many financial institutions are currently scrambling in the face of yet another ATM upgrade/ replacement cycle when Windows 7 goes end of life in January. The latest iteration is Windows 10 – whose sunset has already been announced. Benefits of the upgrade to Windows 10 are being described as somewhere between “nominal” and “non-existent.” An estimated 85% of all Windows ATMs will need to be upgraded or replaced in order to remain on a Microsoft supported operating system in 2020. This comes on the heels of the Windows 7 upgrade from Windows XP which in some cases is still being completed. With savings from branch closures now a memory, the staggering costs of operating Windows ATM fleets are now clearly visible. In fact, this latest forced migration to Windows 10 by 2020 has been called “the final straw” by many Windows ATM buyers.

The growing risks of vulnerable Windows ATM security.  If the spiraling costs of operating Windows ATMs weren’t bad enough, ATMs running Windows operating systems have suffered from an increasing number of malware insertions, hacking and “jackpotting”. These attacks have targeted vulnerabilities in Windows software, Windows ATM configurations and just plain user error. You would think that all of the upgrade pain and expense of moving to a new Windows ATM platform every few years would bring with it enhanced security. Unfortunately, this simply hasn’t been the case.


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