Expect to See Fewer ATMs Soon

Photo by cozyta / Shutterstock.com

Third-party ATMs like those at bodegas could soon start becoming sparse.

Starting in October, banks that issue credit and debit cards won’t necessarily be responsible for certain types of fraud, according to a MarketWatch report. This is due to a new MasterCard policy, and Visa will enact the same policy in October 2017.

MarketWatch explains:

After the shift, MasterCard and Visa will hold whichever party has the least secure technology responsible for counterfeit fraud; that could be the bank that issued the card, the bank that processes payments made on the card for the merchant (like a bar or bodega owner), or the ATM owner who operates an ATM that isn’t EMV-enabled.

“EMV” standards for “Eurocard, MasterCard, Visa” and refers to the technology behind the tiny computer chips that are now embedded in many credit and debit cards. These cards and the machines that process them are referred to as EMV-enabled, or sometimes “chip-enabled.”

Due to the possibility of increased risk for ATM owners, small businesses that own ATMs might do away with their ATMs rather than upgrade them to or replace them with EMV-enabled machines, MarketWatch reports, citing experts.

Bloomberg reported earlier this summer that the cost of upgrading an ATM’s hardware and software generally ranges from $300 to $3,000, and some 410,000 ATMs need be upgraded.

Abe Ayesh, COO for a firm that helps manage about 8,000 ATMs, told Bloomberg it would cost $4 million to upgrade them all. That’s as much money as his company earns in a year, so he plans to shut down some of the ATMs.

As the chief operating officer of FAM ATM explained:

“The machines that used to do barely enough to support, do I want to go spend $3,000 right now for a new machine that’s going to take me three to four years to get my money? It’s not worth it.”

What do you make of this impending change? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

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