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The End of XP at the ATM

There are changes coming to the ATM industry, and we don’t mean EMV. Microsoft has announced that next year it will end its support of its workhorse Windows XP operating system, a standard of the ATM industry.

Most ATM owners run XP, Kevin Casey writes in today’s Information Week. In the early 2000s ATM owners began converting to XP because of the flexibility and cost advantages it bought them.  Prior to Windows, upgrading and modifying ATM terminal software was a slow, expensive, laborious process.

With Windows downloading new applications and software became similar to what we all do today to upgrade our PC software. This in turn allowed ATM owners to offer more services through their terminals and to deploy machines in ever-increasing numbers.

Today most ATM terminals run on the Windows platform.  Running XP without Microsoft support won’t meet the critical PCI industry standard for transaction security. This could lead to thousands of dollars in fines, not to mention a loss of consumer confidence. So ATM owners are scrambling to find cost effective alternatives to XP.

The operating system issue is just one of many that the ATM industry faces today. These challenges include EMV complianceskimming, and continued backlash against ATM surcharges. Personally, I don’ t thing the phase-out of XP is such a bad thing. it’s true that XP was a great advancement at one time. But its final phase-out  will clear the way for newer technology.

 This past June 28 we blogged about  the telegraph industry and how its demise was the result of being superseded by new technology. ATM owners are understandably upset about the cost of upgrading to a new platform. But let’s remember that the switch to Windows offered advantages that its predecessor, IBM’s OS/2 could not.

While upgrading to a new OS will be painful, we predict that it will eventually lead to a technology approach that will advance the industry even further beyond what the most devoted XP supporters could imagine.