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ATM and EMV: What Every ATM Owner Needs to Know

ATM and EMV: What Every ATM Owner Needs to Know


You would have to live under a rock if you have not noticed that EMV deadlines have come and gone. What does this mean for Independent ATM Deployers. With these deadlines in the rearview mirror, if an EMV card is used fraudulently at an ATM that is not compliant with the new EMV regulations, the acquirer will be liable for the issuer’s fraud losses. The acquirer will then pass these chargebacks to the ATM owner. Obviously, if the ATM is EMV-compliant, the owner is not liable for the fraud that took place at the terminal.

The acquirers may also begin to shut off the non-EMV compliant ATM deployers from their network.

You Still Have Time and Options

There are various ways to become EMV-compliant. The most seamless option is to use EMV card readers. This option requires no behavioral change for the cardholder when you compare it to mag-stripe cards. The other common option is an EMV dip card reader. The major difference with this option is that the EMV card needs to stay in place until the chip is read. With the traditional mag-stripe card the cardholder simply swipes the card and the necessary information is transmitted. Additionally, an EMVCo-approved EMV software kernel must also be added to the application software that is provided by the ATM vendor. This technology interfaces with the EMV card reader to authorize users and communicate with their transaction requests to issuers.

You can make this happen 3 ways:

  1. Use an EMV upgrade kit

This is the most cost-effective option for merchants and ISOs. Machines as old as 20 are still supported and can easily be upgraded with a kit that cost around $500.

  1. Trade-in your current machines

Depending on the machine and the site, a completely new ATM may be the best solution. This is a costly solution, as a new machine can cost nearly $3,000. Due to this being a cost-prohibitive option, trading in your older machines to the manufacturer for a new EMV-compliant machine may be a good choice. This option has a few advantages, the first being the cost-savings since the manufacturer provides a decent credit for the trade. The second reason is the ATM will not end up in a landfill, which is much better for the environment.

  1. Purchase a Refurb Machine

Purchasing a refurbished machine is the final choice. This provides the merchant with a new machine without the high cost of a brand-new machine. Purchasing a refurbished machine coupled with a sizeable credit for trading in your current machine can mean that your cost is reduced to almost as much as what you would have spent on the upgrade kit.

A Few Additional Things

  • Make sure your staff is trained and fully aware of the changes so they can handle EMV-specific errors and problems at the ATM sites.
  • Provide proper communication to the cardholder on how to use their EMV at ATM. You can do this with signage or with on-screen messages to explain the process.
  • EMV card readers ATMs tend to require more regular cleaning that the mag-stripe card readers. This is important because a dirty machine cannot read the EMV chip. Obviously, if the chip cannot be read the cardholder will just move on to another machine, which cuts into your profit.