These are difficult times for the ATM industry and Canadian consumers who rely on it for convenient access to cash. Although there is some improvement, there continues to be uncertainty. Many restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues remain behind closed doors, restricting consumer access to cash – and also restricting access by service personnel. Those locations which are open are seeing reduced foot traffic and fewer transactions. Please know that ATMIA is doing everything it can to help members stay strong and get through to the other side of this pandemic. Thankfully, there is measurable progress.
If you are an ATMIA member, the ATM Hygiene Protocol and Best Practices was published on September 2 and can be downloaded from the ATMIA website. This document is published as global best practices for a new ATM hygiene for the pandemic and post-pandemic “new normal” society. It highlights available technologies, such as UVC scans for ATM fascias, as well as best practices for minimizing the risk of transmission of viruses and bacteria, such as social distancing at ATM queues and quarantines of cash before loading into ATM cassettes.
Another concern during the pandemic has been the unwarranted fear-mongering over the use of cash. The instances of negative coverage have declined, but those promoting a "war on a cash" have been emboldened and stepped up their attacks. The pandemic has not put cash in disfavor with Canada consumers, it has simply forced them to make more purchases online than in normal times.
There had already been some movement toward cashless retail establishments in larger cities – a movement that has picked up some momentum in recent months. Cashless retail disenfranchises the 18% of the population that is unbanked or underbanked. ATMIA continues to advocate for the importance of cash to this segment of the population and society as a whole.
Despite the pandemic, the Consortium for NextGen ATMs continues to move our industry into its future. ATMIA has launched the Next-Gen ATM Self-Certification portal. Its purpose is to provide an online tool to assess Next-Gen ATM systems/components on their support of Interoperability and easy Plug & Play Next-Gen ATM Integration. There is also a Proof of Concept (POC) underway for retail ATMs, to demonstrate that NextGen is a viable option beyond end of life for Windows CE.Keep up to date on all of this and more with ATMIA newsletters and participation in our wide spectrum of committee groups.