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2020: The Year of Our Future

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

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by Mike Lee, CEO of ATMIA and Chairperson of the Consortium for Next Gen ATMs

2020 should turn out to be a historic year for the whole ATM industry. That’s due in part to the likelihood that the first certified Next Gen ATM will be installed somewhere in the world. I hope to be there when that happens to pay tribute to the innovators who will make history, thanking those key individuals who have been the driving forces of Next Gen ATMs.

This breakthrough, when it finally comes, will have been years in the making. It will happen as a result of a wide-ranging, collaborative effort which began back in 2016 as the industry started planning ahead for the 2020 migration to Windows 10. It was recognized at that time that the disconnect between software cycles and upgrades and ATM hardware lifespans was unsustainable and that the ATM needed to be completely reinvented to adapt to the emerging mobile-digital world. Some banks and ATM operators took a blank piece of paper and thrashed out a vision of how an ATM would best work if it could be designed anew, from scratch, with no legacy problems. This bold deployer vision was articulated in the form of an RFI sent by ATMIA to around 65 ATM suppliers, vendors and service-providers across the world. Confidential feedback received by ATMIA was in unanimous agreement with the vision of the operators. The common ground thus established between the manufacturers, suppliers and operators provided the basis for a Next Gen ATM blueprint subsequently designed by software engineers participating in the project. Numerous committees and working groups got to work on defining the value proposition, business case, security implications and technical requirements for implementing the Next Gen blueprint.

As of now, over 285 companies in 6 continents have joined the Consortium, covering all industry segments: Associations & Regulators, Banks & Credit Unions, Hardware Manufacturers, IADs (Non-Bank ATM Operators), Networks & Switches, Processors, Cash in Transit Operators, Card Brands, Service Providers, Software Developers, Security Solution Providers and Consultancies.

The creation of an API App model for ATMs, to integrate ATMs and mobile phones in a seamless, new ecosystem, is well underway, with a draft API standard already defined in the Implementation Guide. The new App-based ATMs will provide easier cash-out functionality with an enhanced, more secure customer experience and greater access to value-added services.

The development of an online self-certification system has been given the go-ahead, while a Next Gen ATM prototype will be showcased at ATMIA USA in Houston in February, along with Proof of Concept case study material. I am fairly confident that the first certifications will happen in the second half of this year, paving the way for the first Next Gen ATMs to be installed in the marketplace. But in which city and country, I wonder?

The fact is that a very strong foundation has been laid for this to happen in 2020. The vision is there. The global consensus is there. The blueprint and business case are there. The consumer demand is there. The draft standard Next Gen API is there. The brain power and the innovators are there.

The mobile-digital world is already here, just waiting for ATMs to be integrated into its ecosystems.

For these reasons, 2020 should be the year of our future.

About Mike Lee, ATMIA CEO - Mike Lee has been CEO of ATMIA since 2005. He is a qualified futurist and his second book on study of the future Codebreaking our Future is available on Amazon.  Mike is President of the ATM Security Association and Chairperson of the Consortium for Next Gen ATMs.

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