Owning An Independent ATM Becomes A Lot Less Appealing

Various small store owners around the world offer an ATM withdrawal service at their premises. This makes a lot of sense for them, as a lot of people prefer to pay in cash, or do not have any on them. But changes are coming, as entities owning an ATM with the weakest security will be held responsible for fraud. This can be the bank or an ATM owner who happens to be caught up in the mix.

Time To Double Down Or Remove ATM Services

For those independent operators all over the world, the changes proposed by Visa and Mastercard could be a deathblow. Rather than fixing the insecurity of credit cards directly, both companies will hold ATM owners responsible for fraud. For those owners running an older version or an ATM, that means they will become the weakest link by default.

If a card owner who ever visited the ATM premises becomes subject to fraud at some point along the way, the weakest link will be held responsible for all charges. Banks who process payments on behalf of the merchant will pass on these counterfeit charge costs to the ATM owner, assuming the machine does not support EMV technology.

Making ATM upgrades is a costly business, and has been a struggle for small business owners to do so for decades. Moreover, not all owners understand the liability of not committing to this upgrade. As a result, it is expected a lot of ATMs will be closed down or removed in the coming months.

To put the costs into perspective, store owners are looking at a multi-thousand dollar price tag for installing an EMV-enabled device. With nearly half of the ATMs in the US alone not being run by a bank, there are a lot of independent owners out there. Albeit EMV technology is more secure for consumers, it is a method that just doesn’t seem to gain significant traction in most countries. Customers prefer convenience, which also means swiping a credit or debit card.

Whether or not this is good or bad news for Bitcoin ATM adoption in the US and beyond, remains to be seen. Many people may want to look at other ATM services, although Bitcoin is far from a widespread currency. Then again, it would allow small store owners to offer something differently, and they might decide to accept cryptocurrency payments themselves as well.

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