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Friday, March 27, 2020

DHS deems ATMs 'critical infrastructure'

A March 19, 2020, memo from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security supports leading ATM manufacturers’ decisions to remain open and help local communities during the COVID-19 crisis. The DHS memo included ATM workers as part of the country’s essential critical infrastructure workforce in financial services, granting exclusive rights to workers who maintain services and machines to continue their public work, even when state governments have ordered U.S. workers to stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

"The Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce for the financial services sector includes workers who are needed to process and maintain systems for processing financial transactions and services, such as payment, clearing and settlement services, wholesale funding, insurance services, and capital market activities; to provide consumer access to banking and lending services, including ATMs, movement of currency (e.g. armored cash carriers); support financial operations, such as those staffing data and security operations centers; and, key third party providers who deliver core services," DHS authors wrote. "These individuals are critical to maintaining safe and efficient financial services and ensuring citizens have access to these services that are necessary to conduct their daily lives."

Federal Reserve Financial Services is also promulgating access to funds. In a March 25, 2020, memo, the Fed indicated continuity plans are in force, helping maintain operations despite reduced staffing. These plans include geographically dispersed deployments and remote worker rotations. The Fed’s robust transaction processing capabilities can "process substantially more volume than they typically receive on a daily basis," the Fed memo stated.

ATMs well-stocked

Bruce Renard, executive director of the National ATM Council Inc., observed that ATM manufacturers remained open, even before ATMs were deemed critical infrastructure. Renard said he keeps in close contact with representatives from Nautilus Hyosung America, Genmega Inc., Triton ATMs and ATMGurus. All companies are keeping cash circulating, including in underbanked and unbanked regions that depend on retail ATMs for financial services, he stated.

Daryl Cornell, CEO and owner of Triton Systems and ATMGurus, concurred, stating, “We have customers that rely on our products and services to keep their small and large businesses up and running and their people employed. It’s crucial to Triton to keep our employees working as well. As long as our supply chain and transportation partners continue to work, so will we.”

As he reflected on Triton’s 40-year history, Cornell noted that the company has endured many emergencies over the years, but most have been weather-related. The company’s strategy has always been to gather our Triton family close, though not physically in this case, he stated, adding that Triton is using the same strategy to handle the COVID-19 situation, with a few minor tweaks, such as instituting deep cleaning processes to keep employees and environments healthy.

"Employees who can perform their duties remotely have been asked to work from home," Cornell said. "We will collaborate via messaging, email, and conference calls to make sure we stay connected with each other and our customers. As you can imagine, building and shipping ATMs and spare parts, as well as providing repair services, do require a certain number of employees to be in the facility. As such, those essential employees will be allowed to spread out to enable social distancing while at work without interrupting their duties." end of article

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