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Friday, October 19, 2018

NAC2018 celebrates independent ATM deployers

More than 650 ATM industry stakeholders attended The National ATM Council's sixth annual convention and expo held Oct. 16 to 18 at Bally's Las Vegas. Bruce Renard, executive director at NAC, attributed the not-for-profit association's year-over-year growth to its hard-working staff and committee members and an expanding roster of sponsors, exhibitors, members and supporters.

Renard additionally thanked NAC members who participated in the council's "ATMs across America" initiative. These individuals traveled to Washington, D.C., many from across the country at considerable expense, to meet with key policymakers, he noted. Their input provided federal bank regulators and ranking members of Congress with insight into ATM-related issues, he said.

George Sarantopoulos, chair of NAC's board of directors and CEO of Access One, said progress has been made on many fronts but NAC's work is not done. Independent ATM deployers (IADs) and operators continue to face bank closures and legislative challenges. "We also are remaining ever vigilant to thwart adverse state and local legislation and ordinances that continue to pop up around the country and target our industry," he stated.

Visa to support DCC

Visa Inc. executives Goran Ribar, director, global strategic initiatives, and Hitesh Patel, senior director, global commercial planning and analysis, presented Visa's new global policy of authorizing dynamic currency conversion (DCC) at U.S. ATMs. The card brand has supported DCC in other global markets and will support the practice in the United States beginning in April 2019. NAC's recent petition to Visa in support of DCC was a contributing factor in the decision; enabling DCC in U.S. ATMs will be an attractive addition to Visa's other value-added services, they stated.

"This is very exciting news that Visa will enable DCC globally," Ribar stated. "In evaluating all aspects of the decision, one concern was that [Visa] cardholders would have a suboptimal experience, but we mitigated that concern by putting together a comprehensive program that will require processors to certify their solutions before offering DCC."

Ribar expects the program to be a win-win for all participants, providing consumers with pricing transparency and ATM acquirers and operators with additional revenue streams. "Cardholders must be able to view all relevant information and have a record of the transaction when they leave the premises," he added.

Diverse topics, entertainment

NAC members were entertained by mentalist/hypnotist Keith Barry and informed in other presentations about new opportunities in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, gaming and sports betting. Flash demonstrations provided additional insights into a variety of emerging technologies. Following are additional conference highlights:

  • U.S. ATM locational study: Chris W. Bayard, Ph.D., associate professor, Coggin College of Business University of North Florida, shared data points on where U.S. ATMs are located and their important role in providing convenient cash access.

  • The State of Cash in America: David Lott, payments risk expert/retail payments risk forum, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, presented the latest information and insights from the Fed. "Cash [with debit and credit] remains one of the top three ways to make payments," Lott stated.

  • Obtaining and maintaining bank accounts for your ATM business: Legal experts shared advice on banking industry best practices. Panelists included attorney George LeMaistre Jr., lobbyist Palmer C. Hamilton, Switch Commerce director of finance Paul Willingham, Metabank director of ATM sponsorship LeRoy Huntimer and Metabank chief legal officer John Hagy.

NAC Security Academy

NAC security committee chair Stephen Joseph, business development manager, banking and finance at viceo surveillance provider Axis Communications, introduced an array of security discussions as part of NAC's Security Academy program. Speakers included:

  • Keynote speaker John Lapati, special agent, U.S. Secret Service at U.S. Department of Homeland Security, reported on ATM-related crimes and coordinated crime prevention efforts among U.S. law enforcement agencies.

  • Dan Connolly, president of armed courier service and ATM service company ACSATM, presented on ATM physical security best practices.

  • Patrice Rullier, managing director at Oberthur Cash Protection, presented on intelligent forms of cash protection systems designed to detect attempted attacks and theft. The system, broadly supported by law enforcement agencies around the world, permanently marks stolen cash, rendering it useless to criminals. Marked bills can be exchanged for clean currency, Rullier said.

NAC2019 and beyond

Sarantopoulos said next year's conference will be held Oct. 15 to 17, 2019 at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. He urged NAC members to help the organization address the ATM industry's most pressing issues and establish a grass roots network that protects the business interests of the entire ATM industry value chain.

NAC's conference series reflects the diversity, technology and resilience of ATM operators, Sarantopoulos noted. The theme "ATMs across America" celebrates our unified industry progress and each member's individual contributions. "We have managed to survive the challenging introduction of EMV [Europay, Mastercard and Visa] in America," he stated. "Little did we know that our greatest challenge would turn out to not to be EMV, but instead just being able to keep a bank account." end of article

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