Wednesday , June 19, 2024

As Users Return to ATMs, Guidance Emerges for Contactless Transactions With And Without Cards

The onset of the covid pandemic spurred deployers and developers to bring contactless technology to the ATM, and now industry organizations are offering guidelines on the matter as deployers look to widen acceptance of contactless cards and mobile devices.

Calling contactless technology “table stakes” for most consumers, the Redwood City, Calif.-based U.S. Payments Forum on Thursday issued guidance for ATM manufacturers, deployers, banks, and independent sales organizations on how to incorporate the technology. “Implementing EMV contactless technology at ATMs is not just about modernization—it’s a critical stride toward enhancing security and convenience in our payment ecosystem,” said Devon Rohrer, the Forum’s managing director, in a statement.

Contactess technology allows ATM users to initiate a transaction with the tap of a contactless card or with a mobile wallet in which the card has been stored. The technology relies on the EMV contactless chip card standard widely used in stores. Industry figures on how many contactless ATMs have been deployed in the U.S. market were not immediately available, but many major banks have adopted the devices, according to industry sources.

Smaller institutions, and the independent sales organizations that work with them, may now be following suit, observers say. “[ISOs] at least are beginning to deploy it,” notes David Tente, managing director of the ATM Industry Association, a Sioux Falls, S.D.-based trade group. “Their customers want it and like the idea.”

Consumers who have become accustomed to contactless transactions in stores have quickly adopted the idea that they should have the same experience at the ATM, observers say. Banks, too, see benefit beyond serving these users. “Financial institutions like that they don’t have to worry about cards left behind,” Tente notes. “That happens more often than you think.”

The new U.S. Payments Forum white paper is among the first industry efforts to cover the implications of EMV contactless technology at ATMs. Among its topics are the distinctions between card tap and device tap, regulatory compliance, possible challenges arising from EMV contactless installation, and details regarding EMVCo certifications. Foster City, Calif.-based EMVCo is the standards body behind the rules for both contact and contactless card transactions. Founded in 1999, it is owned jointly by American Express Co., China UnionPay, Discover Financial, Japan’s JCB card network, Mastercard Inc., and Visa Inc.

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