ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — When Microsoft ends its support of Windows XP next month, ATM software supported machines will have to migrate to Windows 7 OS.

And even though this update has been broadcasted numerous times since last year, many credit unions are still slow to pull the trigger.

"Cost is a big factor," said PSCU's Debit and ATM Manager, Dustin Chapman. "Usually credit unions are conservative when spending money and are more so reactionary."

PSCU handles the ATM software for 176 credit unions, which comprises roughly 1,800 terminals. Since October 2013, Chapman said there has been a "good amount of interest" from credit unions.

But as of press time, only 10 to 15 credit unions clients were in the process of migrating.

In January, the ATM Industry Association released a report "Risks of Maintaining Windows XP Platform for ATMs," that spoke to the perils of not migrating. "This is the most important change to the global ATM industry in this year," said CEO, Mike Lee. "After April 8, Microsoft will discontinue Windows XP support services, including security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options and online technical content updates. No company can afford to ignore such an important change."

Credit unions that fail to meet the April 8 deadline run the risk of not being PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant and face vulnerabilities in their operating systems, web browsers, applications and software components, according to Chapman.

"There is a lot of talk in the industry that fraudsters are identifying vulnerabilities in the XP software and are just waiting for April," he said. "There will likely be a lot of related malware issues, which is a big concern."

Windows And EMV Upgrades
PSCU's Diebold and NCR ATM supported migration plan takes roughly 90 days to complete. The company works with credit unions clients and its vendors to develop a new terminal ID system. When completed, this new ID can be swapped out with the old ID so there is little ATM operation downtime, explained Chapman.

The average cost per terminal for the Microsoft software upgrade, which does not include hardware or memory upgrades, is $400.

"For a small credit union with a few ATMs this is not as big of an investment, but for larger credit unions with many ATMs this is a serious investment," said Chapman. "Many credit unions weren't prepared to spend this much money on ATM upgrades." He added that one credit union client recently decided to buy all new ATM compliant machines at a cost of $2 million. "Now they do not have to worry about upgrades for five years or so."

And this latest Windows upgrade is causing c-level economic grief for good reason. In recent years, credit unions have faced ATM upgrade costs relate to PCI Data Security Standards, the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as losses due to The Durbin Amendment. Next on tap are EMV upgrades, and by 2020 Microsoft 7 is expected to be sunset.

"We think that since EMV is just down the road, many credit unions are waiting to do both upgrades at once," said Chapman. "It would be smart because they would only have to pay for one site visit."

If the ADA upgrade of 2012 is an indicator of adoption rates, the rate of migration will likely spike after April. "Many financial institutions sat on their hands and waited. After the fact we were inundated with ADA projects," said Chapman.

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