Migration to Windows 10 is a hot topic on everyone’s radar right now. The scheduled end date for Windows 7 report is only a short eight months away, and we are all itching to see some additional direction for upgrading our ATMs.
Something other than the standard “PCI-DSS compliance will be at risk,” “Windows 10 will offer advanced security”, or “the new OS will require more advanced hardware.” As we previously reported, these things are all true. But HOW can we generate a viable upgrade path when so many factors remain in the balance?
Current Migration Roadblocks
ATMs cannot run a new operating system (OS) until a processor has certified the OS on their network. As of this posting, zero processors have announced certification for Windows 10 on any machines. So, devices currently deployed in the field, even if capable of an upgrade to the new OS, must continue to run Windows 7 until the appropriate processor(s) announce certification.
For the Love of Parts…
Perhaps the more pressing issue for financial institutions is hardware availability. Some banks, credit unions, and ATM operators have already begun evaluating their machines for compatibility with Windows 10 and started to order the parts and ATMs they will need to make the update. But availability has already begun to hit a bottleneck.
Current timelines for back-orders from leading manufacturers are estimated at around 120 days. The backlog is only anticipated to get worse as the deadline for Windows 10 migration approaches. However, NCR closed its last two US-based plants in April 2018, and only one of Diebold Nixdorf’s three manufacturing facilities operates within the US.
Which means the majority of ATM hardware is produced in foreign countries such as China, Korea, Brazil, and Germany. In addition to any delivery lags due to high demand, there are could also be delays caused by issues at ports-of-entry, customs processing, and changes in trade requirements and negotiations.
Ground Control to…Anyone?
The uncertainty surrounding hardware and processor certification timelines only serves to compound the final problem – scheduling service. Parts and machine installation can only occur once said items are available. Installation and migration to the new OS can’t happen until the machines have the correct software and processor certifications.
Service technician availability may be a deciding factor in meeting migration deadlines as site visits are required for initial hardware installation as well as the implementation of Windows 10 at each machine. Once processors begin to announce certifications for specific ATMs, service technician calendars are likely to fill up quickly.
At this juncture, it is most prudent to focus on evaluating your ATM network. Banks and credit unions who have outsourcing contracts or are heavily concentrated on Surcharge-Free relationships are more likely to carry less compliance liability than those operating extensive in-house operations.
However, whether your institution is responsible for one or five thousand machines, it is best to know now and get a head start in planning.
- Place part orders early.
- Keep an open line of communication with hardware providers for a better understanding of delivery timelines.
- Start arranging tentative hardware installation schedules with your service providers.
- Speak with your processor(s) to find out more about where they stand with certifications for your specific machines.
As in the past, the timeline is tight, and the security risks are potentially high. While the steps for Windows 10 ATM upgrades seem to be hitting roadblocks at every turn, it is prudent to remain vigilant and proactive in your approach.