This story is excerpted from “Trade-in Program Helps Deployers Meet ADA Rules,” a case study available for free download after registration.
To help ease the burden on ATM deployers facing costly upgrades or replacements due to ADA compliance equipment requirements, Triton is partnering with Memphis, Tenn.-based ATMGurus to participate in their Fair Trade Program.
In accordance with the program, financial institutions or independent ATM deployers can return ATMs to ATMGurus for credit on a new or refurbished machine. Triton pays for the machines to be shipped to the ATMGurus facility in Bartlett, Tenn., where they are refurbished or stripped down for parts.
ATM Central, also based in Memphis, Tenn., has only just recently begun participating in the Fair Trade Program, and initial results have been promising, according to Jay Wilson, owner of ATM Central.
“Triton has given us special pricing to trade in non-compliant machines for either the same type of machine that they make compliant, such as the Triton 9600, or you can apply the trade-in toward a brand new machine of your choice,” Wilson said.
The 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, which are based on Access Board guidelines created in 2004, were published by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in October 2010. According to the ruling, ATMs need to be in compliance with the new standards by March 15, 2012.
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The compliance requirements are complex and technical, but in general, changes include requirements related to voice guidance, PIN pad and function keys, height and reach, Braille and several other important characteristics related to ATM usability.
The American Bankers Association asked the DOJ to exempt existing ATMs that are in compliance with current ADA accessibility standards from having to comply with the new requirements, but the agency declined to do so.
The costs associated with compliance may be somewhat unpleasant for large FIs, but for operators of a small network, those costs can be devastating.
The DOJ and disability rights groups are taking the new rules very seriously. The regulations allow a disabled person to bring a lawsuit against a financial institution to enforce compliance, and the courts can award attorneys fees to the party bringing the action.
The DOJ can also bring its own action, and in that case the courts can assess a civil penalty of up to $55,000 for a first offense and up to double that amount for subsequent offenses; award monetary damages to persons aggrieved; and order compliance by the financial institution.
Unless an FI or independent ATM deployer wants to start its own parts department and use those non-compliant ATMs for parts, the Fair Trade Program is a sensible solution for ensuring that a company’s ATM fleet is ADA compliant when the rules go into effect next year, Wilson said.
“In most instances, it is better to trade in for newer, more advanced equipment, but in many applications the 9600 has been the best ATM ever, so deployers may want to stay with that machine,” Wilson said.
ATM Central is connected to all major credit and debit card network systems. Triton Systems of Delaware LLC, based in Long Beach, Miss., is a global provider of off-premises ATMs and ATM-management software. Triton has more than 30 years of experience and more than 200,000 installations in more than 24 countries.
“Triton is a very fair company and they rely on us to succeed, so they are making the best offer they can,” Wilson said. “It’s an unfortunate situation for financial institutions and ATM deployers, and any help with achieving compliance is welcome.”
Triton ATMs have a modular design which makes them easy to upgrade.
“We’ve done it from both sides of the program,” Wilson said. “We’ve traded in some 9600s for other 9600s that Triton has retrofitted to make compliant, and we’ve taken in trades on newer equipment. In both cases the machines seem to be working well.”
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