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As 2012 comes to a close, it's good to look back at ADA implementation to see what we learned from it — and where it might take us in 2013 and beyond.

Believe it or not, some financial institutions still are not compliant, which means there are still upgrades and replacements to be made nine months after the ADA deadline. What new industry wrinkles should these FIs think about? What new compliance considerations should they keep in mind?

Intelligent deposit

Back in 2011 when the industry first started thinking about the magnitude of ADA, most of the financial institutions served by most of the customers I work with just wanted to save money and be compliant in time.

There were some, though, that chose to look seriously at intelligent deposit. "Many customers who 15 months ago said they'd never consider Intelligent Deposit are asking for information now," said John Kusmit of Stratford, Conn.-based Customized Service Concepts LLC.

Manufacturers integrate intelligent deposit into their machines in different ways, but the outcome is the same — and dramatically cooler than standard envelope deposit.

Notice how much cheaper LCD TVs were in 2012 compared to 2011? Similarly, intelligent deposit, has dropped in price and many refurbished machines are available now with the feature which further keeps costs down.

That said, for a financial institution that is still looking to be ADA compliant, intelligent deposit is a very real and affordable option.

EMV card readers

In early 2011, did anyone really think much about the "proposed" EMV compliance issue that "might be" coming up "down the road"? Well, in 2013 it will be a very real issue for everyone — even those who have already made ADA upgrades.

For anyone who supplies ATMs or has customers that will need them, providing smart card readers is an important new consideration today.

In review

For those who still need to upgrade or replace their ATMs to be ADA-compliant, here are some reminders:

  • There are major differences in ATM brands, with each offering different features and benefits depending on your needs. Time has shown all the well-known brands to be good options, so once you make your decision all should work out well.
  • ATMs are not toasters that you simply plug in and they work. It is critical to review installation and "bring-live" needs, and qualify your partners in the field. Even if you have to pay a little more for expert technicians and companies, the extra costs could save you a lot time and money by preventing setup errors.
  • If you choose to upgrade existing ATMs, please give serious consideration to onsite cosmetic improvements such as fascia upgrades or repainting. You wouldn't allow a teller to come to work unkempt; your ATMs should be no different.

It's almost 2013, and if next year is remotely like 2012, I'll have plenty to write about!

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Corey King
Corey King works with American Bank Equipment "supporting companies that have boots on the ground." He has extensive experience working with and for ATM sales and service organizations and writes from a parts, machine, compliance and upgrade perspective.
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