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How modern access management can unlock major ATM savings

| by Suzanne Cluckey
How modern access management can unlock major ATM savings

"Just not good enough," is how ATM deployers and service provider described current-day ATM lock systems in a survey conducted last year by industry provider TMD Security

Or, as one major European ATM deployer commented, “We have been using the same ATM locks for the past 15 to 20 years. It must be time for an innovative approach to ATM access control technology that saves costs, improves ATM availability and delivers better security.’’

A May 2 webinar, sponsored by TMD Security and hosted by ATM Marketplace examined the outmoded state of ATM locking systems and explained how TMD and its sister company TMS ATM Software joined forces to develop an all-new access management solution attuned to the needs of today's financial institutions for unparalleled efficiency, reliability and security.

Presenters included Bastiaan Beens, global product management director for TMD Security; Claire Shufflebotham, global security director for TMD Security; and Hugo Montiel, managing director at TMD sister company TMS ATM Software in the Americas.

Shufflebotham offered a look at results from the TMD study of the current state of lock systems and polling of financial institutions and ATM service providers who use them. She said that one of the most surprising findings from the study was the total cost associated with these systems:

The full cost of all this is generally hidden to the bank, ATM deployer, branch staff, CIT or service provider ... it's split between different silos and departments in their organizations. 

But when you add them all up, these costs are significant. When we did the business analysis, we were really surprised to find that for some banks and ATM deployers, the operational costs of inefficient locks and processes were more than $10,000 per ATM per year.

While most respondents to the TMD survey were not aware of this total bill, Shufflebotham said that cost in general was a pain point. Their five most common complaints about existing lock systems were:

  • The "nightmare" of managing physical keys
  • The cost of a key-holder needed to accompany service personnel on visits.
  • The cost of setting up and running call centers to manage access to ATMs.
  • The hassle associated updating systems to add and remove users.
  • The inefficiency of maintaining separate systems and protocols for ATM, secure room and branch access.

Cost, then, is one obvious business case for a new approach to ATM access management. Shufflebotham said that a second case is ATM availability — in the TMD study, one respondent had reported experiencing delays of up to three days while trying to coordinate schedules between a keyholder and a service engineer.

The third business case is simply that of greater security, Shufflebotham said. "In the survey, weak or nonexistent top box security came up again and again ... One service provider made the point that real security is not just about trying to keep people out, it is about knowing at any point in time the security status of your ATM, you need an audit trail."

Beens explained how TMD and TMS have addressed all three business cases with a TMD Access Management solution that combines four elements: 

  • Keyless locks with real-time access audit trails for the ATM top box and safe, as well as for additional access points and doors such as the ATM room, secure room, branch and data center. 
  • A high-security mobile app that authenticates the user and communicates a one-time code used to open the lock and automatically delivers a "close seal" report, among other critical functions.
  • The TMD Access Management server application where lock IDs and user data are stored, and where user permissions and schedules can set "to make sure the right person is at the right place, at the right time, beforeaccess is allowed."
  • A hardware security encryption module that ensures the security of the entire system.

For each of these elements, Montiel provided an in-depth look at functionalities and security. Additionally, he offered an overview of the system as a whole.  

Beens described how the four elements have been integrated (below), enabling a single access management solution to accommodate a multitude of high-security applications for devices, data centers and branches, greatly simplifying access management and tracking for an FI, CIT or ATM service provider.

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"No technology provider does integrated access management today," he said. "Each lock manufacturer specialises in one type of lock, and no-one has an integrated management solution for them all. This is what makes our access management solution unique. Our interviewees told us this is what they need. They believe it is really efficient to use a single solution, with the same security, management and access protocols for ATMs and all the access points in their branches and buildings."         

Beens said that TMD currently is conducting proof-of-concept projects with customers in Europe and North America. The company is making its PoC available at no charge to potential users, he said.

"We’ve made it as fast and easy as possible to do this in your ATM lab ... you identify the ATMs — we’d recommend two or three — and other types of access points, such as door locks, you’d like to include; We’ll provide the locks, free of charge, for testing."

He added that TMD and TMS also provide secure remote access to the software and create a proof-of-concept demo account that allows the user to access software on the TMD server, making the PoC easy to set up and run.

Request a white paper and brochure on TMD Access Management at

Watch the webinar replay.







Topics: ATM Innovation, ATM Management, Bank / Credit Union, Components, Security, Trends / Statistics, Vault Cash / Cash Management

Companies: TMD Security

Suzanne Cluckey

Suzanne’s editorial career has spanned three decades and encompassed all B2B and B2C communications formats. Her award-winning work has appeared in trade and consumer media in the United States and internationally.

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