ATM Industry Association opens up to bitcoin

ATM Industry Association opens up to bitcoin

The ATM Industry Association has called on bitcoin ATM operators to join with it in promoting improved security and governance for virtual currency machines.

The call to action follows the publication of an ATMIA position paper on the crypto-currency which argues that bitcoin is not a threat to cash, or to established electronic payment methods.

However, the global association, which has over 5000 members in 65 countries, recommends increased support and supervision of bitcoin ATMs to ensure they abide by security best practices and maintain the industry's current high levels of consumer trust.

"We reach out our hand of friendship to bitcoin ATM operators," says Mike Lee, CEO of ATMIA, "and encourage them to come within the fold of our industry and its governance framework and best practices. With over 120 BitCoin ATMs already installed in a variety of countries, the time is right to integrate them upfront into an industry with a proven four decade long track-record of secure, convenient services to cardholders and consumers."

Specifically, ATMIA recommends a joint clarification of conditions for a "license to operate" for bitcoin ATMs as well as peer relationships between bitcoin operators and exchanges and the wider payments industry, including stakeholders in the ATM industry.

Simon Gentry, ATMIA's public affairs adviser in Europe, argues that by setting up accreditation programmes and co-operating on best practice security guidelines, the bitcoin community would go some way to assuaging the concerns of industry regulators about the risks associated with digital currency businesses.

"Bitcoin will help address some of the valid concerns that regulators and politicians have by being seen to be part of the established and proven governance structures provided by the ATMIA," he says.

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 05 September, 2014, 07:44Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

This is a good step into the right direction. We can`t close our eyes and think bitcoin will have been disappeared when we open them again.

Personally I am a fan of bitcoin and it is amazing how fast this virtual currency gained importance in our industry. 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 05 September, 2014, 15:15Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Very good article. I think there is a lot to learn from the existing ATM industry but at the same time I am surprised to see that none of the existing ATM manufacturers jumps on the Bitcoin bandwagon. 

In some ways this reminds me of how the CCTV security industry was first ignoring the IPcam industry and Axis (IP cam maufacturer) was the laughing stock of the CCTV industry. Now, about a decade or so later they are market leaders in this field as every new CCTV network is running over IP networks. Will the ATM industry suffer the same fate? I don't think so but it pays to keep your eyes open as the entire banking industry might change within the next 10 to 15 years because blockchain based technologies will revolutionize the way we think about storing and transferring units of value.