DENVER, Colo. – STAR Systems, now a subsidiary for First Data Corporation, with thousands of credit union clients, has announced a service that would allow a credit union to manage the software requirements of its ATMs remotely. The new product would allow a credit union to customize content and graphics on demand on its ATMs, install software upgrades or patches, distribute audio files and re-boot or shut down terminals, all from a single-server location, the company said. The system is already up and running on almost 200 ATMs, Star added. ATMs using the service have to be connected to STAR, use a Window’s based system and have a TCP/IP connection, according to First Data spokeswoman Donna Pennington. The service will also work across ATM platforms, she added. “While the advantages for the largest, cross-regional ATM deployers are clear, small to mid-sized financial institutions can also benefit from this program in a unique way,” explained Ron Congemi, president of Star Systems. “Always on the lookout for ways to compete more effectively, smaller institutions processed by STAR can use remote ATM control to be in charge of their ATM program. Because message changes and upgrades are centralized, streamlined, and cost-effective, smaller institutions can make more frequent adaptations, for a more customized program,” he added. Despite Congemi’s assertion, credit unions with only a few machines might find the impact from the new service to not be too great, according to Jim Hanisch, executive vice president for CO-OP Network, the largest surcharge free, credit union owned ATM network headquartered in Ontario, California. Hanisch, who said that the CO-OP has begun field-testing a similar service explained that, depending on how STAR priced the service, most credit unions with between two and 10 machines may not find the service cost effective. “But,” he added, “a lot will depend on how many ATM screens they run, for example. Also whether those screens are complicated and whether they use them for marketing and need to update them often.” Hanisch thought the credit unions with between 10 and 20 machines were more likely to find the service worthwhile. Based on an average dispatch cost estimate of $250, STAR estimated that it costs $6,500 yearly, per ATM, to service a machine with software changes and security upgrades. -

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