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The Windows 10 Alternative You Might Not Know About

atm, atm fleet, several atms

Did you know there is an ATM operating system which has not become obsolete? Banks, credit unions and ATM operators using it merely shrug when people mention the horror of the Windows 7 update. They are similarly non-plussed in the face of Windows 10.

Microsoft Compact 7 (CE) is an operating system (OS) which has been running with uninterrupted support for years. Its long-running standard, simplicity and affordability has allowed ATM manufacturers like Triton Systems to develop proprietary security solutions that can be maintained well past any end-of-support dates issued by Microsoft.

young lady using atm, bank atm, using credit card

Features Financial Institutions Love

Most banks and credit unions have traditionally worked with ATM manufacturers that work with the latest and greatest Windows OS. The appeal is the added bells and whistles such as large touch screens, PIN changes, mini-statement printing, emailed receipts, card-free transactions and other options.

But CE is an embedded platform that can be easily tailored to specific requirements. Because of its flexibility, CE machines support all of the above listed functions plus a range of capabilities financial institutions (FI) typically look for in their on- and off-premise machines including large, vibrant screens, the ability to run advertising, support of multiple languages, emailed receipts and remote monitoring. Upcoming versions have the potential to even provide deposit automation for FIs with account holders still avoiding the online app and night depositories.

A Price Point that Makes Financial Sense

What FI doesn’t like to save money on equipment, software and operations? Windows CE uses fewer computing resources which, in turn, requires less complex hardware. As a result, CE-based ATMs are less expensive, easier to service, and require fewer upgrades and patches. Replacement parts are less expensive, as well.

A new CE machine costs significantly less than a new Windows 10 ready ATM. The price point for a CE-based ATM even typically beats the expense of upgrading an existing terminal to meet new Windows requirements. As an added bonus, institutions ordering CE machines can avoid the long waits for up-to-date Windows 10 parts and equipment because CE machines can be shipped and installed in weeks not months.

Reduced Security Fears

The majority of Microsoft security updates are for issues involving their built-in web browser, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge™. A fully secured CE-based ATM will have these potentially harmful web browsing tools removed along with many other system programs through which attackers might enter the machine’s software such as:

  • File Explorer™

  • Windows Desktop,

  • Command Shell™

  • ActiveSync™

  • Remote Desktop™

And, because CE is not the standard OS and all the potentially tools hackers use to get into the ATM are removed, they may even be more secure than machines running Windows 10.

planning, meeting, indicators, revenues

The ATM Alternative You Shouldn’t Overlook

If your FI is tired of the Microsoft merry-go-round, it might be time to take a look at this not-so-secret option waiting in the wings. CE-based ATMs, an oft-overlooked solution to the upgrade headaches FIs are facing with other Windows machines, are an affordable, high-functioning and safe alternative banks and credit unions shouldn’t ignore.

Want to learn more about the benefits of Windows CE-based ATMs? Download the new white paper, Avoiding ATM Upgrade Fatigue, from Star Financial Services and Triton.


About Yonas Marcos — Yonas Marcos is the President & CEO of Star Financial Services. Born and raised in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, Yonas came to the U.S. for his college education and graduated from Towson University. In 2007 he founded Star and has grown it into a nationwide financial payment services provider that offers electronic and mobile payments, ATM equipment and processing, ATM branding, ATM outsourcing for financial institutions and mobile event payments. Connect with Yonas via email or on LinkedIn.

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