Financial IT

Cumberland Building Society moves ATMs from ageing Windows XP

Karl Flinders

Cumberland Building Society has moved its ATMs to the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system as support for the existing XP-based software will end next month.

The regional financial services firm is moving its ATMs from Windows XP Professional for Embedded Systems, with support from Microsoft ending on 8 April.

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The company, which has 160,000 customers including about 50,000 current account holders, is using the move to Windows 7 as a potential opportunity to introduce contactless capability to its debit cards and launch mobile banking later in the year, with software and support from financial services software supplier NCR.

Future developments could include contactless ATMs that do not require cards to be inserted. Gesture and multi-touch controls could also be introduced.

Gary Richardson, general manager IT at Cumberland Building Society, said the change was prompted by the end of Microsoft's support. “Support is coming to an end and we are governed by security standards, so we had to upgrade,” he said.

Windows XP Professional for Embedded Systems is used on about 95% of UK ATMs after replacing Windows NT and IBM OS/2. Bigger, more resourced financial services firms will probably be able to extend support with Microsoft or use internal IT resources to continue to meet security standards. 

The building society has 16 IT staff out of a total workforce of 450. Richardson said the company has 20 ATMs and the upgrade was a major project involving a hardware refresh.

“ATMs running XP could be 10 years old and would not support Windows 7," he said. "We had to upgrade ATMs with additional processors and memory.”

Richardson said the company had to modernise IT to attract customers that demand services such as contactless payments and mobile banking. “The benefits of the move to Windows 7 will outweigh the costs," he added. "We are growing all the time and have to provide modern services."

NCR is best known for its ATM technology, but it also provides other banking systems. It recently acquired UK software firm Alaric and added applications such as fraud detection app Fractals and contactless payment-enabling software Authentic. Alaric has about 50 financial services customers, including American Express.


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