The Edge Blog

5 Issues to Consider When Modifying Your ATMs to Support EMV

Blog Single

ATM network providers in the U.S. must ensure that their ATMs are ready to accept EMV™ chip cards by October 1, 2016 (all MasterCard-branded and Pulse co-branded products) and October 1, 2017 (Visa and/or PLUS-branded products). Considered a large market disruption for the payments industry, there are many issues ATM network providers must address as they prepare for these changes. Here are five key areas of concern that must be researched to ensure your ATMs are EMV-compliant. Download our white paper, Modifying Your ATMs to Support EMV, for a comprehensive list of EMV migration concerns.

Card Readers

If the ATM currently has a motorized card reader, make sure it has the EMV/chip card reader component. If the ATM currently has a swipe reader, it must be replaced with a dip or motorized card reader that supports EMV, since a contact chip card must stay in the ATM for the duration of the transaction. If a dip reader is used in the ATM, it must have a special EMV (a.k.a. Smart Card) feature, which will “trap” the card and keep it in the ATM for the duration of the transaction. 

Chip Card Interfaces

Decide what chip card interface(s) your ATM will support. EMV-enabled ATMs will typically accept contact chip cards, but there is a move toward support of contactless cards and mobile devices as well.

EMV Software Kernel

The EMV software kernel is the component that exchanges command/response messages with the chip, using the EMVCo-mandated application protocol data unit (APDU) format. An ATM typically needs only one EMV software kernel, but each terminal owner should discuss their business requirements with their vendor to ensure each ATM has an EMV kernel that supports the appropriate applications.

Hardware Certification & Supported Application IDs

Be sure you receive written confirmation from your hardware vendor that the ATM components have passed EMVCo Level 1 (card reader and PIN pad) certification and EMVCo Level 2 (software kernel) certification for each combination of make, model and EMV software kernel your ATM will be using.

Each ATM must also contain a list of the EMV Application IDs (AIDs) that it supports. This list will be based on your current relationships and agreements with international and domestic payment networks. Each AID in the list must be assigned a priority.

EMV Tags

The EMV kernel will typically come with a default set of EMV Tags that will be sent from the ATM to the acquirer in a transaction request or completion. Assess your particular situation and determine if you want to add any EMV Tags to the list provided by the vendor. You will want to be sure that the ATM can provide all EMV Tags mandated by the network specifications for the payment networks with which you are affiliated. These Tags will be part of the ATM configuration. 

Upgrading your ATMs to support EMV can be a daunting project, especially when you are responsible for a large number of ATMs. Paragon Application Systems can provide your team with ATM testing software, EMV training, and our Professional services team can assist your staff with tasks such as modifying your existing ATM load files.

For more information on how to prepare your ATMs for the EMV migration, download our white paper, Modifying Your ATMs to Support EMV.

Call us today at +1 919.567.9890 or Email us at

Get In Touch