Nations shared EFT networks to monitor ATM operations on Y2k : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Nation's Shared EFT Networks to Monitor Systems' ATM Operations on Y2K; Round-the-Clock Vigils Will Confirm Uninterrupted Service Across the World's Time Zones

Story Filed: Wednesday, December 01, 1999 12:22 PM EST

CHICAGO, Dec 1, 1999 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The people who provide the electronic arteries that connect more than 200 million debit cardholders with their financial institutions and an estimated two million automated teller machines (ATMs) and point-of-sale (POS) terminals across the country will be working around the clock over the New Year's weekend to ensure that your electronic funds transfer (EFT) transaction works after the century rollover.

Top executives of the nation's leading EFT networks, which process the bulk of U.S. ATM and POS transactions, told reporters here today that they will be on duty continuously in special operations centers at their respective headquarters to monitor the 2000 date roll around the globe.

Dennis Lynch, chairman of the Network Executives Council of the Electronic Funds Transfer Association and president and CEO of NYCE Corporation, and six other network heads detailed a number of initiatives designed to give consumers a high confidence level regarding electronic banking services.

Joining Lynch at the extraordinary joint news conference were:

Stephen S. Cole, President & CEO, Cash Station Inc., Chicago, Ill. Robert Rose, President & CEO, CO-OP Network, Ontario, Calif. Philip A. Valvardi III, President, Money Access Service, Wilmington, Del. Stan Paur, President & CEO, PULSE EFT Association, Houston, Texas Ronald V. Congemi, President & CEO, STAR SYSTEMS Inc., Maitland, Fla. James H. Martin, President, TYME Corporation, Brown Deer, Wisc.

"The nation's shared networks have gone far beyond simply assuring technical and operational readiness for Y2K," Lynch said. "We have entered into unprecedented cooperation in preparations to help assure the level of service to which consumers have become accustomed."

The actions announced by the Council:

-- The networks have provided to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation a summary of initiatives undertaken to communicate tips and precautions to their financial institution members and their customers.

-- Starting Friday, Dec. 31, all of the leading shared networks will have 24-hour-a-day watches in their respective markets to monitor operations in the world's financial systems as the Y2K date rolls around the globe.

-- Network representatives will initiate ATM transactions in New Zealand just across the international dateline to assure system functionality.

-- A toll-free media hotline has been activated as a central clearinghouse for inquiries regarding EFT systems operations.

-- The networks have devised a special sticker to be available for members to distribute to financial institutions that reads: "We've exterminated the Y2K bug...this machine is Y2K ready."

Network spokespersons repeated earlier admonitions to consumers not to withdraw excessive quantities of cash from financial institutions.

"The safest place for your money is in the bank or credit union," Lynch said. "Consumers have numerous options to obtain cash after Y2K, ranging from tens of thousands of ATMs to nearly two million point-of-sale terminals at merchants across the country.

The network officials displayed a mammoth map of the world's time zones, pointing out that 18 hours will elapse between the time the century rolls over in New Zealand and its arrival in the eastern United States (and 19 hours before arriving in Chicago). Dennis Lynch noted that this extensive lead time, starting at 6 a.m. EST on Dec. 31, allows ample time to address any operational glitches that might surface.

At the close of the news conference, network executives moved to a nearby ATM installation to affix the first "bug" sticker.

(NOTE TO EDITORS: The top 10 networks have access to an estimated 280 million individual demand deposit accounts, serve more than 12,000 member banks, thrifts and credit unions and process almost five billion electronic banking transactions a year. These systems provide the electronic arteries that link financial institutions with more than 187, 000 automated teller machines and an estimated 1.7 PIN-based point-of-sale terminals, enabling consumers to conduct secure, instantaneous transactions to obtain cash anywhere, anytime or make cashless purchases for goods and services.)

-- Homer Beanfang (, December 01, 1999

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