Thoughts on Joining ATMIA’s U.S. Board

It is a great privilege to have recently been appointed as Co-Chair of ATMIA’s U.S. Board. This position means a great deal to me considering our long-standing relationship with ATMIA and the support of our great customers in that industry. OptConnect’s ties to ATMIA go back to 1997 with our founders, Tim and Burt Matthews.

Before OptConnect was even created, our founders established a solid membership with the organization. ATMIA is the leading non-profit trade association representing the entire global ATM industry and I am honored to be a part of such a great organization in this new role.

I am excited to work with the other great members of ATMIA to make the association stronger and more beneficial for everyone involved. It is important that we come together to use our collective resources to focus on improving the landscape of the ATM industry and find ways that we can all make a positive impact.

ATMIA’s Impact

ATMIA helps advocate for ATM operators in many ways. Their mission is to promote ATM convenience, growth, and usage worldwide; to protect the ATM industry’s assets, interests, good name, and public trust; and to provide education, best practices, political voice and networking opportunities for member organizations.

One particular situation that sticks out to me is Operation Choke Point. Operation Choke Point was a 2013 initiative of the United States Department of Justice, which investigated banks in the The United States and the business they did with firearm dealers, payday lenders, and other companies believed to be at higher risk for fraud and money laundering. This operation also included the ATM industry since it was considered a high-cash touch point.

ATM operators got notice overnight that they would get shut off which is incredibly painful when your business depends on going to the bank and gaining access to your cash. Immediately ATMIA jumped in and created an organization to get ahead of that. During this challenge, they made time with lobbyists to help reverse that and ease the burden on ATM operators.

In addition to Operation Choke Point, ATMIA has also helped fight for surcharges which is crucial to ATM operators. ATMIA has given a greater voice to the collective needs and desires of ATM operators and made sure that the industry is well looked after and taken care of.

ATMIA & OptConnect

From a credibility standpoint, being a member of ATMIA has been vital to what we do here at OptConnect, especially considering the role we play in the supply chain for cash. This credibility has helped our brand as a whole to establish ourselves as contributors and partners to the ATM industry. We feel that it’s important to give back to our industry and being a part of ATMIA helps us do that.

I’ve been in the industry for over a decade now and at the beginning of my career, I was in the role of helping deploy ATMs, keep them in service, sell equipment, etc. My experience has been around creating a sustainable environment where that ATM can thrive. I know what it’s like to be an ATM operator and my firsthand experience gave me insights to the everyday challenges they face.

I feel that my experience is relevant and can go a long way in my new role as Co-Chair to help represent the needs of operators across the country and help guide things in a positive direction for years to come.

My New Role

There are still some segments of ATMIA, specifically vendors, that haven’t made the connection of how the industry association eventually assists their business. Whether they’re a cash provider or a manufacturer of equipment, I hope to be able to demystify the link between their business and what ATMIA does and I hope that along the way that’s impactful for some of the customers of those vendors.

I also believe that needs to be reciprocated by ATMIA. I hope to be in a position where I can help reach out and bridge some of the gaps that might exist between all of the parties that interact inside the ATM space. As we work together, look for innovative ways to improve the industry, and carefully navigate the unique landscape we all operate in, I believe we will be able to achieve great results together.

For more information ATMIA, click here. To read the full ATMIA press release announcing Chris Baird’s new position, click here.

For more information OptConnect, visit our website at www.optconnect.com.

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