What Impact Will MasterCard’s Recent Cirrus Decision Have on ATM Commissions to Casinos?

What is Cirrus? Cirrus is the brand name that stands for the global MasterCard/Cirrus ATM Network which is among the largest ATM networks in the world. The Cirrus brand represents cardholders at more than one million cash machine locations worldwide. A typical Casino ATM provider routes some 15-20% of their total ATM transactions through Cirrus.

Effect on reverse interchange to the ATM providers may affect your commissions. Unlike a debit card cash advance where interchange gets paid by the cash access provider to the card issuer, ATM interchange gets paid by the card issuer to the ATM provider. Prior to April 1, 2010 MasterCard/Cirrus paid interchange income of 45 cents on most ATM transactions. However, as of April 1st MasterCard/Cirrus split its rates into three tiers based on card issuer volume- the banks with the most cards issued like Bank of America and Wells Fargo pay less interchange to the ATM provider and the banks with the fewest cards issued pay more interchange.

From a dollars and cents perspective, the lowest-volume tier issuers pay the ATM provider 32 cents, the middle tier issuers pay 27 cents, and the top-volume tier issuers pays 17 cents. These new changes suggest that interchange paid to ATM providers will be cut by 30-50%.

In the high throughput low margin casino ATM environment the interchange is where the ATM provider makes their money. As a result, they may be looking to an ATM contract provision to pass thru the interchange income reduction. Before you agree to any pass thru attempts by your ATM provider read the solution below.

Solution. Unlike some of other casino ATM providers that “black hole” to only one ATM network like Star, the MasterCard/Cirrus decision may affect them more significantly; Sightline Payments has taken a differentiated approach by using what we call SmartBin routing. SmartBin routing mitigates the Cirrus impact by recognizing the issuer of the card at the ATM host and routing to an alternative ATM network other than Cirrus. Find out from your ATM provider which ATM networks they are directly connected to and if they support SmartBin capability.

Copyright © 2010 Sightline Payments. All Rights Reserved

About the Author: Kirk Sanford, Sightline Payments LLC CEO and principal founder, is a pioneer and leader in gaming payment and marketing solutions. Prior to this role, Mr. Sanford was the CEO and President of Global Cash Access for more than a decade and under his entrepreneurial leadership took GCA from a start-up company in 1994 to a more than $1Billion NYSE public company.  Mr. Sanford has also been involved with a number of other successful businesses including his role as Chief Executive Officer, President and Owner of Central Credit, a provider of gaming patron credit information services to casinos throughout the world. Mr. Sanford was featured by Business Week as one of the Top 100 CEO’s Under 40.

About Sightline Payments
Sightline Payments LLC targeted mission is to be one of the gaming industry’s preferred cash access and ticket redemption providers by focusing on delivering outstanding value, continuous innovation, exceptional guest experience, and consistently fulfilling a Customer Focused promise. Sightline Payments is headquartered in Las Vegas, NV. For more information, please visit
www.sightlinepayments.com or contact Diran Kludjian at 702-851-4747 x 204.



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