Independent ATM deployers worry about further reductions in interchange income, network mandates over accepting EMV cards and the possibility of another surge in lawsuits against them — this time over failing to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to a recent survey.

Yet despite challenges, the majority of deployers surveyed say they plan to expand their businesses over the next 12 months.

Those findings came from the third annual survey by the ATM Industry Association and Kahuna ATM Solutions. Some 198 deployers responded to the survey in November and December, up 93% from last year, the researchers said in a press release.

"I'm not surprised shrinking interchange is the No. 1 concern for ATM deployers," Bryan Bauer, Kahuna ATM Solutions president, said in the release. "Between decreases in the published net interchange rates and the increased popularity in tiered interchange policies, ATM deployers on average have realized a 16% decline in interchange from one year ago, and a 33% decline in interchange over the past six years."

Some 63.8% of survey respondents chose "further reduction in interchange" as their biggest concern about the ATM industry.

Deployers are fretting about EMV deadlines, with 50% of respondents indicating it's one of their biggest fears.

More than 64% want more information on the requirements for accepting EMV-chip cards in the U.S., 62% are interested in the cost of EMV migration and 40% would like to know the implications of the liability shift the ATM industry faces over their ability to accept EMV cards.

The survey also found that deployers are unsure about adopting Near Field Communication — which drives contactless and mobile payments — as part of their EMV strategy. Nearly 64% were unsure if they would adopt it while 20% indicated they would not include NFC. The survey suggests deployers need more information about how NFC works.

The possibility of another surge in lawsuits during 2013 over failing to comply with ADA requirements worries more than 41.6% of respondents.

Still, more than 70% of respondents, an increase of 3.2% over last year, say they plan to grow their businesses over the next 12 months. Just over 8% indicated they would make no change, while 7% were 'unsure' and nearly 7% planned to "align with another business for efficiency."

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