The Importants of ATM and Personal Security
Automatic teller machines are cash dispensers and are a wonderful convenience item for those individuals who are busy with traveling or other life responsibilities and need access to cash in a hurry. But while they certainly can and do make life a little easier, they can also give pause to daily activities when using an ATM because there are other things other than fast cash that a person should consider for their own safety and personal security.
It is a common understanding in general that everyone needs to be careful for their safety when they’re using an ATM, but there are also some nuances that the person should be aware of as well. It’s important to be aware of small details regarding personal safety and security, but it’s also just as important to take the necessary steps that are required in order to protect a person’s physical body and his money. Here are a few tips in general of which it’s important to stay aware, but the tips will also list a few detailed tidbits of information in addition to the suggested item:
1. Avoid using any ATM if you are alone. Having someone to accompany you gives you more of a sense of security, and lessens the likelihood of someone approaching you that may have ill intentions. This also applies to if it’s day or night as well. It’s highly suggested to either take someone with you or choose to use the ATM when there is heavy foot traffic around the ATM.
2. Do not use ATM’s after dark, if possible. This is not a wise choice for either male or female, and the individual should make sure that they are not using any ATM that’s in a dark or poorly lit area. Also, avoid ATM’s that are flanked by walls, high bushes or even areas where there is none to little foot traffic. The more traffic there is around the area, the less likely there is for something to happen or someone to approach you. This also applies to using drive through ATM’s as well, although it may seem or appear to be a safe thing to do.
3. Examine your surroundings whenever you go to an ATM. Do this as you’re driving up to the machine in your car, walking up to the machine or even while you’re spotting the machine and are about to go up to it. Notice who’s around the area and whether or not they look like they “fit” in or if they’re standing idly by. If there are suspicious people or behavior going on around the ATM, do not use the machine and notify the authorities if the actions look like potential criminal activity may be going on.
4. Already have your card out and information ready to make the transaction once you approach the ATM unit. You don’t want to be looking and searching for anything once you’ve reached the ATM unit, and you certainly don’t want to be distracted just before you use the machine. Potential thieves can spot easy prey when they see a customer fumbling for their wallets or change purses, looking for their cards.
5. Protect your ATM card pin number, and also shield that PIN number while you’re making the transaction. This further ensures that no one can “phish” your information or gain access to your ATM account.
For the most part, ATM’s are very safe and secure to use, although nothing is guaranteed. However, it’s best to have in place as much safety and security plans in order to ensure your personal security. To ensure this, stay diligent and aware of your surroundings at all times, as well as security possibilities that may not, but can, occur.
What is the ATM Solo Entrepreneur?
There are several divisions of the financial services industry that are profitable and fairly easy to maneuver, especially for those who have a keen interest in the industry. Just about any capacity of the industry can be simulated either with a large team of individuals or a one to two person operation. This includes anything from big banking institutions on the corners of large cities to a small team of financial consultants in a strip mall complex.
One such financial service or product that can be managed on a small(er) scale is that of the ATM entrepreneur. The consideration of managing this type of business in a smaller way is in no way reflective of the amount of business that these entrepreneurs do, but rather it’s indicative of how many people or systems are in place to manage a (sometimes) multi-million dollar business, usually by one or two people.
Getting into the ATM business is not at all that difficult, but like any other profitable business, it does require careful planning and the time necessary to put in the work to get the business up and running. For those entrepreneurs who are new to the industry, getting involved with the ATM business will require that they perform thorough research to determine what methods, systems, products and services are right for them. They will need to find and work with reputable vendors and also find ATM machines that are affordable as well as current enough to keep up with any consumer demands for current and future usage.
The solo ATM entrepreneur usually doesn’t get to work with a team of employees. He essentially manages everything himself, down to re-stocking the ATM’s, troubleshooting any problems and working with other outside vendors to make sure the business is run smoothly.
Owning and managing an ATM business can be very lucrative, especially if the owner has multiple machines at different locations. In order to really be profitable, it’s a good idea to have as many machines as possible running so as to ensure a nice monthly profit from that investment.
At any given time, an ATM owner can manage as many as 5-50 ATM’s at once. This of course depends on his personal preferences, but to effectively manage large ATM numbers, there are a few things that the solo entrepreneur should have in place before proceeding.
- Find a reputable ATM distributor to work with to buy and/or lease machines. Most times, a reputable dealer will offer to either finance the machines for the owner, especially if they are just starting in their business.
- Work with accounting and legal professionals to develop a comprehensive, workable business plan that will turn the investment into profit within a reasonable amount of time.
- Locate a resourceful software dealer for the ATM business, one who will provide optimal service for an ever-changing component of this type of business. Many times, software engineers and packages come with the services that are provided by the ATM distributor.
- As a suggestion, it’s best to work within the local area as a new distributor before branching out to outlying areas. This makes it easier for the new distributor to capitalize on those already-established business relationships for possible machine locations.
There are many business owners who have trailed the path to ATM ownership. Looking to these individuals for guidance and direction is sometimes much easier and more preferable than trying to go do things alone. The business does require a lot of detailed, concentrated work on the front end to get things set up. However, once the initial set-up work has been done, then managing the ATM’s on a routine basis becomes easier as time goes along. Over time, the profits begin coming in as the business grows, making the investment much more worthwhile.
Senate Passed ATM Fee Disclosure Bill
It was announced late Tuesday evening, December 11, 2012 that the Senate passed bill H.R. 4367, the bill to end the ATM dual fee notification requirement under Regulation E and protect ATM operators from frivolous lawsuits.
This bill will now be passed on to President Obama and will be effective upon his signature.
Note that it is still critical that signage be affixed to every ATM Machine and photo’s be taken with date-stamp (to keep on file) should any lawsuit be filed prior to the bill becoming law. Proof of installed placards (signage) is your security to prove you installed it and vandals or others removed it to file the suit. ATM operators must continue to protect themselves until this bill actually becomes law. Visit our blog to keep informed of any new development.
For a rundown of Regulation E and Bill 4367 watch the presentation below.Read More
Certainly no one likes to overdraw on their checking accounts, but when they do, they’d like to correct the problem just as soon as possible. There is protection with overdraft fees – Overdrawing an account can happen with amounts as small as $1 on up to hundreds of dollars. All it takes is for a check to be presented to your account that does not have sufficient funds to cover it, and the check will be rejected as unpaid. Your account then incurs additional fees and charges that you’ll have to pay in order to set things right with the account.
In most cases, overdrawing an account is certainly an inconvenience, but it can also add up to be an especially expensive one if it happens often. As an answer to that problem, most customers will elect to have an overdraft protection allowance added to their accounts in order to offset any problems. Once the overdraft allowance is in place, they no longer have to worry about checks bouncing, additional fees to cover the checks, getting charged fees from the vendors, etc. But even though overdraft protection does provide some sort of solution for the customer, is it a good idea to use that protection on a regular basis?
For customers who find it a challenge to accurately reconcile their checkbooks on a regular basis, overdraft protection may be an ideal solution. Especially if they often find themselves with a balance that’s too close for comfort, having the comforts of overdraft can likely ease a potentially bad financial situation.
With overdraft protection on an account, the bank will advance the customer’s account in bulk-dollar increments in order to cover the negative balance amount, which will also cover any checks that are presented for payment. So that means if a check amount is presented to the bank for $35.00 and there is only $20.00 available in the account to be used, the bank will deposit $50.00 into the account, leaving $15.00 as the balance after the transaction is finished. If the amount presented is over $50.00, the bank will deposit two increments of $50.00, totaling $100.00. The leftover amount is left in the account as the customer’s funds. The bank charges interest fees based on the $50.00 increments.
Customers need to really be careful when using this type of checking account method to manage their checking accounts. That’s because any overdraft amounts that are advanced to their accounts can quickly get out of hand in terms of balances, how much is advanced, what the interest rates and fees are, etc. By using the cash advance fees or overdraft protection method as a means to manage their checking accounts, customers are subjecting themselves to possible mis-managing their accounts and using those advancements incorrectly.
The best way to maximize the use of overdraft fees is to pay back the unused amount back to the financial institution as quickly as possible so as to avoid any additional finance charges to your account. Then it would be wise to also make any additional payments if possible towards the outstanding overdraft balance so that you’re paying down the account balance as soon as possible.
Another idea to use is to limit the amount of overdraft that you have on the account. In other words, limit the advances to a maximum of $500 or $1,000 so that you can better control how much is deposited into your account. This keeps you from having such high fees and interest rates, but you also have to be careful to watch your account to ensure that you don’t go over the amount of protection that you’ve placed on your account. Remember to treat overdraft protection as an emergency method and not as a checking account management system. By doing this you’ll avoid fees, potential bounced checks and you’ll be better able to accurately manage your account for better results.Read More