Conveniences of a Mobile ATM
A mobile automatic teller machine is an ATM on wheels, one you can rent for a special event such as a county fair, music festival or circus. You could even set up a mobile ATM at a more solemn occasion, such as a graduation or a civic ceremony honoring military veterans. Really, any event at which merchandise is sold or donations are collected – that is, any occasion at which attendees might suddenly realize they need extra cash – is an event that can benefit from the presence of a mobile ATM.
Mobile ATMs usually use wireless technology –not telephone lines – to send and receive information about customer accounts, so they know how much cash they can dispense to various individuals. Sometimes these ATMs do require a power source, however, so make sure you have an extra electrical cord handy, one that will be long enough.
Increasing Your Business
In fact, so many mobile ATMs have been appearing at large and small events in recent years that many attendees come to rely on them. Some people are loath to carry more cash than is absolutely necessary. In many cases, these people figure that if they see souvenirs or other items at an event that appeals to them, or to their children, they can simply head to a mobile ATM and get the funds to buy those products. Therefore, if you do not have a mobile ATM at your event, you will lose out on all of that business. In addition, customers with easy access to cash tend to stay at events longer, and in the process, of course, spend more money. Furthermore, if your event relies on third-party vendors, you want to make sure those vendors make as much money as they possibly can, lest they decide not to return to the event the following year. On top of all that, it can be easier and faster for customers to pay with cash at outdoor events than with personal checks or credit cards. And when cash is used, event organizers do not have to worry about checks that bounce, and you and your vendors are not responsible for credit card processing fees. (In fact, many event vendors refuse to accept any credit cards.)
Safety and Weather Concerns
Mobile ATMs are designed with customer safety as a top priority. They come with bright overhead lights to ward off criminals who would lurk in the shadows, and sometimes they include visible security cameras as well. As the planner of an event, you can further increase your mobile ATM customers’ feelings of security by putting the machine right in the middle of the action – in an area that you know will be heavily-trafficked, as this placement will certainly discourage would-be thieves as well.
One especially helpful feature about mobile ATMs is that event planners don’t have to worry about the weather when they order them. Mobile ATMs, just like the stationary ATMs you find out on the streets, are built rugged, more than able to withstand all kinds of weather conditions, including driving rain and heavy snow. They are water-resistant, too, and usually they include advanced temperature control systems to heat them up or cool them off as conditions require. If the weather is going to be horrendous, however, you could always elect to set up a mobile ATM indoors.
Choosing a Rental Company
When you’re looking for a mobile ATM rental company to patronize, look for a company offering the following:
- strong encryption measures to safeguard passwords and user data – triple encryption is recommended
- excellent references
- at least several years of experience
- signs that will guide customers to the mobile ATM
Where Should I Place My ATM?
To really maximize the profits you earn from your business’s automatic teller machine, you need to place that machine in the right location. ATM placement is an art, not a science, however, even experts on the topic can sometimes disagree about ATM placement strategies. So consider the following an introduction to the factors that go into this important decision.
First and foremost, your customers won’t want to use your ATM unless they feel safe doing so. Therefore, install your ATM someplace in your business that’s lit brightly, somewhere under the watchful eye of a security camera, perhaps with a visible alarm system within arm’s reach.
You also have to decide whether to install your ATM indoors or outdoors. Outdoor ATM’s can be accessed twenty-four hours a day, of course, but they’re more vulnerable to vandals and thieves. You’ll have to invest in a first-rate (in other words, expensive) security system. There might even be specific safety/security laws in your state and municipality dictating the kinds of security measures you’re required to have in place for an outdoor ATM. In addition, during the day many customers prefer using indoor rather than outdoor ATM’s, as they feel safer doing so. In that regard, you might actually lose some ATM business if you place your automatic teller machine outside.
If you manage a large complex, such as a shopping mall or a resort hotel, then choosing the spot in which to install your ATM becomes significantly more challenging. Many such facilities set up an ATM in the lobby, believing that customers expect to find ATM’s there, and also believing that a lobby is a safe place because it receives so much traffic all day long. And many hotels, malls and even hospitals decide to maintain more than one on-site ATM. For instance, a hotel might find it worth the investment to put an ATM on every floor. If you decide to go this route, it probably makes sense to put the ATM at the same location on each floor – just to the left of the elevator, for instance.
You don’t have to run a business with multiple floors in order to derive benefit from multiple ATM’s, though. Even if you own, for example, a fairly large, one-story convenience store, you might find that if you purchase more than one ATM, and place those ATM’s in opposite sections of your store, those ATM’s will increase your profit margins each month.
One of the longest-running debates when it comes to the placement of ATM’s is this: Should you put an ATM right next to the front door of your establishment? There are passionate advocates on both sides of this argument. Those who say that an ATM should go beside the front door can site statistics indicating that putting an ATM here greatly increases the usage that ATM will get over time. Some studies have even said that an ATM beside the front door gets twice as many transactions as an ATM placed in, say, one of the far corners of a business’s interior.
On the other hand, the case against putting an ATM by the front door is also convincing. First, if you attract lots of customers each day, an ATM next to the door could cause congestion around that door. People lining up here might even block the entrance. And if potential customers walking by on the street see this commotion, they might be discouraged from entering your establishment, thus costing you business. Even worse, a line of customers near your front door might constitute a minor fire hazard, should that line be thick enough. And if your front door is glass, it might be tempting for drug addicts and other amateur robbers to break the glass at night, step inside and try to loot your ATM.
If you have no idea how many ATM’s to buy, or where to place them, you can always contact experts at an ATM consulting service. They’ll be able to analyze your floor plan and your flow of traffic and tell you the best place to put your machine(s).Read More
You Can Never Be to Cautious
Generally speaking, automatic teller machines are very safe to use, and there’s no reason to be alarmed at the prospect of getting robbed at an ATM. Still, it always makes sense to be cautious. First, you be aware of the four different categories of ATM robbery.
- A robber approaches a person using an ATM and forces this victim to remove cash and give it to him.
- A robber orders a victim to give him his ATM card and PIN number, so that the robber may withdraw cash from an ATM on his own. This kind of robbery, of course, could occur far away from an actual ATM.
- A robber stakes out a particular ATM. Then, when someone withdraws money from that ATM, the robber follows her, and at some point demands that she give him that amount of money.
- A robber abducts someone and brings that person to an ATM so the victim can withdraw cash and hand it over. This is the rarest kind of ATM robbery.
If someone brandishes a weapon, or even suggests that he has a weapon on his person, and orders you to take money out of your ATM and give it to him, or to give him your ATM card and PIN number, you should never try to fight back. Keep in mind that about 15% of ATM robbery victims are injured, and injuries most often occur when victims resist their robbers. Remember, too, that the average ATM robber only gets away with about one or two hundred dollars, as so many ATM robbers are drug addicts who just want some money to get their fix. That’s a sum of money for which it’s certainly not worth risking injury or worse. You should also refrain from trying to run away or trying to somehow outsmart a robber. Instead, follow the robber’s instructions until this person is out of sight, and then contact the police immediately. If you can, try to remember exactly what the robber and the robber’s vehicle – if there is one – look like so you can give accurate descriptions to the police.
At some point in the 2000’s decade, an urban legend about ATM robberies began to circulate, and this information was widely spread via email. It said that if you are being robbed at an ATM, you should enter your PIN number backwards, as when you do that, an ATM will dispense the amount of money you ask for, but at the same time it will alert police officers that a crime is taking place at that exact location. It’s not clear precisely how or where this rumor got started, but it is not true. Entering your ATM PIN number backwards accomplishes nothing, and the delay for cash may anger your robber. So don’t fall for this hoax if you hear it for yourself sometime.
Much of the information we have about the frequency of ATM robberies comes from surveys done by the major banks. These surveys tell us that the rate of crimes occurring at ATM’s is low: a crime happens about one time for every million to three and a half million times that customers use ATM’s. Now, it might be common sense, but standalone ATM’s – ATM’s which are not located inside banks or other premises which are guarded – are much more likely to be robbed. Drive-through ATM’s are also, statistically speaking, safer from robberies than the kind you walk up to. And most ATM robberies occur at night – specifically, between the hours of midnight and four in the morning.
If you want to use an outdoor walk-up ATM in a place where no police officers or security guards seem to be around, try to find one that’s well-it, on a street where plenty of people are walking by and hanging around. Take a good look around before you go up to an ATM too, as most ATM robbers will wait until a victim takes her or his cash out before making a move. And if you are ever robbed at an ATM, you should contact your bank to let them know as soon as you possibly can – but be sure to call the police first!Read More
The process of loading your automatic teller machine with new bills is called ‘ATM cash replenishment’ (and not, for whatever reason, ‘ATM cash replacement’). It’s important to replenish your ATM’s cash as soon as it starts running low. If people find that your ATM does not provide them with sufficient funds, your business’s reputation may falter and you might even start losing customers.
What is the process for ATM cash replenishment?
Once you’ve been operating one or more ATM’s for a while, the cash replenishment process will become routine. But there are important procedures you should always follow whenever you’re replenishing your ATM’s supply of money. They will protect your money, your ATM and most important, your safety and your employees’ safety.
- First, try to vary the times at which you replenish your ATM cash. For instance, you could replenish early Tuesday morning one time, late Friday afternoon the next time, midday Monday the next, and so on. Don’t stick to a pattern of replenishment times, either. Instead, replenish on a completely random basis to the greatest extent possible. Not to induce paranoia, but thieves could be staking out your ATM at this very moment, trying to discern when it is you do your replenishing.
- Remember that you should replenish your ATM’s one at a time, and you should replenish your cassettes one at a time as well. There should be no customers inside your place of business during a cash replenishment procedure. Shut your doors and shut your blinds to shield this process from the view of people passing on the street. Have on hand an alarm system, too – one you could strike at a second’s notice to automatically contact 911 in the event of a robbery attempt.
- Before the new stacks of cash enter your automatic teller machine, take the time to flip through them. Look at each bill to make sure everything seems OK. That is, check that none of the bills is counterfeit or torn, and that none contain markings indicating they might have been stolen. Also make certain that each of the bills is the denomination that it’s supposed to be. If you find any problem bills, contact your bank’s manager at once, and don’t let them go inside your ATM.
- If you have a safe full of cash on your premises which you use during cash replenishments, change the combination of that safe after each replenishment. Don’t use a master key with this safe, either, because you’ll greatly increase your risk of theft if you were to ever misplace your key.
- You should take enough time during an ATM cash replenishment to ensure you don’t make any mistakes, but at the same time you should work as quickly as you can so that the process takes no longer than it has to. Also, never place any container holding cash on the floor, and certainly never take your eyes off of such a container, even for a split-second!
Secure services are available to take care of ATM cash replenishment
There are plenty of companies you can hire to take care of your ATM cash replenishment needs for you. A good service will order all the cash you need, and bring that cash to your place of business in an armored vehicle. They’ll also carry the cash from that armored vehicle to your ATM in a secure container. Further, that company may deploy an entire team to take care of these duties, including:
- the armored car driver
- at least one armed guard
- at least one experienced technician to actually replace the money
All these employees should present identification to you before you admit them into your business. In some cases, the ATM company will give you a list of employees along with samples of their signatures, so you may compare a signature on an ID card to a signature on your list.
Some of these companies are available to replenish ATM cash seven days a week, 24 hours a day. And in many cases, such companies offer ATM maintenance services in addition to cash replenishment – freeing ATM cards when they get jammed, for example – as part of a package. Hiring one of these companies to take care of your ATM cash replenishment needs will not only save you and/or your employees time, but it may eliminate a source of anxiety as well.Read More