How To Ensure You Profit From Your ATM

Ensure You Profit From Your ATM

So you have an ATM, but do you even know if you’re making any real profit? Some ATM operators consider the additional money spent in their location as profit but you may want to know the actual profit from the machine.

Do not become a business owner that buys an ATM and never calculates whether or not profits are being made. That’s no way to run a business. It’s a good idea to figure out how much you make a month and year so that you know the value of your investment.

When you don’t feel like you’re making as much profit as possible then you may want to consider ways to get more people to withdraw cash from your ATM. There are a few things you can do to encourage more customers to use your ATM.

How Much was the ATM?

Using the cost of the machine and how much profit you make from it monthly you can quickly see your ROI (your return on investment). Most business owners simply pay cash or use a credit card to finance the ATM (they aren’t that expensive anymore) so calculating ROI is fairly straight forward. While you can take advantage of depreciation and amortization as a piece of business equipment, you should also calculate how long it actually takes to recoup your investment.  We’ve seen busy ATM’s have an ROI of less than 1 month, while slower machines can take 6 – 12 months, which is still a fantastic ROI.

When you figure out how long it is going to take to pay off what you paid for the machine (your ROI) you’ll get a better understanding of when you will make a real profit. It should not take longer than a year to pay off what you invested to get the machine. Most business owners are able to pay off or recoup the investment in the ATM within a year.

Big factors include how much business you generate and the location of your machine. Make sure that your ATM is in a place people can easily find it. Consider putting your machine near the front of your store so people will be more likely to come in and use it if they need quick cash and don’t forget to load the ATM everyday.

How Much Does It Cost to Operate an ATM?

The factors that add to the operational cost of an ATM include communication (phone, internet or wireless device), a little electricity, and paper for the receipts.  All this added together is probably less than $0.85 per day.

Are you Keeping Track of the Money Going In and Out of Your ATM?

Most retail business ATM operators load cash daily similar to a cash register. So you should balance daily if you can. Otherwise, you can use the trial cassette close functions and online balance functions to track or count the money in the machine daily if possible. Whenever you or someone else loads the machine make your you have procedures in place to keep track of the funds. If you trust someone to load the ATM for you, be sure they keep a ledger or journal and make sure funds balance. This helps keep track of the money to ensure that you are not losing or missing any cash. Some people are tempted to think you’ll never miss a $20 bill here or there, so the last thing you want to realize is that someone you trust has been stealing a $20 here or there for a few months. Twenty dollars here and there might go unnoticed but it could add up.

You should be able to trust your employees but caution is always good to practice. Use the printer balance functions and put the receipts in envelopes and balance to the online system whenever you load or do your closeouts.

Are You Advertising that You Have an ATM?

A few signs, one for inside the store and a couple to put outside can make a big difference. Make your ATM very easy to find once people get inside. Post a big sign outside that reads “ATM Inside” so that people will know if they need cash all they have to do is walk into your store. Place another sign in close proximity to your store that notifies people there is an ATM within walking distance. A small investment into signs can go a long way and help you generate a lot of more profits on a weekly basis.

Another way to generate more ATM usage is to offer specials or coupons on the ATM receipt.  Most of the late model ATM machines make it easy to offer your customers extra value for using the ATM. If you have coupons in other publications, advertise those. You can also make deals with neighboring stores to advertise their store on your ATM if they advertise your store. You can also offer a coupon good for a special during their next visit.  There are lots of other ways to make your ATM more profitable. Want more tips on how to profit from your ATM, give us a call.

ATM Scams: How to Avoid Getting Skimmed

Criminals can abscond with ATM customers’ money without even confronting their victims.

How to Avoid ATM Skimming Scam

How? Cash machines are targeted by crooks who attach phony electronic devices – sometimes very well crafted and difficult to detect – over the ATM’s card reader and then rig a hidden camera close by, on the machine itself or on a nearby light fixture, according to an FBI reports on ATM skimmers.

An unsuspecting ATM customer inserts his bank card into the fake card reader, which then “skims” the account information from the card’s magnetic strip and stores the stolen data or sends it wirelessly to the thieves. Meanwhile, the hidden camera “shoulder surfs,” recording the customer’s hand movements as he inputs his PIN; similarly, a false keypad may be used to record the customer’s keystrokes. With the bank card information and the PIN, the criminal may encode a new, blank card to gain easy access to a victim’s account at any number of ATMs.

Defend Yourself

So, what’s a consumer to do to avoid being skimmed? The FBI recommends inspecting any ATM – whether it’s at a bank, a gas pump or elsewhere – and looking for anything suspicious like scratches or residue from adhesive or tape. Always cover the keypad with one hand when typing in a PIN, and try to use an indoor ATM when possible; it’s tougher for crooks to set up skimmers in well-trafficked areas. Keep an eye on bank statements, sign up for alerts that let you know of unusual account activity and consider an identity-theft protection and monitoring service like LifeLock. PCWorld suggests watching out for anyone milling about near an ATM and being wary of using an ATM that’s in a remote area or doesn’t appear to be part of a nearby business or bank.

Thieves Pay the Price

While losses related to skimming have been on the rise the past several years, the good news is that skimmers are being caught and serving time for their crimes. Some recent cases in the news include:

  • A 29-year-old Georgia man was sentenced in November 2012 to 38 months in federal prison for several skimming-related charges. He was ordered to pay more than $72,000 in restitution.
  • Also in November 2012, a 22-year-old Romanian from Broward, Fla., received a 3.5-year sentence in federal prison. He was found guilty of charges related to aggravated identity theft and possession of an ATM-skimming device and two “pinhole cameras” with video recorders, the Sun Sentinel.reports.
  • A 32-year-old Romanian man was recorded on camera placing a skimmer device on an ATM in England, and was subsequently apprehended when he returned to dismantle it. Techworld.com reported that the man, who is believed to have skimmed more than 9,000 PINs, is facing a jail sentence.

The takeaway is that vigilance is key to beating the skimmers. Watch your surroundings, be on the lookout for anything unusual and stay on top of your finances.

The Future of ATMs

The Future of ATMsWill ATMs Become Obsolete?

ATMs are far from becoming obsolete, we know this to be true. These machines are evolving into devices that can complete the same type of transactions as tellers. ATMs are also turning into machines that can help a person get cash in a matter of seconds as opposed to minutes. New machines will start popping up in the next few years that will change the way you think of automated banking. Get an idea of what’s to come in the future for ATMs.

Banks are adopting ATMs that resemble tablet devices. These machines take the place of a teller and can receive your check, dispense cash, and complete most transactions a teller would handle. This allows banks to provide superior customer service by providing tellers on the bank floor to greet customers and answer any questions present. Tablet ATMs do not threaten a teller’s job; they simply allow banks to create a more welcoming atmosphere for customers.

How will these New ATMs be More Convenient?

Gaming consoles have used motion sensor technology for years and now ATMs will too. A new motion sensor machine is currently being developed. People that are wary about germs on a keypad do not have to worry any longer. These ATMs allow users to use their hands to pass motions. A number of transaction options are available at these ATMs. The current design has a woman sitting to produce a calm mood for the person using this type of ATM.

We have all experienced waiting in line to withdraw quick cash while the person in front is completing a series of transactions. The Tower is an ATM that is designed specifically to dispense cash. This machine will speed up the lines so that people do not have to wait to get cash. A user sets up a withdrawal from their cell phone and then taps the machine to get cash. These machines can help people in need of quick cash move quickly while others complete longer transactions at traditional ATMs.

Another machine designed to get you money in seconds is the cash barrel dispenser. All that is required is your debit or credit card and thumbprint. There is a selection of withdrawal options available and within seconds a user can take cash. A machine like this takes the worry out of being cautious about inputting your pin number while at an ATM. No one can learn your personalized pin with an ATM that only requires your thumbprint.

Businesses can benefit from having multiple machines available for people to complete simple or complicated transactions. The different machines allow banks to provide customers with a variety of options to choose from to complete a transaction to their liking. The ATM machines of the future have unique designs and offer solutions to make lines move faster. An investment into one of the machines of the future can prove to help make customers pleased with the selection of ATMs available.