Advertisements Vs. ATM Fees

Advertisements Vs. ATM Fees

ATM fees are just one of those touchy subjects that can make even the meekest of personalities take a turn and show a wild side. That could be mainly because ATM fees vary so widely from one ATM owner to the next and from one financial institution to the next. This can make it virtually impossible sometimes to get a reasonable grip on what’s fair to outrageous to pay. Of course, for the customer, fees are about paying the lowest amount as possible. But for the ATM owner, fees are an integral part of doing business, so while there is a desire to be reasonable, they must also stay competitive in the market just to stay on level with other ATM institutions.

Creative Advertising

While assessing ATM fees are certainly an important part of doing business, they’re not always welcomed or embraced by customers. There can be a lot of complaining about the rates, and even requests for refunds from customers who may decide to challenge the fee amounts based on several criteria. At any rate, the ATM owner has to become creative at ways to keep his customers happy enough to continue doing business with his establishment. And, at the same time, the owner must try to develop a workable solution that will keep a crucial and much-needed revenue stream coming into his financial business.

ATM advertising is a possible solution that owners can implement that may help to solve some of the customers concerns. It’s an on-screen video message where the customer agrees to watch a pre-recorded advertising message in return for reduced or an elimination of ATM surcharges. The customer is given this option when they begin making their transaction, so there are no worries that the commercial will just simply “play” for them, without their permission. Infringement on a customer’s time in that way can be annoying, so ATM owners want to be sure be aware of that possibility and offer the customers options.

With this type of marketing and advertising, both the customer and the ATM owner are appeased on different levels; the advertiser for agreeing to play the advertising video compensates the ATM owner, and the customer (possibly) pays a significantly reduced bank fee in exchange for watching the advertiser’s sales pitch. The sales pitch usually won’t take any longer to view than it would to make an ATM transaction, so there is no lengthy, inordinate amount of time spent watching video commercials while standing at the ATM machine. Usually, the ads will be anywhere from 10-30 seconds, just enough time to capture the customer’s attention and make a lasting sales impression.

The ATM owner and the advertiser will work out and negotiate the terms of the advertising contract. They will determine how long, how frequently and what style of commercial is best suited for the machines. Varying factors can determine ad costs, which is why negotiation is crucial. Since this type of advertising is vastly different from print or even television advertising, it’s important to look at the overall marketing package in terms of quality, relevance and style and not just length. For instance, in some cases, the advertiser will need to negotiate the rate based on the length of the commercial, whether it’s 10 seconds or 60 seconds, especially if it’s for a well-known product or brand.

Coupons and More Savings

Another feature that gets the customers attention is the tear-off coupon that’s at the bottom of their banking receipt. These receipts are good for other services or products that are with local businesses in the area, encouraging customers to keep their business with local establishments. This also incentivizes the business owners to place ads with the ATM machines, especially if they’re trying to target a certain demographic or entice the foot traffic that surrounds the area where the ATM is located.

What makes these types of transactions so worthwhile is because the advertisements are targeted specifically to ATM-style audiences, so it’s something (a product or a service) that would interest the customer. The customer does however have the option to “opt-out” of the feature and choose to not watch the videos. If the customer does go this route, they usually will have to agree to pay the ATM fees.

How to Steal Money from an ATM

How to Steal Money from an ATM

Stealing money from an ATM machine? Does that really happen?

While that does sound like a ridiculous attempted feat given the level of security that ATM machines have, there are some potential criminals who still try to find and exploit any weaknesses in an ATM’s system in order to gain access.

Stealing money from an ATM machine is undoubtedly an attempt that has been tried numerous times. But much to the would-be criminal’s chagrin, it is to no avail. There aren’t any successful ATM heists that you will likely read about in your local newspapers. There won’t be any television news reports about how savvy criminals got away with successfully removing the money from any ATM machine. It just doesn’t happen, and for good reason, no doubt.

Owner and Their Machines

When ATM owners initially set up their cash machines, they are advised to invest in equipment that has the latest software technology, physical locks and vaults and other enhancements that would deter criminal activity. Since most well-made ATM machines generally have safeguards in place as basic features, it behooves the owner to ensure that their machines do in fact have proper security. ATM machine owners can take solace in knowing that the machines have durable, comprehensive security cabinets and vaults that have been made to meet proper standards.

There are two prominent types of security that you will find present on most machines. These are the Business Hours security vault and the 24 Hours Level security vault. Both types of protection offer the owner different protection levels, but basically have the same security. Different business environments and traffic levels will dictate what the best fit may be for the protection levels.

Machines built for ATM needs are known as the UL 291 Standard, which are designed by Underwriters Laboratories. The company is responsible for rating and product-testing consumer goods like home appliances and electrical goods. Investing in a UL 291 Standard ensures that the machine is well-designed to withstand attacks and to protect the contents of the machine.

Business Hours ATM Vault

The Business Hours ATM machines are designed to hold and protect cash where transactions are made during normal business hours. In these instances, there is usually someone on the premises like a manager or an owner who can monitor the machine during the day. Therefore, at the end of the business day, the cash is safely removed from the machine and moved to other locations.

24-Hour Level 1 ATM Vault

The design and structure of the 24 Hour Level 1 ATM machine is designed to withstand inordinate amounts of potential attacks, drilling or any maneuver launched in an attempt to try and gain access to the system. About 300 pounds is what these machines generally weigh, and are also designed to withstand physical pressure loads of up to 50,000 psi.

Foil the Criminal

There are substantially hefty fines and possible jail time that are associated with any criminal activity associated with tampering with ATM machines. This alone is sometimes enough to discourage any would-be criminal. But even the possibility of being caught and punished, it’s is still not enough of a deterrent for some criminal-minded individuals. Thankfully for ATM owners, however, the ATM machines are now equipped with specialized internal and external equipment and enhanced software that can make the machines virtually impossible to steal. The machines are sometimes even bolted down in the area where they’re found, in order to discourage theft. Even in the unlikely event that the thief successfully unmounts the machine from its foundation, it is virtually impossible for him to penetrate the machine to break it in order to get to its cash content. In some cases, even the attempt is punishable by law and the individual can be incarcerated.

Refurbished ATMs

What is Refurbishing?

Frugal minds like to repurpose things or refurbish used things that are due for replacement or going to get discarded. Either way, whether it’s repurposing or refurbishing, it’s always a good idea to get the most you can out of something in lieu of discarding it. When you refurbish something or use something that’s been refurbished, you can save yourself a lot of money, not to mention gain something valuable in return. When you refurbish something, you simply take something that is worn or used and make it work like new again by restoring or re-equipping it in a usable fashion.

Refurbished ATMs

With ATM machines, refurbishing equipment helps ATM owners cut costs and get invaluable returns on their investments. With ATM owners, especially those who are new to the business, who opts to use refurbished equipment, have the luxury of slowly adapting themselves into the ATM business without the steep overhead investments of buying new equipment. This is especially important as well for those owners who want to keep their overhead costs as low as possible. Refurbishing is also a great option for established business owners who may decide to have multiple machines in several different locations. For those purposes, he wants to be able to maximize his return on his investment, and with refurbished machines, he’s able to do that at a fraction of the cost that it would require if he bought the machines brand new.

Why Buy a Refurbished ATM?

Simply put, buying a refurbished ATM machine saves money, and often, lots of it. Refurbished machines cut costs, both recurring and fixed, and owners can see their investment returns sooner with refurbished equipment.

Is there ever an instance where a refurbished machine would not be a good idea? Of course there is, and that would be in cases where the software is incompatible with a particular model, or if the model is too outdated to accommodate current market software or other equipment amenities. For instance, if the equipment is not conducive for physically impaired customers to operate, a refurbished machine may not be the best or wisest investment. This is applicable in situations where the ATM machine experiences high traffic of a diverse population. The machine, if it’s not current or has been altered to accommodate particular customers, may pose challenges for those customers and could also deter a large segment of potential customers altogether.

Refurbished ATM machines are not junk items; they’re actually in sometimes better condition than even newer models, depending on what the previous condition of the equipment may have been. Many times they’ve been completely dismantled, cleaned, conditioned and serviced and then placed back together to make for an optimal working machine. Owners who may mistakenly believe that reconstructed machines are “junk” repairs would do well to look into a refurbished unit for cost reduction as well as efficiency in operations.

Is it Junk?

Discarding an ATM machine isn’t always a final option for many owners. In many cases, the need to upgrade software or change ATM locations may also dictate the need to invest in a pre-used machine. This may also apply if the machine is going to occupy an area on a temporary basis as well. If the owner is awaiting new equipment or is having existing equipment serviced for a long time period, the need to use a refurbished unit may be more advantageous for his needs.

Refurbished machines are likely an ideal situation is in terms of security and privacy. These days, customers are more aware and have a higher sense of security when it comes to protecting their financial information. More current, up-to-date ATM machines not only have software to accommodate these issues, but there are also hardware tools like money dispensing covers or privacy trays that allow the customer to have more privacy and security when they’re making their money transactions. With these kinds of amenities, customers are more likely to frequent that particular ATM and have more of a comfort level while doing business.

The Reason for ATM Fees

It’s not always a bad thing, but talking to a few banking customers will give you a lot of insight about how they feel on the subject of ATM fees. They will tell you that paying outrageous ATM fees, for them, is sometimes annoying and even alarming. It can be quite alarming if the customer has to use an ATM at a location where they weren’t expecting to get such a high usage rate attached to their transaction. For the ATM owners, the more profits that they can charge and obtain, the better it is for their business’ bottom line. But for the customer, finding the ATM with the lowest to no ATM transaction fee is going to be the ideal situation.

Great for the Owner

The Reason for ATM Fees

Without a healthy bottom line, the ATM owner doesn’t have the financial resources he needs to provide a quality service to his customers, not to mention a much-needed convenience that some customers love. ATM fees allow owners to offer their customers the latest software updates for their transactions, a faster processor on the machine, equipment that’s in excellent condition and the peace of mind in knowing that the machine will always be able to accommodate their cash requests whenever they need it to. Not to mention also that ATM owners are furiously competing with one another on getting the bulk of the ATM business traffic, so it’s in their best interest to offer customers an attractive deal in return for their business.

Great for the Customer

For the customer, exorbitant ATM fees could mean less trips to the ATM, or, going out of their (convenient) way to find a machine that charges less that machines that are closer to them. Some customers will even go out of their way to transact with ATM machines that charge anywhere from $.50- $2.00 less than the machines that are closer to them, all to save as much money as they can. However, when the customer takes his business elsewhere, the ATM owner could possibly feel the effects of it and may feel compelled to lower their rates in order to draw that customer back.

So, who should profit more and be better accommodated? The ATM owners… or the customers?

Where Do ATM Fees Go?

As far as ATM fees go, sometimes these charges are implemented solely for the customers who are non-members. That means that if a customer doesn’t already bank with an institution or have an account with that bank, they may be charged an ATM fee in order to perform a transaction by withdrawing money or using another banking service. In other cases, relatively fewer, fees are often charged to all customers, regardless of whether or not they have an account with that particular banking institution. One of the biggest complaints that customers have of exorbitant ATM fees is that since there isn’t a human teller helping them with their transaction, there is no reason why the fees have to be so incredibly high, or at best, no reason why there has to be such frequent and periodic steep increases just to access that bank’s financial services.

Fees…For What?

One of the main reasons as to why there are ATM fees is simply to manage this service and to keep it running smoothly and conveniently for the bank or ATM owner’s customers. In fact, there is software that has to be upgraded on a routine basis, that which is often covered with fee services. The machine also has to be repaired on occasion, or at the very least, maintained for service. There is also the insurance responsibility that is required for ATM machines that owners have to take into account in case of theft, natural environmental causes or other issues. When a customer is a member of a bank, these types of maintenance fees are built into either the customer’s monthly fees or through fees to their accounts if their balances fall below a minimum balance requirement.

So while having ATM fees assessed to customers is not at all a “waste,” it helps when customers understand the need for these types of fees and why some banks charge one amount while other banks charge another. The best thing for ATM owners to do to keep a steady stream of business is to keep their fees reasonable but comparable to what their competition is charging in the market. For customers, it’s a good idea to try and be as consistent as possible with one banking institution so as to cut down on the amount of fees that they pay out, but ideally it’s best to be a member of the banking institution where they frequently use the ATM machine. This will help to ensure that their fees stay stead

Things to Do Before Starting an ATM Business

Three Major Things to Do Before Starting an ATM BusinessWithout a doubt, the ATM business is a very easy and quite lucrative one to get into. Everyone from the small business owner to the large corporation understands the immense benefits that abound in owning and managing an ATM business. ATM business owners can position their machines at most any well-trafficked location and see a return on their investment in a short matter of time. The key to success is choosing the right company to go with in setting up an ATM business, and knowing how to properly organize and manage it for optimal, profitable results.

The ATM business is one that can easily be a long-term, high-profit business that grows each year, but it’s important to ensure that the business is properly set up from the beginning. Everything from ATM software, security, location and management needs to be considered seriously before any real profits are seen. This is also important so as to keep those profits coming in while keeping business expenses as low as possible.

Here are a few tips to review and make sure are they’re on your checklist as you start the ATM ownership process:

1. Determine Ideal Setup

How do you want to manage the ATM business? Several options include owning and managing the machine, or, owning it and having someone else manage it by loading it with cash as necessary. Perhaps there will be another owner, and you simply manage the machine. Either of the options depends solely on your personal preferences and what works best for your end goals. Be aware however that you will need to ensure that the proper legal paperwork is in place to protect liabilities, especially since this area of business involves handling large amounts of cash.

2. ATM Machines, New or Used?

This is another consideration that’s best determined by your budget or preferences with the style and functionality of the ATM machine. Buying a used machine vs. a new one will definitely save you a significant amount of money on cost, but it’s also important to be sure that the used version will have all of the features and capabilities that it needs in order to draw in favorable traffic. Also, newer, more current models are going to have current software and run more efficiently, but if you’re considering planting multiple ATM machines in different locales, your best option may be to invest in used models until you break even with your profits.

3. Find ATM Dealers

In addition to thinking of either new or used machines, you also have to consider from whom you purchase your machine. It’s imperative to use only reputable dealers and ATM machine processing facilities with whom to do business. Make sure that the company has a stellar client support system for questions and setup. Also ensure that there are warranties included with your equipment so as to avoid any issues later on. Unless you know of a third party either on a personal level or you’re very familiar with the brand and model of an ATM machine, it is not a good idea to buy your machine from a private party or individuals who list an ATM machine for sale.

Finally, as it is with customer service in any business, ensure that the ATM processing company that you select has a generous support system for their clients. Scope out a processing company that offers 24 hour, 7 days a week support, and also has multiple contact numbers to reach them, preferably toll free numbers. This is important for customers because ATM owners will have all different hours, night and day, where they will be working and managing their machines. They need access to customer support just in case they run into any issues, and at any time of the day or night. Take note of whether or not live callers answer the phone lines, or if there is an automated message. If you get an automated message, test the call by leaving a voice mail message asking for more information. Notice the length of time that it takes to have your call returned, and this is a good indicator of how you’ll be treated once you become a customer.