Man Finds $500 In ATM Machine. What He Did Next Shocked The Bank.

So this guy, Bobby Puryear drives up to his bank’s drive up ATM machine to withdraw money from the ATM, and as he was inserting his ATM card, he noticed someone had left a giant wad of cash where the money is dispensed. What Bobby did next is nothing short of amazing.

Bobby Puryear Finds $500 In ATM

Hopefully many humans wouldn’t think of keeping it, but unfortunately, most might, but we’ll keep faith that humankind hasn’t totally lost the word “kind”.

Yesterday I went to the drive thru atm at my bank as I was putting my card in I noticed where the money comes out of…

Posted by Bobby Puryear on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Story about finding $500 in ATM Money Slot

Bobby actually drove around to the front of the bank, and took the $500 he found in the ATM Machine to the teller and explained what happened. At first, the teller didn’t really know what to do so they got the bank manager involved. At that point, Bobby (who isn’t even a banker) suggested they try to find the person that used the ATM just before Bobby. That shouldn’t be difficult, ATM’s have journals and online reports making it easy to track down who used the ATM and the exact times.

The next day, the bank manager spoke to Bobby and explained they were on a 3-way call and that the manager had found the owner of the $500 to be a 92-year old woman named Edith. She explained that she used the ATM to get her rent money of $480 and offered Bobby a $20 reward. However Bobby came to learn that Edith was on a fixed income and the $20 was really the last of her funds for the month.

Needless to day, Bobby found it hard to believe that Edith wanted to give him the only money she had as a thank you. Obviously, since he returned the money he was not looking for a financial reward but an emotional reward which comes from doing the right thing. Bobby told her he couldn’t accept the $20 and told Edith to have a nice day. But wait.. there’s more…

As anyone can imagine, Bobby continued to think about Edith and the encounter since it was obvious that she struggled to make ends meet month-to-month financially. Bobby, decided to call back the bank manager and asked that he transfer $200 of his own money into Edith’s account (even more good vibes).

I am stunned with the amount of friend request I am getting just from doing what’s right, I must live in a bubble…

Posted by Bobby Puryear on Tuesday, November 17, 2015

That’s when something astonishing happened. When the rest of the bank employees heard that they had such a kind hearted customer, they all chipped in another $300 and deposited $500 into Edith’s account as a Christmas gift.

Would that have happened if it wasn’t the holiday’s? Perhaps, but we can still hope that it wasn’t just the Christmas spirit but that of human”kind”.

That’s the ATM Machine News.

ATM Machine News

Maximizing ATM Revenues

Maximize ATM Revenue

Maximizing ATM Revenues

Before a business owner decides to purchase an ATM, there are factors that should be taken into consideration. First, an owner is usually wondering how they can maximize revenues with the machine and what a good plan is to make that happen.

The establishment where you locate or place your ATM, whether it is a gas station, convenience store, restaurant, or bar; will want to be sure they have the amount of foot traffic needed to generate good use of an ATM. A good rule of thumb to go by is; if the place of business has 150 patrons or more throughout the day, the ATM should generate enough revenue to make the ATM business for that location worthwhile. Another indication of a good establishment, would be if people stop into the business and ask if there is an ATM in the store or if there is one nearby. Read more

Why Do I Have to Pay ATM Fees?

Why Do I Have to Pay ATM Fees?

Truth About ATM Fees

The convenience of withdrawing cash from an ATM has become second nature for millions of people. In fact, the convenience has become an expected service for many. A person might see several ATMs, some on the same block or within a few blocks radius, when walking down a busy city street; they are on street corners, in convenience stores, at gas stations, outside, as well as inside banks, and in bars and restaurants. As more and more establishments purchase and provide ATMs, consumers are finding that they are paying fees at machines that are not provided by their own bank.

Most often, when a cardholder uses their debit card to withdraw cash from an ATM, they are charged a convenience fee, if it is not a machine provided by their bank. The user may also find that their bank charges a fee, or it can also be looked at as a penalty, for using an out-of-network ATM. In some cases, banks will have a limit on how many cash withdrawls a user can make per month; if they exceed this limit, they will be charged another fee from their account for each transaction over the limit. This can be avoided by the cardholder planning ahead for cash withdrawls, such as, taking enough money for the entire week instead of hitting up the ATM twice in one week, or by using their debit card for in-store purchases, rather than using their cash.

When fees were first introduced at machines, they started out very low, approximately $1.00 to $1.25; however, today, many consumers are paying upwards of $2.50 or more.  As fees continue to rise, some users continue to complain even though everyone has a choice.

What consumers fail to understand, is that using the machine is their choice and fees are disclosed prior to withdrawing money. Using an ATM should not just be considered a convenience, but also a responsibility. It is the choice of the cardholder how and where they choose to use their card, and, in turn, their choice on whether they want to pay fees.

What is a convenience fee?

  • A surcharge fee, also known as a convenience fee, is something that is charged by the ATM owner. The basis for this charge is simple, it is a fee for the use of the machine. This is a means for an owner to make operating the ATM a business and hopefully making a profit based on the investment and operation. An ATM owner might not see a profit for quite a few months if they have recently purchased and installed the machine. Depending on the type and placement of the ATM, Machines can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $50,000 or more; therefore, it could take quite some time for the owner to recuperate their cost of the machine. A surcharge or convenience fee is set at the owner’s discretion, but usually ranges from $1.50 to $4.00.
  • When a cardholder withdraws cash at an ATM provided by their bank, they are not usually charged the convenience fee; but again, it is the discretion of the owner to set the parameters for the use of their machine.
  • ATM Surcharge fee’s are also a fee to offset costs besides the equipment. There are maintenance fees, the cost of cash in the machine, paper for the printer, and processing costs for connecting the various ATM Networks.

 What is a foreign ATM fee?

  • A foreign ATM fee is most often charged by a bank. This is a fee that the bank charges a cardholder for using a machine not provided by the bank, or also referred to as out-of-network ATM. Depending on your bank, fees can also vary anywhere from $1.50 to $4.00. Some Banks offer accounts where they reimburse fees so it’s best to ask your bank about the various fees if you are a frequent ATM user.  With that said, you can see how fees can add up if a user continuously makes the choice to use an out-of-network machine.
  • It has been said that with the millions of out-of-network transactions that occur each day, that it only costs a bank pennies to process these transactions. A smart consumer might take the stance that their financial institution is profiting from them withdrawing their own money when using a machine not provided by the bank. However, due to the number of ATMs available, usage per ATM has significantly decreased making it more expensive to operate a bank ATM. Bank ATMs are especially expensive due to the multi-functionality.
  • Simple solutions to excessive fees:
    • Only withdraw cash from a bank-provided ATM
    • Use your debit card for in-store purchases and save cash for the necessary moments
    • When using an ATM withdraw enough to prevent having to return to an ATM hours or days later.

We know ATM fees are inevitable in some cases, hence the term “convenience fee”, and at some point everyone is going to run into a moment that forces them to use an out-of-network machine; but most of the time we have a choice.

For consumers to continually moan and groan about fees, yet continue to return to the same machine time and time again, seems crazy. Let’s face, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.  Let’s face it, it is the responsibility of the consumer to manage their money and they are the only one in control of the fees they do and do not want to incur.

ATM Networks: The Magic that Makes it Happen

ATM Networks: The Magic that Makes it all Happen

ATM Networks

In a regular bank setting, we would walk up to the teller, request our cash, and then it would be counted by the teller and handed to us. We walk away assured that the teller debited our account for the correct amount.

A typical ATM transaction allows the cardholder at the ATM machine to withdraw funds from an account or deposit funds to an account. As a user, if withdrawing funds, we take our cash and walk away from the machine, never giving a thought as to what went into making the transaction happen. Little does the user know there is a network communicating all of the transaction information behind the scenes.

How Does an ATM Network Work?

ATMs operate through a network; most are commonly connected to an interbank network. These networks make it possible for a person to perform a transaction at an ATM that does not belong to their bank, and in some cases, out of the country where their bank is located. There are many types of interbank networks, including Cirrus, PLUS, NYCE, STAR, PULSE, BancNet, AFFN, among others.

Once a transaction is performed at a machine, the network communicates the information to the proper bank, where the information is recorded to the user’s account. The communication with the network happens much like our home computer would with an internet connection. Most ATMs connect to a host, or sometimes known as an ATM Controller, through an asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) or through a dial-up modem, which would be run through a phone line. If using the dial-up modem method, this is usually a specifically designated or leased line, rather than sharing a telephone service line. The method that an ATM owner chooses to use should be based on the amount the machine is being used. If the machine is being continuously used throughout the day, a dial-up modem might be slower and not the most efficient way to get the user’s the quick cash they are looking for. After all, you want the customer to keep coming back and using your machine.

As technology advances, many new ATM owners are now using connections through virtual private networks (VPN), or commonly known as a high speed internet connection and new wireless devices such as cellular networks using dedicated wireless devices hidden in top of the ATM. There are still older methods of communicating to a bank that are still in use; some of these include Async, which is short for asynchronous communications, where transactions are communicated intermittently to the bank versus the immediate moment the transaction is completed; and Systems Network Architecture (SNA), which to date itself, was created by IBM in 1974, and is a method that interconnects the ATM with the bank.

All of this may be irrelevant for someone in a hurry, running in to the local convenient store to get the $40 they need for the night; but nonetheless, it is the network communications of the ATM and the bank that are making the transaction possible for this rushed money grabber.

If you plan to own and operate ATM Machines as a business or in your business, the cheapest way to access the ATM Networks via your ATM processor these days is to simply add the ATM to your high speed internet connection. A slow connection or high noise on the line may cause errors so consult your ATM company or your computer people prior to determining the best communication method. We are seeing most new ATMs deployed these days are using the latest wireless communication systems which are available for lease for less than the cost of a phone line. Ask your ATM company about the wireless communication options available for your ATM.

Proper ATM Disposal after EMV upgrade

ATM Disposal or EMV UpgradeIf your ATM is not in compliance with ADA, the new EMV card reader, or you are considering upgrading your ATM you’ll need to dispose of your old one.  Why dumping your ATM in the landfill is not a good idea. Trash disposal has tripled since the 1960’s. In the US alone, we are throwing away over 250,000,000 tons of trash a year and it looks like your local ATM may be adding to the load.

While American banking systems and merchants are required to begin transferring over to a system known as EMV or Europay/MasterCard/Visa, ATM’s can and will contribute to landfills and it doesn’t have to be that way.

EMV is a system that is used all over the developed world, and America is finally getting on board. EMV makes transactions and accessing your money easier and more secure. EMV will do away with the magnetic stripe on the back of your card and will instead use a chip system, which makes it much more difficult to steal your information and create fraudulent cards at the ATM.

Sounds great right? Well, it is great but unfortunately, like all great things, there is a price. Most ATM’s in America are not EMV compliant and as as many as 200,000 may end up in a landfill near you by 2017. Between leaking batteries, non biodegradable plastics and other potentially toxic materials that make up the ATM, this is not an ideal situation and doesn’t make the industry look very good. Also, it is estimated that the EMV conversion is going to cost around $8 billion. That is quite a chunk of change. However, there are a few ways to cut costs, reduce waste and even make use of other materials that would otherwise be headed for the landfill as well.

  • The Trade Off –

Some ATM’s are too old to be upgraded. The good news is, they can sometimes be traded in for a new one, which would cut costs. They might also be able to be traded in for an older but upgraded model or a model with upgrade capabilities. This does not only cut cost but reduces the amount of waste, one less toxic ATM off to the landfill.

  • The Upgrade –

Many older ATM’s do not have the capabilities to be upgraded. There are some manufacturers who have closed their doors and others who refuse to convert to EMV. Unfortunately, we can’t do anything about that. Fortunately, there are still some options that can save time and money. Trading in an ATM that is not capable of EMV conversion, for an upgraded machine can sometimes be cost effective. Getting an upgrade kit for ATM’s that are capable of upgrades is a tremendous money saver and, once again, it keeps those extra ATM’s out of the landfill. Granted, many older ATM’s still in service will need a lot of upgrades including EMV, ADA voice upgrades, PCI compiant keyboards, upgraded security and software updates, etc. Depending on the ATM Model, it’s unlikely that older ATMs in need of a lot of upgrades will be cost effective to get field upgrade kits. In certain instances, some ATM’s will just need to be replaced. Proper disposal of older ATMs should include recycling everything possible to reduce the landfill load.

Unloading the Warehouse

There is another way to cut cost, reduce waste and make use of otherwise useless materials. Most ISO’s or Independent Sales Organization, have warehouses full of old parts. In some cases, your ATM may be able to be salvaged for their parts which can be used to repair some other ATM’s which are EMV capable since many ATMs use similar parts from the same manufacturer. This is a fantastic way to make the most of the materials that the ISO’s already have, cut conversion costs and reduce waste. This not only keeps older ATM’s out of the dump but keeps older, potentially useful parts out of the dump as well

Again, unfortunately, no matter what we do, some of these ATM’s are going to end up in a landfill, but separating out the recycling materials is better. At the end of the day, some ATM’s are just to old to convert or upgrade to EMV no matter what kits are available. That doesn’t mean that we can’t make a pretty big impact both financially and reducing waste. The last thing any ISO or IAD wants is to add tons of toxic trash to landfills across the country.

Maintaining the machines that make it so easy for us to get our hands on our money, any hour, day or night has costs associated. This article gives you an idea of why independent ATM Deployers (IAD’s) charge a fee at the ATM. Hopefully, the next time you get money out of a free standing ATM at 2 o’clock in the morning, you will remember why you are being charged that extra fee and may be helping to keep toxic waste out of our landfills.  If you are interested in becoming an IAD, please contact us anytime.