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.

Toy ATMs

How Can I Teach My Child about ATMs

How Can I Teach My Child about ATMs?

You might be looking for a way to teach your young children basic concepts about money. Or, if you take your little ones with you when you use an automatic teller machine, you might be seeking a way to explain to them what that machine does. You may also want to dispel the notion that an ATM is some kind of magic gadget that gives people passing by as much money as they want. A toy ATM can be a great tool for teaching these lessons. Such a toy is similar to the piggy bank you might have had when you were a child – but on a whole other level.

High-quality toy ATMs work in similar ways. They look like realistic miniature versions of the real deal. And they store your child’s cash – dollar bills and coins. Your child can use its keypad to type in how much she wants to retrieve from the machine, and the machine will dispense exactly that much money. Thus, this kind of machine teaches kids about numbers and about counting money. Some toy ATM’s even come with toy ATM cards. In any event, the first few times your kids try this toy out, they’re likely to be amazed and delighted by the mechanics of it, and may want to play with it over and over again.

What is the Best Toy ATM to Purchase?

One of the best-reviewed toy ATMs on the market is the “YOUniverse Deluxe ATM Bank Machine.” Among its exciting features, this device:

  • assigns kids their own personal identification numbers
  • says hello to them personally when they enter their PINs
  • includes a cash drawer and separate slots for placing various kinds of coins and bills
  • displays flashing lights
  • plays sound effects.

All in all, this toy is sleekly-designed and highly portable.

Another terrific toy ATM is the “Deluxe ATM Toy Bank with ATM Card” from the Ohio-based company Trademark Games. This product includes alarm clock and calculator functions, and tells you the time and date. It also allows kids to enter information about how much money they wish to save and by what date, and then keeps track of how much time is left and how much additional money is needed to hit that goal.

Once children understand the basics of their toy automatic teller machine, you can teach them some more philosophical concepts about money and savings: how they should save as much of their money as they can, how they should only remove money from their account if they need something or if they really want something and can afford it. You could have them perform a simple task, like drying the dishes, and then give them a dollar for doing so, money they can put in their toy ATM. Then you can explain how what they just did mirrors what adults do: work for a wage and save that money for when it’s needed.

The toy ATM also allows parents a chance to help their kids brush up on arithmetic skills. All you have to do is have your child look at the ATM’s digital balance display and write down how much money she has. Then cover up that display and give her a certain amount of money to deposit. Before you uncover the new balance, have her use addition to figure out what that sum is. You can do a similar activity with subtraction; this time, of course, you’ll have her withdraw rather than deposit cash.

Of course, soon will come the day when your child outgrows her toy ATM and wants to use the real thing. Those are the tween and teen years. We’ll have some tips for coping with that situation next time.

ATM Cash Replenishment Tips

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. You might even start losing customers.

What is the process for ATM cash replenishment?

ATM Cash Replenishment Tips

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. They could be trying to discern when it is you do your replenishing.
  • Remember that you should replenish your ATM’s one at a time. 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. 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.

Doing Business with International ATMs

Doing Business with International ATMs

Doing business at a local ATM machine is not at all that uncommon, but what about trying to transact business with an ATM that’s located outside of your native country? Is it as easy to do, as it would be at home? Are the fees reasonable or astronomical? What about customer service, or support systems?

All of these are certainly legitimate concerns for any person who is trying to use an ATM machine out of the country. And, if you’re an ATM machine owner, it’s certainly a topic that you want to address with your customers so that you can help them to avoid any issues. Working with the proper channels that are necessary in order to have your ATM location properly mapped can mean the difference in you either losing, or gaining, business.

Customer Protection

Dealing with financial institutions abroad can be quite interesting, especially given that each banking institution operates under its own set of guidelines. There are of course some areas where financial institutions operate under the same principles (legal, etc.), but there is flexibility on other areas where things can be changed or adjusted to fit the bank’s mission or objective. To protect the customer, there are a few things that they need to be aware of when doing business with international ATMs. Some include:

– Locally-Owned

Try to only deal with ATMs that are owned and/or operated by the financial institution that owns them. This means, avoiding unknown, unheard of or ATMs that are ill-placed in different areas. If the customer experiences any problems with such machines, it would be a horrendous task to try and lay claim to any losses while in a foreign country.

– Conversion Fees

Take note of any “conversion fees” that are a part of the ATM transaction. These fees are also known as international withdrawal fees, and are assessed whenever a customer withdraws money in another country from an ATM machine. Generally, these conversion fees are a matter of doing business, but it’s important to stay aware o the fees, which should run no more than between 1% to 3% per purchase, or per instance (debit card purchases inclusive).

– Balance Inquiry

A charge for a simple “balance inquiry” at an ATM machine can result in a nominal fee being tacked on to your account. As a one-off transaction, this may not be especially important, but depending on the institution’s policies and fees, this amount can certainly add up quickly. It’s probably going to be best (and more economical) to find an alternate method to check your bank account balance to get this information. One such suggestion would be to do an online inquiry, which would likely not result in a charge from your local banking institution.

Other Financial Services

Customers can also turn directly to the financial institution that issued the card if they want to get more financial services, in addition to the ATM services. This is especially important if the traveler will be going abroad and may need other services like currency exchange information, information about withdrawal limits or any other cash restrictions or any limits on cash advances for the local currency. Dealing directly with the issuing institution will help answer any questions or vague understanding that the customer may have about cash, ATM and traveling. It’s always best to have a thorough understanding of any money issues that may exist in other locales before arriving there.

In order for customers to locate ATM’s in a specific country or within a particular region, they can reference an ATM locator to find out if there is one in their area. Usually, owners send ATM location information periodically to MasterCard and Visa card corporations. This location information is logged and made available on the card-issuer’s site(s) so that customers can quickly locate an ATM location. Since this information is updated frequently, it does in fact contain the most current and accurate ATM location information that would be available to customers worldwide.