The question of whether to purchase a new ATM machine or a refurbished ATM machine is an important one for any bank or business owner. But it might be even more important if you’re just getting started in the ATM business. Without experience, you really want to know what you can expect. And you want to do it right the first time.
In this article, we will compare new ATM machines to refurbished ones focusing on why it might be better to go new if you are new to the ATM business. You will want to consider lifespan, technology, ease of use, compliancy, and total cost of ownership (TCO).
1. Longer Lifespan
The lifespan of ATM equipment depends upon exposure to the elements and rapidity of new updates. However, you can expect a new ATM machine to last around 15 years.
A well-refurbished ATM machine can last around ten years, all things considered. But you obviously get more years out of a new ATM machine. Additionally, that lifespan can be extended with routine maintenance, consistent repair and service, upgrades, and refurbishments on the machine you already own.
2. Latest Technology
Second, a new ATM machine is going to come equipped with the latest technology. While a refurbished ATM machine will perform the same basic functions as a new one (deposits, withdrawals, balance checks, etc.), there is some new technology that you won’t find yet in refurbished machines.
Depending on the model, new technology could include Windows 10, cash recycling, and video terminals on Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs). These features could make or break your business when faced with competition.
If you’re new to the ATM business, you might want to enter the game with the latest hardware, software, features, and functions. Then, as you get more familiar with the machines, if you decide to purchase more or need to replace existing machines you can opt for a refurbished version based on your experience of what works well for you and what is maybe “nice to have” but not “need to have”.
3. Easier to Use
To piggyback on number 2, the newer technology typically makes the machines more user-friendly. That goes for both your ATM visitors and you as the operator. A video terminal, for example, might draw more attention to your machine and gain the trust of passers-by. But if you need to update graphics or input functionalities, typically the operator menu is going to be easier to use the newer it is.
Older technology can be complicated. That’s one of the reasons new technology is developed: to improve usability. So if you are new to ATM machines, you might want to start out with a new one at least until you get more familiar with it.
4. Automatic Compliancy
ATM technology improves to make utilization quicker and easier. And additional features are designed and added to address customer needs and feedback. This includes accessibility. As regulations change, so must ATM features, and you must remain compliant to continue to operate your machine.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), for example, requires that ATM machines be accessible to people who are blind, deaf, and wheelchair bound. New ATM machines must be developed to meet these needs and associated regulations. So, when you purchase a new machine, you know you are already compliant.
Older machines might have been compliant at the time they were manufactured, but regulations change as customer needs change. Older, refurbished machines can be adapted to meet current regulations, but you don’t have to worry about it at all if you purchase your equipment brand new.
EMV compliancy is another concern. For increased security, more and more debit cards come equipped with a microchip. This microchip can be entered into an EMV card reader instead of swiping the card stripe on the back. To be compliant, your ATM machine must have an EMV card reader. These can be added to machines not already equipped, but again, new ATM machines will already have it.
5. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
This category is actually pretty even on the scales in most cases. All ATMs have intricate moving parts, electrical components, and software that needs to be regularly updated. Any of these areas could malfunction at any time. It’s rare, but it’s possible.
Buying an ATM outright, brand new is going to be more expensive than refurbished. But refurbished machines are older and may or may not come equipped with the latest software and compliancy features. This means you might end up having to purchase upgrade kits separately on top of any necessary maintenance down the road.
However, the quality of refurbished ATM machines is not the same across the board. You could get a refurbished ATM machine that has been completely rebuilt or one that has just been cleaned and polished. Therefore, new and refurbished ATM machines are similarly reliable; it just depends on the individual machine and its upkeep.
In the next section, we’ll tell you what to look for if you are still considering a refurbished ATM machine.
Risks Associated with Poorly Refurbished ATM Machines
You might find a really good deal on a refurbished ATM machine, but you will want to question the quality of the refurbishment. Worst case scenario, the job is a “blow and go,” meaning the job is done quickly in an effort to move on to the next job sooner.
These refurbishments will include cleaning and probably new decals making the machine look nice but not really taking time on fixing any internal issues. Obviously you’ll want to avoid these. This is where purchasing a refurbished machine can actually end up costing you more than a new one. If the refurbishment is sub-par, the money you save on the purchase will just go into service, maintenance, and upgrades.
All of the refurbished ATM machines listed on ATMDepot.com, however, are certified refurbished. This means that they have undergone specific standards checks. They are cleaned, detailed, and updated. Decals are replaced, the newest software is installed, and security is updated. This is what you want to look for in a refurbished ATM machine.
The downfall here is that even though refurbished machines can in most cases be purchased good as new, your options are based on availability. So if you’ve been researching specific brands and models that you might be interested in, there’s no guarantee that a certified refurbished one of your preference will be available.
The last thing to look out for when shopping for refurbished machines is discontinued models. The Triton 9600, Triton 9700, WRG Apollo, and WRG Genesis for example can only be used for parts. If you see one of these advertised cheap, keep in mind that they are no longer able to process transactions on ATM networks due to new regulations including the EMV liability shift and ADA guidelines.
The Case for Purchasing a New ATM Machine
As you can see, there are pros and cons for purchasing a new or refurbished ATM machine. If you are just starting out in the ATM business, there are just a couple of extra factors you need to consider until you gain a little more experience.
It really comes down to price vs. risk. The cheapest machine might not be the most reliable or expertly refurbished. There is less risk associated with purchasing a new machine, which might be best for you if it’s your first time, but it’s going to come at a higher cost.
We’ll leave you with this: most ATM equipment is durable, reliable, and long-lasting. All you have to do is find the best ATM for your needs within your budget. Check out our ATM Buyers Guide for more information on ATM types and manufacturers to help you make a decision today!