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How to Choose an ATM Processor

Learn How to Choose an ATM Processor

Whether you’re just starting your ATM business or you’ve got machines already, your ATM processor has a big impact on the long term profitability and success of your business. So, knowing how to choose an ATM processor is vital information for new ATM owners and owners looking to switch ATM processors.

It’s not enough that your ATM processor just transfers money to the right account on time. You want an ATM processor that’s going to provide ongoing support and assistance beyond simply processing transactions.

If you call your ATM processor for help with ATM programming and setup, and your ATM processor says, “Hey, we just send the money where it needs to go. You’re on your own,” that’s not helpful. Your ATM processor should behave like a good business partner, not just a service provider.

So, what services should your ATM processor offer? Here’s what to look for as you evaluate ATM processors.

What Your ATM Processor Should Do for You

There are some obvious things that an ATM processor should do. But, there are nuances, even with the essentials.

ATM Sales

How to Choose an ATM Processor - ATM Sales

A company can certainly function solely as an ATM processor. However, there’s an upside to working with a processor that also sells ATM machines: you know the machines you get from your ATM processor can process using their service.

It wouldn’t make sense for an ATM processor to sell you an ATM that’s incompatible with their service. A processor that also sells machines is especially handy if they sell used or refurbished ATM machines. You get machines at a better price, without the headache of potential compatibility issues with your ATM processor.

Automated Payments

How to Choose an ATM Processor - Automated Payments

Obviously, your ATM processor needs to send your money to your bank account. But, it should actually be much easier than transferring money from your checking account to your savings account on your bank’s website.

Automated Payments

First, your ATM payments should be automated. Or, you should at least have the option to automated payments. The ATM business is all about building passive income. If you have to initiate transfers yourself, it makes your income less passive.

Automated payments might seem like small potatoes. But, it’s actually important in terms of choosing an ATM processor that provides service that aligns with your business goals.

Payment Splitting

If you need payments sent to multiple accounts for any reason—because you have a business partner with a separate account, because you have multiple accounts to deal with different expenses, or anything else—it’s easiest if your ATM processor can split your payments for you.

Yes, you can split those payments yourself using online banking. But, again, this makes your income system less passive.

So, look at the options for payment processing that your ATM processor offers, and make sure you’re working with a processor that’s going to help you build an ATM business that meets your goals.

ATM Vaulting

How to Choose an ATM Processor - ATM Vaulting

As you know, keeping your ATMs stocked with cash is vital to keeping your business humming.

Now, there are a few options for ATM vaulting:

  1. You can do it yourself. Just get the cash, and take it to your ATMs to restock all your machines. This is the most profitable way to vault your ATMs since it doesn’t add any overhead to your business.

    If you vault your ATMs yourself, it’s most convenient if your ATM processor provides monitoring services that alert you when one of your machines is low on funds.
  2. You can get the location owner to do it. This is a good option, since the business owner is there frequently, maybe every day. And, they have a vested interest in the security of the ATM because they’re stocking it with cash from their register. Additionally, this minimizes your workload.

Clearly, the business owner will want to be compensated for their efforts. But, it’s often a worthwhile expense.

  1. You can have your ATM processor vault your ATMs for you. This takes the responsibility of vaulting your ATMs off your plate completely.

Whether or not you use this service from your ATM processor, it’s a good option to have. You may have ATMs that are in locations which are difficult to refill yourself, or if you want an armored truck service to protect your cash, having your ATM processor vault your ATMs may be the best option.

Now, your ATM processor will charge you for this service. This is the crux of choosing whether or not to have your ATM processor vault your ATMs. The service shouldn’t be so expensive that it kills all your profit. Around $1.00 per transaction is reasonable and manageable. In any case, make sure that the cost works for your ATM business model.

In the end, you don’t need to use your ATM processor’s vaulting services. However, working with an ATM processor that offers ATM vaulting can help expand the potential locations for your ATMs and reduce the workload of keeping them full of cash.

ATM Installation and Setup Support

How to Choose an ATM Processor - ATM Installation

Getting ATM locations is largely a sales process. But, ATM setup and programming is a more technical process. It’s also the part where many ATM owners get hung up.

So, it’s important that you work with an ATM processor that provides instructions for setting up and programming your ATMs. And, it’s important that you can call your ATM processor for free if you get stuck and need help.

You lose money for every day that your ATM isn’t functioning. So, it’s important that your ATM processor is there to help you overcome challenges in the setup process and get your ATMs up and running.

Alternatively, a quality ATM processor will offer to send a technician to install an ATM in a new location for you. This isn’t free. But, it will save you a lot of time and headaches, especially when you’re new to the ATM business.

Just like the ATM vaulting service, you shouldn’t be required to use your ATM processor’s setup service. But, it can be a good way to get some ATMs going while you’re still learning the ropes of ATM setup and programming.

Service Agreement Templates

How to Choose an ATM Processor - Service Agreement Templates

Creating your own service agreement from scratch is a bad idea. You’ll most likely end up leaving something out. Then your service agreement won’t properly protect you if something goes wrong between you and the location owner. Obviously, this can be very bad.

A good way to avoid this problem, without hiring a lawyer, is to use templates. This way, you can create a service agreement that’s customized to the situation, without leaving anything out.

Service agreement templates will save you a lot of money in legal consulting fees and long-term losses from botched service agreements. So, an ATM processor that offers service agreement templates makes it easier and less expensive to get the paperwork done and get your ATM machines up and running.

Low Fees and Shorter Contracts

There are ATM processors that sell new ATMs at an impressively low price. It seems like a great deal at first.

However, most companies that discount their ATM machines wrap up a lot of fees in their service. You might save a few hundred upfront. But, the ATM processor gets that money back through fees over time.

Often, companies that make money on slightly higher fees will require 3 to 5-year contracts. Longer contract requirements ensure that the fees cover the cost of the discounted ATM machine. If you sign a 5-year contract, the fees could end up being more than the initial discount you got on the ATM machine.

ATM processors that charge slightly higher prices for their ATM machines usually have a lower fee structure. And, these ATM processors usually offer shorter contracts, in the range of 1 to 3 years. They can offer shorter contracts because they don’t need to make up for discounted ATM machines.

So, look at potential ATM processor fee structures and contract requirements, and consider how much those fees are going to cost you over the life of the contract.

Flexibility

How to Choose an ATM Processor - Support Flexibility

The last thing is flexibility and support. Your ATM processor should be responsive and easy to work with. If you can’t get the help you need, when you need it, your ATM processor isn’t helping you much.

It’s best if your ATM processor offers some sort of 24/7 support. You never know when you’ll need help with your machines. So, your ATM processor should offer anytime support for their services.

As we mentioned earlier, your ATM processor should be more like a business partner than a service provider. Availability and responsiveness are key to getting this sort of partnership from your ATM processor.

Last step: Choose an ATM Processor

Ultimately, the ATM processor you choose is one of the first major decisions in your ATM business. You’re already on the right track by reading about how to choose an ATM Processor. You’ll be working with that processor for a year or more. So, you want to work with an ATM processor that’s going to support you and your business, in addition to processing transactions.

If you’re ready to compare ATM processors, start by checking out ATM Depot. ATM Depot offers complete support and education for everything from ATM purchase to installation and everything in between.

[Infographic] Bitcoin Business vs. ATM Business: Fees Explained Simply

Bitcoin. Who hasn’t heard of it? News of this new form of digital currency is sweeping the nation. Every day it seems we hear of someone else making lots of money from blockchain in the Bitcoin Business. Needless to say, it keeps us interested. But, there’s been a pretty big downfall to investing in the currency lately. Transaction fees are becoming quite a problem. In December 2017, a man moving $25 of Bitcoin paid a $16 fee to do so. According to CNBC, people are paying $28 on average to make Bitcoin transactions. The average transaction fee at an ATM machine is currently around $4. Both fees have been increasing, but Bitcoin’s transaction fee is doing so at a significantly higher rate.

What is Bitcoin?

In its simplest terms, Bitcoin is a digital currency. A cryptocurrency. Created in 2009 by anonymous user Satoshi Nakamoto, the goal was to create a decentralized electronic cash system. Decentralization is one of Bitcoin’s most important characteristics. This means that no single institution controls the bitcoin network. This puts people that don’t like institutions to have control of their money at ease. Another defining difference between common currencies and Bitcoin is pseudonymity. The system does not need to know the identity of any parties involved when Bitcoin is transacted. This anonymity attracts illegal activity which takes up almost half of Bitcoin transactions at the moment.

What is Bitcoin Infographic

Source: http://mompreneurasia.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/btc-1024×690.jpg

Transaction Fees in the Bitcoin Business

With so many success stories in the media, people are rushing to enter the cryptocurrency business. Transaction fees are usually the first and most visible cost that everyone in the network will experience. With more users joining in, fees are increasing. According to the graph below, transaction fees for Bitcoin in October 2017 total over 22 million dollars. The average transaction fee around that time: around $60.00. The biggest pain point most people in the network have is how much the fees are fluctuating. If you enter the Bitcoin business, it is in your best interest to check www.cryptofees.net daily, or a similar site, to find out the current average transaction fee. The constant variations and shifts keep Bitcoin miners on their toes.

Bitcoin Transaction Fees - Graphic

source: https://cryptovoices.com/network-transaction-fees/ (2018)

ATM Business Transaction Fees

One of the most common fees we encounter every day has been rising as well. ATM surcharges have reached an all-time high. CNBC reports Pittsburgh has the highest current average at $5.19 while San Francisco has one of the lowest at $3.90. The slowly increasing fee ensures Independent ATM Deployers continue to make a good amount of passive income. As averages continue to rise, remember to update your ATM surcharges to ensure you make more money.

Interested in learning more about the ATM Business? You’re in the right place. Don’t leave this page without getting the information you need. Download our FREE ATM Business Guide by clicking the link below.

Download Your Free Guide

ATM Fees Increasing Over Time

source: http://time.com/money/4966816/atm-fees-all-time-high/

TX Fees vs. Surcharge

Although ATM surcharges have been increasing, the fee doesn’t fluctuate as fast as Bitcoin transaction fees. The average annual increase, according to Bankrate 2017, has been 4.7% over the past 19 years. Bitcoin transaction fees are different for each transaction. On this day, the minimum Bitcoin transaction fee charged is recorded at 0.0963%, however, the largest fee recorded is 29.3309%. That’s right. Someone paid $43.00 to send $103.61. Good thing we don’t have to pay a percentage to withdraw money from an ATM.

The average ATM surcharge has been increasing lately, but it’ll be a while before it’s equal to that of Bitcoin. Most people are wondering whether getting into the Bitcoin business would be beneficial. The answer is … probably. If you’re wondering whether getting into the ATM business is profitable, the answer is yes. IADs are racking up on these surcharges that happen to increase each year. You may have to check daily what you’ll pay to transfer Bitcoin, but surcharges don’t usually change on a daily basis. The ATM business is a lot more secure and reliable, however, the Bitcoin business is definitely booming. We’ve created this infographic to help illustrate the difference between bitcoin fees and ATM surcharges.

Bitcoin Business vs ATM Business Fees

[Infographic] The Bitcoin Business vs The ATM Business Fees

How to Profit from the ATM Business - Free Guide

[VIDEO] Explosives Used to Break into Machine during ATM Robbery, Thieves Caught on HD Camera

On August 11, 2017, two criminals drove their SUV up to a Gas Station ATM Kiosk with a plan. They planned to execute an ATM robbery by blowing up the ATM with some sort of liquid explosive. It is clear from this video, it’s not the first time they are attempting this. They are wanted by the FBI. The authorities were very excited to see the quality of our security footage.

Authorities_On_Scene

Authorities at the Crime Scene of the ATM Robbery in San Diego, CA

When you start using explosives on an ATM, you attract a lot of attention. You get the local police, sheriffs, SWAT, the Bomb Squad, ATF, and the FBI involved. That’s a lot of manpower hunting you down.

These guys are wanted by the FBI. It’s not just a local crime.  Is a few grand worth having to hide and run for the rest of your life? I don’t think so.

The suspects think they got away with it. However, as time will tell, and with the help of this HD video, and the enhancement tools Federal Law Enforcement agencies have available, they will most likely do time behind bars for this ATM robbery.  Maybe they will save all the money they stole to pay for their lawyer. They will need it.

I’ve been in the ATM business since 1994. Since then, I’ve helped hundreds of Independent ATM Deployers (IAD’s) start, run, and maintain successful ATM businesses. I’ve personally sold or installed hundreds and hundreds of ATM machines. I currently manage thousands of machines and hundreds of thousands of ATM transactions nationwide and I’ve never, ever seen anything like this.

This location has been a customer of ours for over a decade. We’ve never had any issue until we installed a new kiosk.  While this small kiosk does not appear to be bomb proof, the old kiosk building we used previously onsite was. Unfortunately for us the gas station – car wash is undergoing a remodel and needed to demolish the building, so we had to move the ATM to the other side of the parking lot.

In order not to inhibit the authority’s investigation, we won’t go into the details of what the authorities knew in this article.

However, now that we know all the details we can help others.

So, if you plan to install a kiosk and you are one of our customers (or want to be), please contact our office for some additional help.

We learned an expensive lesson, so we hope to use it to educate our customers.

ATM Depot can certainly help you avoid the same fate. We thought we prepared for every security scenario but they proved us wrong on this one. The key is that we learned an awful lot from this and can now assist our customers even better when dealing with outdoor ATMs.

**** UPDATE ****

September 28, 2017

After many calls between the account manager, Jeremy, and the FBI and ATF, on this situation, we learned that the authorities were able to issue a subpoena at the home of Scott Michael Petri. We are not sure how all this went down but we speculate that the FBI was able to leverage the information obtained in the video of the ATM robbery. According to law enforcement, one of the suspects bragged to a confidential informant about the crime. Upon serving a subpoena at the suspects home, the Law enforcement authorities say they found a drill, a gas cylinder, clothing and other incriminating evidence in his home that matched the items in the surveillance video during the crime.

Court documents allege (and video shows) Petri used a cordless drill to make two holes in the ATM machine’s housing. A second unidentified suspect (now in custody) approached the ATM with an open flame (see video, looks like a cigarette) and lit a fuse.  The suspects drove to the other side of the gas station and the ATM exploded. See the entire ATM robbery (edited for time) in the video above.

Suspect_Searching

The suspect (circled) is searching for the cash box after the ATM robbery explosion

The August robbery was the second time this year an explosive device was used on an ATM in San Diego, according to the FBI.

**** UPDATE ****

October 5, 2017

Scott Michael Petri faces a charge of using an explosive to damage property relating to a robbery at the Chevron Station and Pit Stop Car Wash on Miramar Road just south of the 15 Freeway entrance. The suspect was picked up and booked on October 5th and transferred into Federal custody and is being held in the Federal Prison in Downtown San Diego by the ATF. Bail has been set at $250,000.

ATM_Suspect_Arrested

Public arrest records for Scott Michael Petri. One of the suspects in the ATM robbery.

Finding the Cash

ATM businessIf you have an ATM business, then you’ve already done your research and found it to be one of the most lucrative businesses you could have chosen to be in. The ATM business is easy to manage and operate, and you’re all but guaranteed a profit from your customers…that is, those that can find your machines.

A lot of the problem that most ATM owners face is finding ideal locations to put their cash machines. It may seem that this is a no-brainer since everybody at one time or another needs to get to an ATM machine. Surprisingly however, there are some business owners who are often surprised by the lack of traffic that their machines often get. Is this lack of traffic due to location, visibility, dependability or availability?

Yes, yes, yes, and yes!

Cash machine owners must understand that customers who frequent ATM machines are those who need convenience and flexibility. If your machines are in the right place, at the right time, and at the right locations, then your profits are all but guaranteed, and a happy customer you will make!

Location

ATM locationAlthough it may not seem or sound like a big enough deal, but location is crucial to the success of your ATM cash business. There are definitely good spots AND bad spots where you can position your ATM machines. Put it in the wrong place (or a not-as-good-as-can-be place), and your profits suffer. Put the machine in the right place (such as, IDEAL), and your profits soar. Where are little known and good spots?

  • Outdoor concerts and venues
  • Traveling fairs and carnivals
  • Schools (colleges, high schools, universities)

Visibility

As if location itself weren’t important enough, the visibility of your ATM machine is the second most important consideration for you to look at once you’ve found the ideal spot.

It doesn’t do your machine any good to be in the ideal spot, but no one can see it or doesn’t even know it’s there. Steer clear of placing the machine behind venues where it’s likely the machine won’t be seen. If it’s permissible with the venue’s owners or managers, ask to have signs pointing to where your machines will be located on the property. This is something that is certainly workable with negotiating, especially if there are multiple ATM’s on the site.

Also, when you’re looking for good visibility, also be aware of security and placing the machine where people won’t be worried about using the machine. Place in a well-lit, approachable place where there’s a fair amount of foot traffic, but not too crowded. You also don’t want customers to feel uneasy if there’s TOO much traffic around him while he’s making a transaction.

Dependability

Now that customers know where the machines are located at the fantastic venue or permanent location, you’ll need to be sure that your machines are operating in good condition and well-stocked. There is nothing as aggravating to an ATM customer as to traipse all over the venue or site to get to your machines….and they don’t work!

Make it a point to perform routine maintenance on the ATM machines to ensure that they’re all working properly. Do this especially, and more importantly, before big events. If there are any problems that arise with the unit, have them serviced as soon as possible. In the case of machines that are inoperable for long periods of time, use an alternative solution. If you own multiple machines in the same venue, direct customers to where they can find your other cash machines on the property.

Also, make sure the cash is in the machines, and in sufficient denominations for the customers. This is a task that you will want to check on more often than a couple of times a week, especially if the machine is in a permanent location.

Availability

Where there’s an ATM machine, there will certainly be customers who will use it. With that, there needs to be machines available for them to use. In other words, be creative about where you choose to put your cash machines. If the places are safe enough and have high foot and/or car traffic, then your machine will certainly get some customers and make a profit. But, if there’s not an option for them to use, no one profits on either side.

Just by taking a little time to ramp up your ATM cash machine marketing efforts can make all the difference in your bottom line. Get creative with your placements, and take all of the above steps into consideration with your business. Provide a way for customers to find the cash machines, and you’ll have a way to make your business a successful one.

How to Plan for an ATM Business Boom During the Holidays

ATM Business Booms During the Holidays

Like any business, ATM businesses go through highs and lows throughout the year. Depending on your ATM’s location you could see significant increases during the holidays.

The average shopper spends just under $1,000 on holiday gifts. Naturally, ATMs located in shopping malls verses gas stations are going to see more action due to the foot traffic. Stores draw an average of 150 or more people a day on a regular basis. This number will represent a slow day when the Holiday’s roll around.

If you’ve been in the ATM business for a little while now, hopefully you have an idea of the cash needs and volume of your ATM machines. This information is going to help you determine your work load during the busy holiday months. Obviously, you know that if your machine isn’t loaded with cash it is not going to make you money. It’s also not going to make you money if it’s out of order. Since it’s going to be processing a lot of transactions, it needs to be in tip top shape so that it can do its job.

Location, location, location; you’ve heard it a million times. Location cannot be stressed enough. Location is everything. It is part of the equation of your ATM business and it’s a very big part, at that. Your location determines your ATM business success. No matter where you are, you will see the benefits of the holiday season; whether you’re in the shopping mall or in the gas station. People will be buzzing all over the place. With that said, you want to be where the shoppers are. You want to be right in the middle of all of the activity. This also holds true after the holidays when shoppers are out to hit the post-holiday clearance sales. Read more