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An ATM Business Can Save Your Marriage (It’s Not as Crazy as It Sounds)

The title statement may sound outlandish. But, consider these stats about gray divorce (divorce among couples over 50):

  1. Gray divorce has doubled since 1990.
  2. Gray divorce has increased by 700% since 1960.

Those are startling numbers. And, it probably seems unlikely that an ATM business is the solution. But, if you look at why the gray divorce rate has skyrocketed, it becomes clear how an ATM business can help.

Here’s a quick story to illustrate the most common cause of gray divorce:

A young couple meets, dates, and gets married early in life—shortly after college. For the next few decades, they spend most of their time building careers, raising children, and preparing for retirement. There’s a lot to do, and they’re both happy to be doing it together.

Then it comes time to retire. Suddenly, the shared goals are gone. And the man has dedicated the majority of his life working. He spent very little time building relationships or hobbies. Or maybe both of the people in this couple spent very little time pursuing things other than work.

The struggle is that retired people often find themselves with nothing to do. And, this can severely strain marriages. When all the work is done, it’s easy to feel that there’s no need for a team anymore.

But there’s more: having nothing to do is no fun. Retirement is supposed to be enjoyable—at least as enjoyable as a fulfilling career, if not more enjoyable. So, it’s easy to feel unhappy in retirement.

That’s what’s caused this spike in gray divorce: a lack of shared goals and things to do in retirement.

An ATM business solves that problem.

How an ATM business can save your marriage from gray divorce

Being an ATM owner is not a way to get rich quick. When you start an ATM business, you’re playing the long game. And, this long game affords people opportunities to build relationships and develop a routine that can sustain them throughout retirement.

Older Couple having CoffeeBuilding relationships

One of the most important aspects of owning an ATM business is building a successful route. An ATM route is just the common path you take to refill your ATM machines with cash and ensure they’re in good shape.

The benefit of this ATM route for older people is that it provides a place where you show up regularly and get to know people. Socially, it’s like a bar (but far more productive and profitable).

Additionally, each ATM machine will be located in or near a business, and maybe even a bar if that’s something you’d enjoy. And, you have to develop a relationship with that business owner, because your ATM is on their property. And, these business owners may want to be involved, to some small degree, in the operation of that ATM machine (coupons, promotions, lowered credit card fees for them, etc.).

Developing quality relationships with these landlords, business owners, and property owners is key if you want to have an ATM business that’s all about service. And, your ATM business should be all about service. That will make your business successful and will ensure you keep your customers happy so they’ll stay with you for a long, long, time.

But, more than being an important part of your ATM business, these relationships give you people to do things with once you’ve retired. Your ATM business creates a circle of friends that will last a lifetime.

Productive routines

An ATM business also solves the problem of idle time in retirement.

Once you’ve set up your ATM route, you’ll obviously need to run that route regularly to keep your ATM machines up and running. This creates a routine that helps retain a sense of purpose and offers shared goals for you and your partner.

But, the best thing about the routine of an ATM business is that your routine can be as busy or as minimal as you’d like. If you want, you could work nearly full time in your ATM business. Or, it can be as part-time as you like.

And, you’re not just keeping busy. Your ATM business gives you productive work. It’s even better than a hobby, in many ways.

Reaching retirementOlder Retired Couple Enjoying Retirement Early via the ATM Business

Although this focuses most on how an ATM business can protect you from a gray divorce, an ATM business can also help you stay married until retirement.

As we mentioned earlier, an ATM business is not a get rich quick scheme. It’s a long game.

But, running an ATM business can provide reliable income that doesn’t require you to grind it out day after day. And, it’s income that you can earn in addition to your professional income. So, an ATM business can certainly make it easier to retire when you want to.

And, the additional income of an ATM business gives you time to develop relationships outside of work and build a marriage that’s ready for the realities of retirement. It’s also a business that gets you out of the house which is a big plus for decreasing the chance of a grey divorce. Plus, you get to enjoy any neighborhood you wish to pursue, make connections, and have fun at the same time. 

So, your ATM business isn’t just a marriage failsafe for retirement. It’s also something that can sustain your marriage and life until you reach retirement.

And, what about those who are retired or near retirement right now? You can start an ATM business at any time. Yes, the ATM business is a long game. But, it’s a long game that you can start right now, regardless of where you are in your life. Besides, you can start and ATM business with less than $5,000 and the returns on that money will be much better than the bank and much safer than the stock market. You’re investing in yourself and in your retirement. 

If you’re ready to start now, learn more about starting an ATM business.

ATM Business Basics Part I: How ATMs Work

Running an ATM business is a relatively simple endeavor. However, there’s some ground level knowledge that you need to be a successful ATM owner. A big part of that knowledge base is how ATMs work.

While you don’t need to be an ATM technician (you can always pay one to service your ATMs if you need), it’s important to have basic working knowledge of your ATMs. That way you can identify and solve minor problems, and quickly add cash or refill the receipt paper. This makes your ATM business more efficient in terms of both time and expenses.

So, welcome to our two-part guide that will give you a solid foundation of information on which to build your ATM business. We’ll start with the basics of how ATMs work.

How ATMs work

As the name suggests, an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) a banking terminal where users can perform a variety of banking activities, depending on the capabilities of the ATM machine itself.

Inserting a debit card or credit card that offers cash advances activates the ATM. The ATM authenticates the debit or credit card using a PIN number, electronically debits the cash amount from the user’s account, and dispenses that withdrawal as cash.

On the backend, the bank reimburses the ATM owner for the cash taken from the ATM, plus a transaction fee, which is paid by the ATM user. This is handled electronically by the ATM processor.

That’s the basic process. These are the parts involved in this process.

The parts of an ATM machineThe Parts of an ATM Infographic

We’ll cover these quickly in two groups: the parts that the user sees, and the parts that you, the ATM owner, need to know.

These are the user-facing parts involved in an ATM transaction:

Display (LCD or LED): The display is where the prompts and instructions are shown to the ATM user. ATM machines are equipped with braille and audio devices (speaker or headphone jack) for blind customers.

Keypad: The keypad is simply a grid of buttons that accepts input from the user. Many ATM machines also have buttons on the sides of the screen for making certain selections

Card reader: This accepts the user’s debit or credit card and reads the information on it.

Cash dispenser: This is where the magic happens. The cash dispenser gives customers their cash. The cash dispenser also checks notes for proper size and thickness and ensures that the correct number of bills are given.

Receipt printer: This part prints the receipt that verifies the transaction, and sometimes shows the user’s account balance.

These are the parts of an ATM that the customer interacts with. You as the ATM owner need to be familiar with these parts. However, the ATM owner also needs to know their way around the internals of an ATM machine, even if they’re not an expert in repairing or replacing those parts.

These are the internal parts of an ATM machine:

ATM mainboard: The mainboard is the central “computer” for the ATM. The CPU, RAM, and connection interfaces for the other components live here.

Power supply: Connects to an external power source and provides power for all the ATM machine components.

Modem: The modem performs all the internet communications required for transaction processing. This can be wired or wireless. It depends on how the ATM connects to the internet.

I/O board: The I/O board is in charge of communicating with the ATM processor, and ensuring that the correct information is sent to the correct parties.

Cassette: The cassette is an important part for the ATM owner. The cassette holds the cash. When you stock an ATM with money, this is where the bills go. The cassette can be fixed or removable. Each type of cassette has pros and cons. Which one you use depends on your business and the ATM location.

How Does an ATM Machine Work?With all the parts covered. Here’s a more detailed look at how an ATM works:

  1. The user activates the ATM by inserting their card.
  2. The customer enters their PIN and selects how much cash they want using the keypad and display.
  3. The mainboard collects the information and sends a unique EMV transaction code to the I/O board.
  4. The I/O board packages up the transaction information for the ATM processor and the modem transmits it to the appropriate ATM processing networksYour card’s supported networks are printed on the back. Every card is required by law to have two accessible networks. The transaction is completed through the secondary network if the first network fails.
  5. The ATM processor sends the withdrawal request to the bank. The bank approves or denies the request. If the transaction is approved, the message is sent back through the ATM processor to the ATM. Then, the selected amount gets debited from the customer’s account. Associated transaction fees are usually paid from the customer’s account.
  6. The modem and I/O board receive the approval. And, the mainboard initiates the cash dispensing. The cash dispenser checks each bill to ensure that it’s the proper size and thickness and that the correct number of notes gets dispensed. Notes that are not the proper size or thickness get sent to the reject bin. This happens occasionally with old or torn bills. The cash dispenser automatically dispenses a different bill any time a note is sent to the reject bin.
  7. The customer takes their cash and has a great day!

Those are the nitty-gritty details of how ATMs work.

It’s helpful to know these fine details as an ATM owner. Being more familiar with the machine helps with basic troubleshooting, and makes life easier if you get technical support over the phone.

However, you should be very familiar with the cassette and user interface. Inspect these each time you restock your ATM. You need to fix your machine ASAP if the user interface is malfunctioning or cash is being dispensed incorrectly. You lose money whenever your ATM isn’t working.

Whenever you fill your ATM with cash, it’s best to perform a transaction to verify that your machine is working correctly.

Front to back

That’s the frontend of an ATM business. In the next part, we’ll talk about what happens on the backend and where all the transaction fees go. Stay tuned. Or learn more about building your own ATM business (and how you make money).

 

New ATM Machine ADA Standards

New ATM Machine ADA Standards

A new law affecting ATM machines has passed under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and went into effect on March 15, 2012. The new ATM machine ADA standards required full compliance by the deadline date of March 15, 2012.

If you are an ATM Operator, an ATM company or a retail merchant operating one or many ATM machines, these new requirements will affect every active terminal in your ATM portfolio or retail location.

Today I’m going to tell what you need to know about these upcoming changes and how it will impact your business.

Starting on March 15, 2012 customers with disabilities should find using an ATM easier than ever before. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with this new ADA requirement your ATMs must be in compliance by March 15th.

Some ATM machines may require that you make enhancements to the way your customers physically access and interact with your ATM machines. Some of the new design standards and requirements include:

Height and Reach:
The reach requirement will change from a height of 54″ to 48″ to the top working button. This will help to ensure customers can easily access the input controls of the ATM. The exception to this change is drive thru ATMs.

ATM Machine height is now 48 inches

Clear floor space:
The area in front of the machine needs to equal 48″ x 48″ (16 square feet).

ATM Machines needs 48 inches by 48 inches of clear floor space

Accessible route:
One unobstructed side of the clear floor space must adjoin an accessible route or another clear floor space leading up to the ATM and connecting to the clear floor space in front of the ATM. This is for wheel chair accessibility.

ATM ADA Accessible Route

Voice Guidance:
All ATMs must be speech enabled to service visually impaired customers. This may require a 3.5mm female jack be accessible for head phones.

ATM ADA Voice Guidance Standards

Display Screen:
Visibility from 40″ above the center of the floor in front of the ATM, characters on the screen must be in San Sarif font. A minimum of 3/16″ high and must contrast with their background.

Braille Instructions:

Braille Instructions to initiate the aforementioned voice guidance feature must also be provided.

ATM ADA Standards for Braille Instructions

Function Keys:
Function keys must be designed to contrast visually from their background surfaces.

Input device:
Input device controls must be tactically discernible, meaning the key surfaces must be raised above the surrounding surfaces.

Numeric Keypads:
Keypads must be arranged in an ascending or descending layout. The enter key should be marked with a raised circle, the clear key with a raised left arrow, and the cancel key should be marked with a raised X. The add value key should be marked with a raised plus sign and the decrease value key should be marked with a raised minus sign.

ATM ADA Standards for Numeric Keypad

If your location has multiple ATMs the most accessible ATM must meet these new 2012 ATM standards. However, the law requires the terminal inside a location and one outside the same location be considered two separate locations. In cases like these both must be compliant.

These laws will be applied to all lobby and walk up thru-the-wall ATMs. There will be no safe harbor granted for existing units and no grandfathering of currently deployed machines.. While there are many ATM operators and banks taking a “wait and see” attitude this could potentially be a costly proposition as any ATMs that don’t meet ADA standards by the 2012 deadline could result in a civil penalty of up to $55,000 for a first offense and double that amount for subsequent offenses.

ATMDepot suggests you take this opportunity to inventory your existing ATMs and record the manufacturer, model number, and year manufactured. It would also be wise to note each terminals software and speech capabilities.

If you need help, we suggest you check with your respective vendors for more details regarding upgradability and cost. ATMDepot is able to offer several upgrade kits and exceptional pricing on new replacement ATMs in cases where you need to upgrade or replace entire machines (generally older ATM models) in order to be compliant.

Be especially careful of used or previously refurbished ATM machines at this time as there are a lot of non-compliant machines on the market that cannot be setup. Make sure the ATM you plan to purchase, especially if it’s used or refurbished, is already completely upgraded or compliant with new ADA standards. All new machines shipped from ATM manufacturers today come fully ADA compliant.

You can find more information about the ADA standards for 2012 at ada.gov

You can find us at atmdepot.com or you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube.

[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.