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ATM Machine Buyer’s Guide (part 2)

ATM Machine Buyer’s Guide (Part 2) 

So by now you’ve read the ATM Machine Buyer’s Guide part 1 and you’ve figured out that you want to be in the ATM machine business. You’re confident that your place of business could benefit from an automatic teller machine. The next step, then, is to decide if you want to buy one of these machines, lease it, or enter into a free placement or co-op program. In this post, we’ll look at what you should do when you want to buy an ATM (and we’ll examine those other options in our next post).

The ATM Business Buyers Guide

At first thought, you might think that a major bank or financial institution may be willing to install one of their ATM’s inside your business. Unfortunately, however, the answer is probably ‘not likely.’ Banks rarely if ever choose to place their ATM’s into small business locations, so don’t take it personally when Bank of America rejects your application. In fact, to save time it might be wise to not even bother asking major banks.

What you need to do is find a reliable, reasonably-priced ATM equipment and processing company. First, you might consider compiling a list of licensed ATM companies in your area if you like to deal with local vendors. You can obviously use the internet to compile your list as well as ask other members of your industry if they like their ATM company. Keep in mind that many local providers are simply commissioned sales agents for a larger processing company.

Anyone presenting themselves as an ATM provider must either be registered with the International Standards of Organization, or ISO or working directly for and in cooperation with the licensed ISO (one easy way to check is ask for their ATM agreement, it should have at least one document in the package stating who the ISO is).

Once you have your list, you’ll want to start comparing their programs. Don’t just compare prices, this is rarely and apples to apples shopping comparison. First, if you are purchasing machines, there’s the price of the machine itself.  Currently there are a lot of options but a good ATM with a warranty will typically cost you around two thousand dollars, give or take a little depending on the options or upgrades you select.

Options and upgrades can include a fixed cassette or a removable cassette, an electronic lock or your standard dial tumbler, ATM illuminated toppers or plain signage. All these items make the price vary by a few hundred dollars and you may or may not need them. For instance, if you are considering operating several ATM’s or you would rather not deal with the old style tumber locks where you go left and right to open the combination, you can opt for an electronic version.

Electronic locks allow you to simply punch in a six (6) digit code of your choosing and then get access to the safe quickly.

A standard fixed cassette for example does not come out of the ATM and requires that you load the ATM in place (if you’re loading the machine during business hours, we suggest a removable cassette so you can take it some place private and load the cash).

You’ll need to consider any fees for options, upgrades, maintenance, repairs, or monthly fees when selecting the right ATM provider. Keep in mind that some, but not all, ATM providers may automatically charge or deduct service fees, statement fees, maintenance fees, or hidden fees each month. Be sure you know if and what any possible fees may be charged are when evaluating services so you can make an informed decision and not have any surprises upon start up that will change your investment returns.

You should also consider consumer service as well as prices. If inclined, contact the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against any of the vendors on your list, and read testimonials on objective consumer websites. If applicable, contact your friends and relatives who have ATM’s at their businesses to find out how well they regard their ATM vendor’s customer service is. You may even ask for references and if the vendor doesn’t have any or can’t provide them, that should be a red flag. Any good vendor should have plenty of customers that would be willing to give a reference.

You want to make sure that whatever ATM company you choose to do business with has a call center, preferably one that’s available 24 hours a day 365 days a year. If they do, give that call center a ring, just to see how well they treat you and how informative the representatives are when you ask them questions. If it’s possible see if you can visit the offices or even the call center of some of the vendors you’re deciding between and have a good look around.

As a business owner yourself, how impressed are you with the facilities, the staff or with the operation in general? It’s useful, too, if you can speak with someone that’s willing to offer to help you select the spot inside your business where your ATM is likely to receive the most usage.  If you’re an ATM investor and not a business owner, what experience can the vendor provide that will help you avoid costly mistakes. Does the vendor have their own ATM’s that they run locally and can they give you references to those locations?

It’s also important to consider ATM troubleshooting. Ask any vendor you might do business with what happens if your machine is stolen or damaged by vandals. What happens when you lose electricity? If your ATM breaks down, how long will it take for a technician to show up? How long does it take the vendor to order new parts should you need them? Also, your vendor’s technicians should be certified, which means – at a minimum – that they’ve successfully completed a reputable training course.

You might want to obtain a few sample contracts from a few different vendors. Read them all carefully and make comparisons, especially when it comes to hidden conditions and fees. For instance, beware of any stipulation in a contract which won’t allow you to get rid of your ATM if it’s just not working out for you. Or better yet, if you employ an attorney, have her or him examine those contracts. And a warranty that lasts at least a year is highly preferable.

Be aware that most ATM vendors are actually equipment resellers. Many larger resellers are completely reliable and great to work with. Some simply offer the equipment as an extension of the ATM processing services they offer. Purchasing an automated teller machine from a reseller is usually fine since ATM manufacture’s don’t sell direct, so every vendor is a reseller in one form or another.

You may want to ask some questions to determine the ATM resellers experience.

  • Such as, how many ATM’s the company services to get an idea how large they are?
  • How long have they been in business.
  • Who are the owners and can you Google them?

While the sales representative can tell you just about anything; which could be difficult to prove or disprove, a thorough internet search by entering the vendors name into a search engine such as Google or Bing with the words reviews or scams can usually reveal information on what others think about the company and give you an idea of how long they’ve been in business and if they are doing a good job.

Any ATM vendor that has been in business for a decade should have history on the internet. You can check the dates of reviews, articles, video’s and other periodicals you find to give you an idea if they are new in the business or have been around a while. You can even Google the name of the owner or the representative you’re talking to to find their social profiles and learn about who you are working with before you make a vendor selection.   Want to know more? Check out our new passive income book called “The Amazing Money Machine”.

ATM Machines, A Buyer’s Guide

ATM Machine Buyer’s Guide (Part 1) 

ATM Machine Buyers Guide image of CashOur hope is that this ATM Machine Buyer’s Guide helps you navigate some of the known pitfalls in the business. This will be a three part series. Be sure to click the next part in the series at the bottom of each post when you’re ready to proceed.

All kinds of businesses now maintain automatic teller machines, including supermarkets and  restaurants. That’s because ATM’s offer several benefits to business owners.

When you set up an ATM inside your establishment, you may see a spike in the number of your customers. And, with that source of money at hand, some of your customers may be inclined to spend more money. In addition, you might also find that you start receiving fewer checks which means less risk at the point of sale. Of course, you’ll also end up paying fewer processing fees for credit cards as well. But what things should you know before you go out and purchase one or more of these machines?

First, do some research and a few calculations before you contact an ATM vendor. Figure out, roughly, how many people come into your business on an average day. If that number is fewer than 150, and certainly if it’s fewer than 100, getting an ATM may not have an attractive ROI, however the other benefits may be what you’re looking for.  Just because you have minimal traffic in your location doesn’t mean your ATM won’t be worth the investment.

We’ve been in the ATM business for over 2 decades now and we’ve seen over the past few years that the general rule of thumb for the number of monthly transactions that your ATM will perform is relative to the the number of people that come into your establishment plus or minus a factor of 10% – 15% depending on the location, type of establishment and several other factors.

If for example you have a high end restaurant with table cloths and a bar, your ATM machine will perform much lower than these averages since this type of clientele typically pays with a credit card. If however you have a quick service restaurant, a bar and grill, local tavern, a nightclub or even a commercial building or parking lot we have seen these types of locations do very well, especially if the business does not accept credit cards. We have also seen customers convert from credit and debit cards to ATM usage with the implementation of coupons or other incentives for use.

One of the best ways to tell if buying an ATM for your location is right for you is to speak to your customers. Ask them if they’d be interested in using an ATM if you had one at your place, or if you often get requests or if customers ask where the nearest ATM machines is, that is a good indication that it would be a wise investment.  Obviously, if you get some positive feedback from your clients, you can advance to the next step: figuring out what kind of automatic teller machine to purchase.

Free Standing Hantle Tranax 1700W ATM MachineThe most common kind of ATM is the kind that stands up on its own, also known as a “free standing ATM”.  These free standing ATM machines require approx 3 sq ft in front of them for ADA compliance (about 36″ for a wheel chair). The machines themselves have a very small foot print and run anywhere from 14″ x 14″ up to 20″ x 20″ still relatively very little floor space for the return on investment.  Even with the diminutive size of the newest free standing ATM machines, if you don’t think you have enough room, you might opt for some of the newest tabletop or counter top models.
Alternatively, you may even consider purchasing an ATM that’s inserted into a wall (also known as a Thru-the-Wall “TTW” model), although this is often a great option for a place of business to plan for during tenant improvements, it is still fairly easy to cut a hole in a wall and retrofit it for a TTW ATM. While these thru-the-wall ATM machines costs a little more than the free standing machines, they are perfect for exterior installations such as sidewalk facing locations or locations facing a parking lot or a busy downtown location.

The Amazing Money MachineThese machines typically have much higher usage since they are exposed to walk by traffic 24 hours a day. If you are considering a TTW ATM, you’ll still need to consider space for the inside part of the ATM which is typically less than a free standing ATM since the ADA portion of the ATM is outside and usually unobstructed. While it is more expensive to install a TTW unit due to the additional construction costs you’ll also need to consider the timing of the install to minimize the noise and descriptiveness of the construction which can typically be completed in a weekend.

TTW ATM Machine GenmegaAnother choice is the outdoor ATM. (These ATM’s may also be inserted into a wall.) Outdoor ATM’s can be used 24 hours a day, and therefore they let you collect ATM fees 24 hours a day! This option, obviously, will save you interior space, too. A downside to an outdoor ATM however, is that depending on the location, your outdoor ATM may require proper lighting so people will feel safe using the ATM; and, depending on the area, you may consider some sort of surveillance cameras. Most outdoor ATM machines are weather protected but if you want the highest possible usage, you’d be smart to consider some kind of protection from the weather for the ATM users, again depending on the type of deployment and the weather in the area. While outdoor ATM’s can be more expensive to keep up, they typically have much higher usage and therefor justify the expense.

Keeping your motivation in mind, this ATM Machine Buyer’s guide is meant to help you not only decide if an ATM is right for you as a business, but is it right for the location where you’re going to put it, and, will your customers use it. If you’re main motivation is to offset credit card fees, almost certainly a free standing ATM will help with that. If you’re motivation is to make more money just from the ATM usage, a thru-the-wall  machine available 24 hours will product much more profit in the right installation.

Your ATM decision-making process doesn’t stop there. A list of other questions you need to answer would include: See ATM Machines, A Buyer’s Guide part 2.

Mobile ATMS

Mobile ATMS

Business owners and entrepreneurs want flexibility and convenience in their lives, which is a large part of the reason why they go into business in the first place. Although they may possibly own several businesses, they are able to stay successful and see growth if they can implement as many automated systems as possible into their stream of business. In the ATM business industry, one of most attracting factors of the industry is its ability to be as convenient and flexible for the owners. ATM machines can be installed almost anywhere and in any location so as to serve customers, whether that’s foot traffic or automobile traffic.

Drive-thru ATM machines are one component of the ATM machine business that has made it quite successful because of its convenience factor. Customers can simply drive through the financial institution’s window and make a transaction without ever getting out of their cars. The customer can make withdrawals, deposits or cash transfers with their banks, much like customers who go inside the bank and do the same thing. There are even ATM windows that also have automated voice response windows that interact with customers, answer questions or give directions, much like a live teller would. Although mobile ATM’s are flexible and convenient, there are also other kinds of ATM services that provide even more flexibility to its customers.

No doubt that customers do like the convenience and flexibility of ATM’s, mobile ATM’s are another type of business that’s also a big draw for customers. You’ll find mobile ATM machines in places or events where stationery machines are not conducive to the situation. Whether the situation involves a security risk or simply the logistics of bringing in a stationery machine, which may not be feasible, mobile ATM’s are more of a safety solution or a practical solution for a service that customers will need.

Events like outdoor concerts or events, fairs or circuses or temporary events are ideal places where mobile ATM’s are found. Mobile ATM machines are generally set-up in locations of the event that are going to see high traffic. This is usually at the entrance of the event where there is a lot of traffic, but also where there is going to be more of a secure area instead of tucked away somewhere at the event that’s far away from the bulk of people traffic.

To further ensure that the ATM machines are kept safe and secure, they may be drilled down to a foundation or bound to a stationery area or post that’s already at the event. ATM machines generally weight in the thousands of pounds, making theft a difficult possibility. However, by securing the ATM machine to a firm foundation, this further ensures that there won’t be any problems at the event.

Mobile ATM’s can be moved from one site to another generally easily enough to make it a business that many ATM business owners concentrate solely on doing. Instead of owners finding and renting a location to hold their ATM machines, they simply book events and locations where they can park their mobile ATM’s and do business.

Attracting mobile ATM customers is certainly not a problem either. Anywhere where there is a steady amount of diverse traffic at an event is an opportune time for ATM owners to serve customers looking for cash machines. Workshops, seminars, concerts and even corporate events that travel from one location to another are perfect for mobile cash operations. ATM business owners can work out contracts with the event planners to host cash machines at their events for each time the event occurs. This is an ideal flexible solution for both business owners and the customers.

A mobile automated teller machine (ATM) is a special type of ATM. Most ATMs are meant to be stationary, and they’re often found attached to the side of financial institutions, in stores, and in malls. A mobile ATM machine, on the other hand, is meant to be moved from location to location. This type of ATM is often found at special events for which ATM service is only needed temporarily. For example, they may be found at carnivals, fairs, and parades. They may also be used at seminars and workshops when there is no regular ATM nearby.

Mobile ATMs are usually self-contained units that don’t need a building or enclosure. Usually, a mobile ATM can be placed in just about any location and can transmit transaction information wirelessly, so there’s no need to have a phone line handy. Mobile ATMs may, however, require access to an electrical source, though there are some capable of running on alternative sources of power. Often, these units are constructed of weather-resistant materials, so they can be used in practically any type of weather conditions. Additionally, these machines typically have internal heating and air conditioning units that help keep them functional despite the temperature of the environment.

In many cases, mobile ATMs are equipped with safety features. This can be important for inspiring confidence in the people who want to use them. If a potential customer feels that using a mobile ATM places him at risk, he may be far less likely to withdraw money and spend it at an event. To help ATM users feel more secure, a mobile ATM often comes equipped with fluorescent lighting, and some come equipped with canopies as well. By placing a mobile ATM in a bright, well-exposed area of an event, an event planner can further help ensure user security.

While a business owner or event planner could depend on nearby ATMs to serve his customers, a mobile ATM can also provide financial benefits. For example, if an event attendee has to leave an event to get cash from another machine, he may be less likely to spend money at the event. A mobile ATM, however, makes it easy for people to make impulse purchases without searching for an ATM. This type of ATM may also make it easier for event vendors to make money, even if they do not have credit card terminals. If easy access to an ATM isn’t provided, on the other hand, event attendees may be less likely to spend money with vendors who cannot take credit cards.

Bill Paying and Consolidating Via ATMs

As if ATM machines weren’t simply convenient enough, the technology to do just about everything imaginable with using ATM’s can certainly get a lot better for some customers.

Bill Paying and Consolidating

Bill Paying and Consolidating Via ATMs

ATM machines that are designed to do a whole lot more than simply dispense cash is what a lot of convenience stores and bill payment kiosks in the mall are getting into doing. These custom-made machines or ATM-styled terminals are also known as Vcoms. They look, act and produce just like an ATM machines, but they’re able to do so much more than the standard machines that are cash dispensers. Made and manufactured by the Verizon communication services company, these machines can:

  • – dispense cash (of course)
  • – handle bill payments to several categories of bill payors
  • – allows customers to send money to other recipients (money transfers)
  • – consolidate bills and bill payments
  • – cash checks

Just about anything dealing with the transference of cash or cash activities is a big draw with these types of machines. Those customers who really like what it offers are the ones who want to keep their financial dealings brief and streamlined.

Bill Paying and Consolidating via ATMs When You Don’t own a computer?

There are many customers who do not own a computer, and simply just don’t want to for various reasons. Whether those reasons are personal or financial, they choose not to have a computer to perform their various weekly or monthly financial obligations, but choose instead to use these bill-paying kiosks to take care of everything.

It’s an especially useful form of financial management for those customers who have chosen to do bill consolidation and streamline their financial activities and debts. When they decide to reduce their spending, they may also reduce other things in their lives, which can also include the way(s) that they take care of any financial obligations. In bill consolidation, reducing computers and hardware in favor of kiosks is for some the best method to use.

Bill consolidating does get mixed responses from everyone on either side of the fence. That’s likely going to be because while people do in fact feel differently about this method of financial organization, it’s also a process that has given many individuals mixed feelings overall. Some agree with its validity and effectiveness, while there are still others who think that bill consolidation is an idea that should be done away with. No matter which side of the table people may stand, it is true that there are some good and some not so good benefits of bill consolidation that each individual should consider before engaging in this type of financial dealings. They should know what they can and should expect.

Bill consolidation allows individuals to eliminate their debts quickly and gives them flexibility needed to restructure their entire financial picture. They can consolidate debts into one bill payment to make things easier to manage. They can also use the bill consolidation process to rebuild any weak credit or damaged credit scenarios. This is especially helpful if people are trying to reestablish their credit standing or need to establish themselves as a viable credit risk. And since this bill payment method style can be managed at most any specialized kiosk ATM machine at any time, it makes it an even more convenient and attractive form of payment for its customers.

Bill payees aren’t concerned with where or how the payments originate, or how often the customer uses the kiosk. However, the customer does need to use a trusted, reliable and reputable kiosk machine in places where he knows they will work. Other than availability and functionality, these types of kiosks are a wonderful convenience for most any busy lifestyle.

Working with bill consolidation and using technologically advanced resources gives customers the satisfaction of feeling accomplished with a goal and also feeling better about their financial pictures while working towards their end result and financial goals.