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Setting Up an ATM Business

Network Transaction Fees + Customer Service

Setting Up an ATM BusinessWith the rising cost of bank fees for various services, bank customers welcome any opportunity they can find to save a few dollars. Whether those savings are with their monthly service fees or through ATM transaction fees, any cost savings they can readily see and reap do add up quickly.

It’s no secret to customers that they think their ATM fees are outrageous, and it seems to them that the fees increase almost every time they make an ATM withdrawal. While that may seem a bit of an exaggeration, what is real is the cost of doing business and how that cost is sometimes passed on to the customer.

Frequent ATM Users

Customers who frequently travel for business or leisure may find that they’re always on the lookout for an ATM machine, especially if they’re not in the habit of carrying large amounts of cash on them at once. These individuals want and need to find ATM machines that they have easy access to, can withdraw the amount of money they need, and those machines that don’t have such exorbitant fees charged to customers. After all, it is their money, and while they don’t mind paying for the ATM convenience, they just want the amount charged to at least be reasonable.

ATM owners also know that these customers need their services from time to time. Some may need it more often than others, but ATM owners also know that there may be another ATM machine further down the road where the customer can take their business if they don’t like the service that’s offered. This can be anything from broken machines, to insufficient cash in the machines or machines that don’t give them their bank balances after the transaction.

The ATM business is a very lucrative and competitive type of business overall. Owners and operators of the lucrative ATM business can often expect almost 100% of their ROI within months or an average annual return of 50% or more when the ATM business is properly Run. The investment far outweighs just keeping your cash in a money market account.  To the owners, that’s the best part of being in this type of business. But, to the customers, those fees and surcharges are very much their frustrations.

Flexibility and Convenience

ATM owners provide a convenient and flexible service to users who need to access the money in their bank accounts, but may not be at or near the bank where their accounts are held. So, instead of that customer searching and looking for “their” bank, the ATM machine provides instant service that saves them time and frustration.

Convenience does come with a cost.

Individuals often have to pay usage fees or transaction fees to withdraw money from their accounts, if they’re not making the transaction at their branded ATM machine. So that means if John Doe wants to withdraw $100 from ABC Bank, but he banks with XYZ bank, he may have to pay a surcharge anywhere from ~ $1.00 to $3.00 for the convenient service.

For the ATM owner, it’s a win-win situation, and they can also make it easier for the customer too.

Keep It Profitable

keep it profitableATM owners determine their own surcharge “convenience” fees when they setup the machines, therefore they can set the limit accordingly, based on their desired profits, cost of doing business, location of the ATM, traffic, visibility, etc. Here are some things to implement with the ATM business that can keep it profitable for the owner and hassle-free for the customers:

  • Clearly display on the machine what the withdrawal fees are per transaction (this is a network regulation and all ATM Owners must display this). If your ATM is missing the fee notice contact your ATM provider, if they don’t offer this decal, shop for another ATM provider. Not only does this decal cut down on misunderstandings or disputes and possible charge-backs, it keeps your ATM and your ATM business compliant.
  • Maintain the ATM machines in proper working order. If the machines are inoperable, that ATM business traffic will go elsewhere and the place of business will find another ATM Provider.
  • Keep the ATM machine visible and in the open. Sometimes, people are leery about transacting with an ATM machine that is “away” from heavy foot traffic or is in a secluded or hidden spot. Think safety. Don’t put the ATM in a dark hallway or other “inconspicuous area”.
  • Ensure that the ATM machine is always stocked with cash. Running out of funds is frustrating, both for customers and the owner. Make a habit to check and stock the machines frequently. Your ATM provider should offer online access so you can check your ATM machines in real time for cash balances to ensure they have enough funds.
  • While compliance requires the ATM have the processors phone number prominently displayed, be sure to place your contact information in a visible area on the ATM machine, just in case your customers need to contact you with problems. There shouldn’t really be any problems with ATM machines because they require very little support, but customers often feel more secure knowing that there is a way to contact someone in case there is a problem.

Just a few simple things in the beginning of setting up an ATM business can help it run smoothly and efficiently at all times. Customers always have other options, and they will use those options if they don’t have a choice. By setting up the business to be as self-automated as possible and with minimal maintenance, makes both customers and ATM owners satisfied all around.

If you need helping setting up your ATM business to be successful, be sure to contact us.

9 Tips to Planning Your ATM Purchase

Planning Your ATM Purchase

Planning your ATM purchase

Many business owners find themselves wondering if they should purchase an ATM. If you have a lot of foot traffic in your establishment, have people asking, often, if you have an older machine, or you know there isn’t another machine close, are all good reasons to consider the purchase.

Once the decision has been made to purchase an ATM, the decision maker needs to research and plan out the path they want to take. Some things to consider when planning an ATM purchase are the machine options, costs, and profitability. Knowing exactly what you are getting into and what to expect can alleviate stress throughout the purchase. Read more

Advertisements Vs. ATM Fees

Advertisements Vs. ATM Fees

ATM fees are just one of those touchy subjects that can make even the meekest of personalities take a turn and show a wild side. That could be mainly because ATM fees vary so widely from one ATM owner to the next and from one financial institution to the next. This can make it virtually impossible sometimes to get a reasonable grip on what’s fair to outrageous to pay. Of course, for the customer, fees are about paying the lowest amount as possible. But for the ATM owner, fees are an integral part of doing business, so while there is a desire to be reasonable, they must also stay competitive in the market just to stay on level with other ATM institutions.

Creative Advertising

While assessing ATM fees are certainly an important part of doing business, they’re not always welcomed or embraced by customers. There can be a lot of complaining about the rates, and even requests for refunds from customers who may decide to challenge the fee amounts based on several criteria. At any rate, the ATM owner has to become creative at ways to keep his customers happy enough to continue doing business with his establishment. And, at the same time, the owner must try to develop a workable solution that will keep a crucial and much-needed revenue stream coming into his financial business.

ATM advertising is a possible solution that owners can implement that may help to solve some of the customers concerns. It’s an on-screen video message where the customer agrees to watch a pre-recorded advertising message in return for reduced or an elimination of ATM surcharges. The customer is given this option when they begin making their transaction, so there are no worries that the commercial will just simply “play” for them, without their permission. Infringement on a customer’s time in that way can be annoying, so ATM owners want to be sure be aware of that possibility and offer the customers options.

With this type of marketing and advertising, both the customer and the ATM owner are appeased on different levels; the advertiser for agreeing to play the advertising video compensates the ATM owner, and the customer (possibly) pays a significantly reduced bank fee in exchange for watching the advertiser’s sales pitch. The sales pitch usually won’t take any longer to view than it would to make an ATM transaction, so there is no lengthy, inordinate amount of time spent watching video commercials while standing at the ATM machine. Usually, the ads will be anywhere from 10-30 seconds, just enough time to capture the customer’s attention and make a lasting sales impression.

The ATM owner and the advertiser will work out and negotiate the terms of the advertising contract. They will determine how long, how frequently and what style of commercial is best suited for the machines. Varying factors can determine ad costs, which is why negotiation is crucial. Since this type of advertising is vastly different from print or even television advertising, it’s important to look at the overall marketing package in terms of quality, relevance and style and not just length. For instance, in some cases, the advertiser will need to negotiate the rate based on the length of the commercial, whether it’s 10 seconds or 60 seconds, especially if it’s for a well-known product or brand.

Coupons and More Savings

Another feature that gets the customers attention is the tear-off coupon that’s at the bottom of their banking receipt. These receipts are good for other services or products that are with local businesses in the area, encouraging customers to keep their business with local establishments. This also incentivizes the business owners to place ads with the ATM machines, especially if they’re trying to target a certain demographic or entice the foot traffic that surrounds the area where the ATM is located.

What makes these types of transactions so worthwhile is because the advertisements are targeted specifically to ATM-style audiences, so it’s something (a product or a service) that would interest the customer. The customer does however have the option to “opt-out” of the feature and choose to not watch the videos. If the customer does go this route, they usually will have to agree to pay the ATM fees.

The Reason for ATM Fees

It’s not always a bad thing, but talking to a few banking customers will give you a lot of insight about how they feel on the subject of ATM fees. They will tell you that paying outrageous ATM fees, for them, is sometimes annoying and even alarming. It can be quite alarming if the customer has to use an ATM at a location where they weren’t expecting to get such a high usage rate attached to their transaction. For the ATM owners, the more profits that they can charge and obtain, the better it is for their business’ bottom line. But for the customer, finding the ATM with the lowest to no ATM transaction fee is going to be the ideal situation.

Great for the Owner

The Reason for ATM Fees

Without a healthy bottom line, the ATM owner doesn’t have the financial resources he needs to provide a quality service to his customers, not to mention a much-needed convenience that some customers love. ATM fees allow owners to offer their customers the latest software updates for their transactions, a faster processor on the machine, equipment that’s in excellent condition and the peace of mind in knowing that the machine will always be able to accommodate their cash requests whenever they need it to. Not to mention also that ATM owners are furiously competing with one another on getting the bulk of the ATM business traffic, so it’s in their best interest to offer customers an attractive deal in return for their business.

Great for the Customer

For the customer, exorbitant ATM fees could mean less trips to the ATM, or, going out of their (convenient) way to find a machine that charges less that machines that are closer to them. Some customers will even go out of their way to transact with ATM machines that charge anywhere from $.50- $2.00 less than the machines that are closer to them, all to save as much money as they can. However, when the customer takes his business elsewhere, the ATM owner could possibly feel the effects of it and may feel compelled to lower their rates in order to draw that customer back.

So, who should profit more and be better accommodated? The ATM owners… or the customers?

Where Do ATM Fees Go?

As far as ATM fees go, sometimes these charges are implemented solely for the customers who are non-members. That means that if a customer doesn’t already bank with an institution or have an account with that bank, they may be charged an ATM fee in order to perform a transaction by withdrawing money or using another banking service. In other cases, relatively fewer, fees are often charged to all customers, regardless of whether or not they have an account with that particular banking institution. One of the biggest complaints that customers have of exorbitant ATM fees is that since there isn’t a human teller helping them with their transaction, there is no reason why the fees have to be so incredibly high, or at best, no reason why there has to be such frequent and periodic steep increases just to access that bank’s financial services.

Fees…For What?

One of the main reasons as to why there are ATM fees is simply to manage this service and to keep it running smoothly and conveniently for the bank or ATM owner’s customers. In fact, there is software that has to be upgraded on a routine basis, that which is often covered with fee services. The machine also has to be repaired on occasion, or at the very least, maintained for service. There is also the insurance responsibility that is required for ATM machines that owners have to take into account in case of theft, natural environmental causes or other issues. When a customer is a member of a bank, these types of maintenance fees are built into either the customer’s monthly fees or through fees to their accounts if their balances fall below a minimum balance requirement.

So while having ATM fees assessed to customers is not at all a “waste,” it helps when customers understand the need for these types of fees and why some banks charge one amount while other banks charge another. The best thing for ATM owners to do to keep a steady stream of business is to keep their fees reasonable but comparable to what their competition is charging in the market. For customers, it’s a good idea to try and be as consistent as possible with one banking institution so as to cut down on the amount of fees that they pay out, but ideally it’s best to be a member of the banking institution where they frequently use the ATM machine. This will help to ensure that their fees stay stead