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ATM Cash Replenishment Tips

The process of loading your automatic teller machine with new bills is called ‘ATM cash replenishment’ (and not, for whatever reason, ‘ATM cash replacement’). It’s important to replenish your ATM’s cash as soon as it starts running low. If people find that your ATM does not provide them with sufficient funds, your business’s reputation may falter. You might even start losing customers.

What is the process for ATM cash replenishment?

ATM Cash Replenishment Tips

Once you’ve been operating one or more ATM’s for a while, the cash replenishment process will become routine. But there are important procedures you should always follow whenever you’re replenishing your ATM’s supply of money. They will protect your money, your ATM and most important, your safety and your employees’ safety.

  • First, try to vary the times at which you replenish your ATM cash. For instance, you could replenish early Tuesday morning one time, late Friday afternoon the next time, midday Monday the next, and so on. Don’t stick to a pattern of replenishment times, either. Instead, replenish on a completely random basis to the greatest extent possible. Not to induce paranoia, but thieves could be staking out your ATM at this very moment. They could be trying to discern when it is you do your replenishing.
  • Remember that you should replenish your ATM’s one at a time. You should replenish your cassettes one at a time as well. There should be no customers inside your place of business during a cash replenishment procedure. Shut your doors and shut your blinds to shield this process from the view of people passing on the street. Have on hand an alarm system, too. One you could strike at a second’s notice to automatically contact 911 in the event of a robbery attempt.
  • Before the new stacks of cash enter your automatic teller machine, take the time to flip through them. Look at each bill to make sure everything seems OK. That is, check that none of the bills is counterfeit or torn and that none contain markings indicating they might have been stolen. Also, make certain that each of the bills is the denomination that it’s supposed to be. If you find any problem bills, contact your bank’s manager at once, and don’t let them go inside your ATM.
  • If you have a safe full of cash on your premises which you use during cash replenishments, change the combination of that safe after each replenishment. Don’t use a master key with this safe, either. You’ll greatly increase your risk of theft if you were to ever misplace your key.
  • You should take enough time during an ATM cash replenishment to ensure you don’t make any mistakes, but at the same time, you should work as quickly as you can so that the process takes no longer than it has to. Also, never place any container holding cash on the floor, and certainly never take your eyes off of such a container, even for a split-second!

Secure services are available to take care of ATM cash replenishment

There are plenty of companies you can hire to take care of your ATM cash replenishment needs for you. A good service will order all the cash you need, and bring that cash to your place of business in an armored vehicle. They’ll also carry the cash from that armored vehicle to your ATM in a secure container. Further, that company may deploy an entire team to take care of these duties, including:

  •       the armored car driver
  •       at least one armed guard
  •       at least one experienced technician to actually replace the money

All these employees should present identification to you before you admit them into your business. In some cases, the ATM company will give you a list of employees along with samples of their signatures, so you may compare a signature on an ID card to a signature on your list.

Some of these companies are available to replenish ATM cash seven days a week, 24 hours a day. And in many cases, such companies offer ATM maintenance services in addition to cash replenishment – freeing ATM cards when they get jammed, for example – as part of a package. Hiring one of these companies to take care of your ATM cash replenishment needs will not only save you and/or your employees time, but it may eliminate a source of anxiety as well.

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.