Why Buy An ATM
Benefits Of Having An ATM
There are many benefits to having an ATM in your place of business. Some of the most obvious are: improved business image, increased store traffic, increase of customer impulse spending, reduction of bad checks, reduced fees associated with credit card processing, and additional revenue from ATM surcharge.
There are plenty of facts and figures from years of research to back this up. One study stated that ATM customers spend an average of 20% or more than non ATM users. It was also found that ATM users prefer to use the same machine when withdrawing cash which leads to an increase in those customers visiting the establishment repeatedly. It was also found that when cash was withdrawn, some of that cash was spent at that location. Stores with an ATM saw an increase of sales by over 8%.
Some of the businesses that see the greatest benefits include: bars/nightclubs, grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, hotels, laundromats, malls, any 'cash only' business or business with high foot traffic.
Which ATM To Buy?
Which ATM? Which Add On Features?
With so many ATM machines out there, it has become a daunting task to try to figure out which one is best for your business. There are 4 main players when it comes to retail ATM's; Triton, GenMega(Tranax/Hantle), Hyosung, and WRG.
Let's start with WRG. The company was bought out in 2010 and are no longer being manufactured. Buying a used WRG machine may be a mistake as replacement parts won't be as readily available as they once were. There is also talk these machines will not meet the new ADA (American with Disabilities Act) standards and failure to be compliant carries a hefty fine.
Back in the day, Tranax and Hyosung were as one. Korean-based Tranax was the North American distributor for Nautilus Hyosung until January 2007 when the two split ways. In 2008, they were bought again and in 2010, Tranax had taken the name of its new Korean corporate parent, Hantle Systems. And now, once again, the name changed, and today they are GenMega. Tranax, which many still use that name, have several excellent models including through the wall and free standing ATMs. The new models have built in dial-up and internet connection abilities. Hantle has partnered with Linq 3 to enable the purchase of quick pick lottery tickets on the machines. The machines that are lottery ready include Hantle's 1700W and C4000 series of ATMs. All new machines going forward in 2011 will also have this option available.
Hyosung is another reputable company that puts out great machines. They too include through the wall, free standing, and a new counter top models. All new models have built in dial-up and internet connection abilities. Hyosung was the first to partner with Linq 3 to enable the purchase of quick pick lottery tickets on their machines. All windows based CE and newer models have this option enabled or ability for software to be installed.
Triton is another big name in the industry. They have both stand alone and through the wall ATMs available. Their new Traverse model is able to dispense Mega Millions and Powerball quick pick lottery tickets. Their new models use some of the proven Hantle technology combined with the power of Triton software.
Options to consider when purchasing an ATM include; removable cassette, additional cassette, topper, and eLock. All standard ATMs come with a dial lock. It can be difficult for some to get used to the dial lock as it operates slightly different from your traditional combination lock. The eLock is an electronic lock. The user chooses a 6 digit number and just presses the the 6 digits on the lock pinpad to open the vault door. In my opinion this is the most valuable add-on option you can choose. A removable cash cassette is nice rather than a standard drawer style. This is great when you want to empty the ATM on a regular basis. You just pull the cash cassette out and then pop it back in when you want. It also allows the ATM to hold more cash than the drawer style. Dual cassettes should be considered in extremely high volume locations. You can load the ATM with double the amount of cash so less trips to the ATM for refills are necessary. The last option we will discuss is the ATM topper. Most new ATMs don't come with a high topper. This is a nice option when you high visibility is necessary. If the ATM is placed in place where you "can't miss it", it is not as important.
For the most part, Triton, Tranax, or Hyosung machines are all reasonably similar in functionality and price. Which model to buy mostly comes down to a personal choice of look and design. They are all Triple Des compliant, contain the most up to date security software features, have options like eLock and additional cash cassettes. Each manufacturer also provides a one year warranty on parts.
ATM Purchasing Options
Buy, Lease, Rent, Free Placement, Partnerships
There are a number of ways to get an ATM into your establishment. One option is to
buy an ATM machine outright. When purchasing an ATM this way, 100% of the surcharge you set on the machine belongs to you. Each ATM cost varies, but most entry level ATMs run around $2000-$2500 for the base model. When purchasing an ATM, paying for it outright is a great route to go.
Many ATM companies also offer a lease to own option. This is very similar to a finance plan with an automobile where the cost of the ATM is broken down into affordable monthly payments with interest added on. Lease to own may make sense to some as they can deduct the monthly payments as expenses and use the income earned from the surcharge profit to make the monthly payments. At the end of the lease there is a buy out fee. Be sure not to extend your lease too long or you will wind up paying for the machine twice in interest charges. I would recommend a 1 to 2 year lease length. With a lease to own, since you are the owner of the machine, 100% of the surcharge belongs to you.
Another options is a free placement ATM. With a free placement, you do not own the machine. The ATM company will put an ATM into your business at no charge to you. They will be responsible for any supplies, maintenance, and will load the cash that is dispensed from the machine. You, the business owner, will be responsible to supply the ATM company with power and a phone line for the machine. As you are not the owner of the ATM, you will not receive 100% of the surcharge, but a percentage instead. Typically that is 20%-30% of the total surcharge. This is a great option for those that don't want the responsibility of filling the machine or those who aren't ready for the expense of buying an ATM machine outright.
There is still another way to get an ATM and that is an called an ATM partnership. This is very similar to the free ATM placement. In an ATM partnership, the ATM company supplies the ATM and supplies, but the merchant will be responsible for supplying the cash and loading the machine. This yields a higher percentage of revenue for the business owner. Merchants typically receive 40%-50% of the surcharge revenue.
- Green Genie ATM
Where To Place The ATM
An ATM takes up approximately a 2' x 2' footprint so they fit virtually anywhere. When choosing a location for the ATM, also keep safety in mind. If possible, avoid placing the ATM in front of a plate glass window or door which can allow for a smash and grab. A spot farther back is the safest.
The location you choose should be located within 5 ft of an outlet. Next, you need to determine how to connect the ATM to the network. A traditional phone line works well and this should be a dedicated line. Internet is another popular option, you just connect the ATM to the back of your router. With an internet connection, you don't have the additional expense of a phone line and the transaction time is much quicker. All the new ATMs have a phone and internet connectivity option available. Older machines will require a converter box if connecting to the Internet. Whether you use phone line or internet, having a connection within 5 feet of the machine is optimal. Lastly, if no phone or internet is available, you can go wireless. This is the most expensive way as you will need to buy a wireless adapter box and subscribe with a wireless provider including a include a monthly data plan.
To reduce the risk of ATM vandalism, theft, and increase user safety, position the ATM in a highly visible, well-lit area away from storefront windows. Make sure ATM is secured to the floor with four anchor bolts.
Do not over fill the ATM. Fill only with cash sufficient for one days use. Some choose to remove the cash from the ATM at the end of each day once customers have left the premises and doors are locked. You may leave the door open to the ATM so that in the event of a break in, thieves will see the ATM empty and leave. This will save the cash that may have been inside the ATM and damage to the machine itself caused by the attempting to break into it. If loading or unloading cash during business hours, or customers are present, make sure to have someone with you. Never open the vault door if you feel unsafe in any way.
How Much Can I Make
To determine on average how much you can make by having an ATM in your business is a simple math calculation. 3% of the people who pass an ATM will use it. Multipyly that by your surcharge. Multiply that by the days in a month and you will have an ESTIMATED average. Here is a simple ATM profit calculator you can use.