Signs That May Indicate Your Need for an ATM Management Company
by William Dishman
number of businesses that offer the convenience of an ATM as a value
added service continues to rise. ATMs are everywhere. However, providing
this value added service is time consuming and costly. You may need
to outsource the management of your ATM in order to maximize revenue
in a difficult and sometimes confusing industry. According to banking
expert, James DeLoise, "Industry trends show that businesses
that have chosen to outsource their ATM management are pleased with
their success in an arena where many are throwing in the towel."
According to experienced ATM deployers, you could use an ATM management
Your vault is open
this does not mean that your armored delivery provider forgot to
lock the ATM vault. Rather, you have been unable to stop the increasing
demand of cash required to meet the expense of maintaining your
ATM on a monthly basis. Why does it cost so much to operate your
fleet of ATMs? "Issues with maintenance, cash inventory problems,
cash delivery, cash balancing, insurance and communication costs
made it difficult to break even on monthly costs. My expenses sometimes
ran as high as $800 a month to operate one full service ATM,"
stated multiple ATM owner Damon Reis, during a recent banking conference.
Expenses outside of one's normal service territories can even be
higher. According to a survey conducted by Boston-based Dove Associates,
"expenses vary widely between ATM deployers. Some pay as much
as 50% more to operate their ATM portfolios".
- Hire out the day-to-day management of your ATM(s) in an effort
to not only cut costs, but also reduce or eliminate labor worries
while providing a consistently performing ATM portfolio specifically
designed to meet your business goals.
Your ATM is always down
an unreliable ATM to your customers and you have sealed the eventual
demise of your ATM program. Customers who use ATMs expect to be
able to use the ATM. Small issues like paper jams and cash mis-feeds
result in ATM down time and will create a perception from which
it is almost impossible to recover. Your customer will not rely
on your ATM again. Hardware issues, cash outages, processor failures
and communication issues all can force an ATM to display the dreaded
"out of service" screen. "Annoying little details
kept slipping through the cracks, details that apparently required
daily monitoring and quick responses. I guess we did not have the
ability to keep up with the needs of our ATMs. Our slow reaction
to out of service issues convinced me that I needed to make a change
and delegate to the experts what we apparently did not understand.
We experienced immediate results with proactive monitoring,"
says Daniel Tudor, Regional Manager of a large chain of stores.
- Businesses of all sizes need consistency in their ATM services.
Consistency seems to define customer service in the ATM industry.
Finding an ATM management company that is devoted solely to the
management of ATMs increases the availability of key services and
resources necessary in keeping your ATM surprises to a minimum.
(They focus on managing your ATM so you don't have to.)
Transaction Volumes are dropping
based BankAtlantic Corporation recently announced, in the first
quarter of 2001, that it planned to mothball nearly 400 ATMs due
to declining transaction volumes. BankAtlantic has reported more
than 35% loss in transactions over the last two years.
- Does an ATM management company have the ability to guarantee
greater transaction volumes? Probably not, although in most cases,
the greater operating consistency of those ATMs watched over by
a management company can secure a customer's loyalty and repeated
visits. ATM industry leaders express that the frugal and proactive
monitoring that an ATM management company can provide will reduce
operating expenses and solidify the best opportunity for maximizing
You are relying on the location to help operate your ATMs
smaller retailers may be willing to facilitate their own cash replenishment
and service, this is rarely the case with larger chains or corporations.
The allure of saving money by having the merchant load her cash
into the ATM(s) has proven costly. Error resolution, chargeback
reconciliation, help desk support and the coordination of field
technical services can be overwhelming. Operations Manager Jana
Lyle found that "monitoring the store employees who were responsible
for stocking the ATM with cash was not only time consuming and stressful,
it was nearly impossible."
- The proactive ATM monitoring which an ATM management company can
provide reduces or eliminates issues with error codes and cash level
maintenance that is essential to achieving the consistency required
of a successful ATM program. Once the ATM is rendered "down",
any reaction is considered too late by the customer who could not
get her cash. The ATM owner stands to gain from allowing an ATM
management company to handle all ATM operations. Doing so allows
both companies to concentrate on their core competencies resulting
in lower monthly expenses and higher revenues.
Increase your ATM portfolio without having to add infrastructure
ATMs were first made available, banks offered them in limited quantities
as a value-added service. Now, even with the help of increasing
surcharges, off-premise ATMs generate about as much red ink as they
dispense cash. Services associated with the operation of an ATM
such as: market research, site selection, cash delivery, field technical
services, customer help desk, first and second line maintenance,
error resolution, chargeback research, cash balancing and the maintenance
of personal relationships with the ATM location contribute to the
increasing costs associated with managing an ATM portfolio. Although
surcharges have increased, revenues per ATM have declined, in part
due to aggressive ATM deployments by non-bank operators. And, the
infrastructure and staffing requirements remain in order to handle
the laborious and tedious efforts required for day-to-day ATM operation.
- "ATM management companies dedicated solely to the management
of ATMs can offer a proven customized infrastructure through which
the bank may save money and gain what previously was unattainable.
A good ATM management company can efficiently handle all of the
operational demands of the ATM(s)" states AmericaOne ATM Management
Services executive Jim Beyer. "Additional services such as
the provision of additional locations in which the bank may effortlessly
expand its market presence insure the management company's longevity."
The ATM management company can also pass on its ability to receive
reduced prices on equipment and installation. Beyer says, "We
provide a single channel through which the bank can communicate
its ATM concerns eliminating the headaches of coordinating with
multiple vendors. Increased communication effected with proactive
ATM management increases goodwill with the location."
competitive ATM market can be a difficult path to navigate. Utilizing
an ATM management company to help chart the best course for individual
or multiple location success will undoubtedly be a deciding factor
in the success or failure of an ATM portfolio. ATM management provides
a single source solution for ATM needs giving businesses the freedom
to reap the rewards of an ATM machine at their location(s) without
the hassle that is normally associated with ATM placement.