The following is an excerpt from "The Benefits of Deploying Refurbished ATMs," a special report available for free download after registration.
Refurbished ATMs — slightly used machines that have been dismantled, repaired, refitted, repainted and reconstructed — are rapidly emerging as a viable option for deployers who want to cut costs, but what are the advantages of purchasing a refurbished ATM?
“I have purchased refurbished ATMs and it usually has a lot to do with your budget and how to get the best bang you can get for your buck,” said Steve Lattanzio, ATM network manager with Sun National Bank. “When these units come in, they look like they just came off the assembly line. People who don’t know the various makes and models would look at that ATM and think it was brand new.”
Although the machines may be refurbished, the software they run is typically up-to-date, eliminating any security concerns, Lattanzio said.
Affordability, flexibility and customization
Founder and director of ACG, an ATM service and solutions provider, Woody Alderman said, in many cases, technology that is still being sold as new can be bought refurbished for a substantial difference in price. Although the cost of a refurbished machine depends entirely on the make, model and features, the buyer usually can expect to save at least 40 percent, he said.
“It can be half the price of a similarly configured new ATM, sometimes more,” he said. “And when you do a side-by-side comparison with a brand-new machine, it compares very favorably.”
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Georgia Federal Credit Union, an Atlanta-based FI, needed an ATM fleet replacement strategy, so they chose refurbishment. This initiative was spearheaded by Mark Bartholomew, the credit union’s chief information officer.
“We were able to deploy ‘like new’ machines configured to our specifications and save thousands of dollars. We were even able to customize the machines’ exterior appearance with special painting and ATM wraps,” Bartholomew said.
Paul Wilson, chief financial officer of Atlanta’s Creekside Bank, also chose the refurbished route. Being that Creekside is a smaller bank, budget was a key concern.
“The primary thing is getting the same job done at the end of the day — getting customers their money — at a cheaper rate,” he said. "Our ATM has not been down since we opened — for 16 months now — and we’ve been very happy with it.”
The refurbishment process can also facilitate the opportunity to reconstruct an ATM that is more customized to the needs of the purchaser.
“When you buy a refurbished piece of equipment, you can normally ask to have certain things put in,” Lattanzio said. “For instance, I was looking for a processor that could give me 1 GB of memory, and [ACG] put in what I was looking for.”
Old software and hardware can be upgraded and new security features such as biometrics can be included. Automated deposit/check-processing is one of the top ATM technologies on the market, and Alderman says that FIs and ISOs that choose refurbishment have the flexibility to upgrade to this kind of technology at any time.
The concept of using machines made from recycled components is becoming increasingly appealing to companies and industries of all sizes.
Rather than putting more non-biodegradable material into landfills, old ATMs can be recycled to like-new condition, delaying the process of premature disposal. Most companies are interested in being good environmental stewards, and using refurbished ATMs is another way to make a positive contribution.
Installation and maintenance
If a deployer plans to buy refurbished ATMs, it is important to buy from a company that stands behind its products. Alderman said that means the company will assist with the ATM’s installation after it is sold.
“You have to evaluate the company itself, and the technical expertise of that company to help you through the process of bringing that machine live and getting it up and running and on the network, because there are just so many details involved,” he said. “You really want to have a reliable vendor that you can trust and that’s going to be there to help support the installation. It is a pretty involved process to get a machine up and running on the network, and you need a team you can rely on.”