Five ways to increase ATM profitability

May 12, 2011 | by Alicia Ridley

In today’s business climate, independent ATM deployers (IADs) are actively looking for ways to improve the profitability of their portfolios.  In years past, many IADs had a “set it and forget it” mentality regarding the management of their portfolios.  Many ATM deployers believed that the best way to improve profitability was by just growing their portfolio size.  Times are not the same—and ATM deployers are realizing that they must manage their businesses differently. 

I recommend that every ATM deployer perform an annual evaluation of their portfolio.  I suggest five possible ways that IADs can increase revenue, reduce costs and boost profitability.

1.    Re-evaluate Surcharge Rates—many deployers are still charging the same surcharge rates that were in the market 10 years ago.  Just as inflation has risen, surcharge rates should be adjusted.

2.    Enable “balance inquiry at start” on Every ATM—an easy step to make, “Balance Inquiry at Start” can increase your balance inquiries 20 to 30 percent—at minimal cost. By making this slight adjustment in programming, the incremental revenue it produces can make quite a difference.

3.    Reduce Communication Costs—every dollar you reduce in communications costs is a dollar added to your bottom line. Wireless is rapidly becoming the standard of ATM communication as it significantly reduces costs, is reliable, secure and mobile. Whether it’s switching to wireless or piggy-backing off an Ethernet line, the savings are considerable over landlines. When implementing these cost-effective connectivity options, you can reduce monthly communication costs by nearly 50 percent.

4.    Re-evaluate the Location of the ATM—using an ATM is highly impulsive. Try positioning ATMs in high traffic, visible locations, such as next to the front door of an establishment. Placing the ATM in a highly visible and impulse-friendly location can potentially increase your transactions by 25 to 30 percent.

5.    Upgrade Equipment—to many deployers, extending the life of older ATMs seems like a smart business decision, but in actuality you may see greater return by investing in modern equipment. Having a more attractive ATM machine can increase transactions as much as 20 percent following an upgrade. The cost of new machines has gone down considerably, while older machines can cost you more to maintain.

When it comes to evaluating your portfolio, it’s no surprise to find that no ATM location is the same.  You might find that you may only need to make a slight change to one location, whereas you need to implement all five of the above suggestions to another.  If these areas of focus become part of your annual re-evaluation, these five ways to improve profitability will allow you to maximize your profit year after year.

I recently provided more in-depth information about this topic in a White Paper we sponsored on ATM Marketplace called, Five Ways to Boost the Profitability of an ATM Portfolio. To read this white paper and learn more, click here.

Topics: Hardware Components, Service / Parts


Alicia Ridley
Alicia Ridley is the president of, North America’s leading wholesale supplier of retail ATM machines, parts, supplies, and repair services. The company provides ATM operators with superior customer service and one-stop shopping for all ATM needs. www

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