How to make your ATMs earn
The maintenance cost of an ATMs network could reach hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Thus each bank chooses its own strategy to optimize these expenses. Some banks save by cutting the number of newly placed self-service devices and preferring to provide more services through an Internet bank and motivating clients to make more cashless payments. On the contrary, other banks perceive the self-service channel as a promising source of income: their logic is simple – we can spend our money and put up with it or invest in self-service devices that can pay off.
The most obvious way to use ATMs to benefit your business is to charge customers a service fee, which will depend on the type of service provided and many other factors. For example, in Poland, the cash withdrawal can cost 3-4% of the amount; in Spain, the client can pay up to 6%, and in Russia – up to 400 rubles (6.5 US dollars).
The system’s opacity of such charges misguides people. It forces them to refuse to use “foreign” ATMs, which greatly reduces the self-service channel’s availability for customers trying to save money.
For this reason, banks and independent ATM network operators often avoid direct fees for using devices and providing additional services instead. This way of earning looks much more justified from the end-user’s point of view, which can get a unique service using a particular company’s devices.
1. Use of payment services on an ATM
One of the ways to monetize the work of self-service devices is to provide additional services for customers. The combination of the standard functionality of the ATM with the possibilities of payment kiosks allows the end-user to pay for utilities and telecommunications services, state duties, fines, and various goods. Also, such devices provide more opportunities to perform operations with bank accounts or money orders.
The bank can build mutually beneficial relations with suppliers of various services, offering to use its fleet of devices as a channel for interaction with customers and retaining commission fees by the concluded agreements.
A wider range of services and a low service charge than competitors can be an important competitive advantage of the ATM network. In some cases, banks and independent operators even manage to adapt functions for receiving payments from units of various state and commercial organizations (hospitals, notary offices, tax services, police departments).
Advanced solutions offer the payment acceptance structure and download of different analytics on the conducted payment transactions. For example, the solution Payments.iQ allows you to assess how profitable for an ATM network operator a particular service is. This makes it possible to adapt the provided services and adjust the essence of the offered format itself.
2. Currency exchange at ATMs
A global survey of tourism conducted by several European institutions showed that 6 out of 10 people traveling to other countries on a private or business trip face the problem of cash exchange. Often, this lies in the inappropriate appetite of the owners of exchange offices located at airports and railway stations. About service fees in some countries, charged from hapless tourists, in the size of a quarter or even a third of the amount exchanged, is possible to tell legends, but unfortunately, it has very true meaning. Nevertheless, currency exchange is a function that is relatively easy to implement on modern ATMs. Moreover, the end customer can receive the necessary funds at the airport or other places of mass congestion but at any outlet where these funds may be required. Thus, the level of availability of the service will be increased several times.
Such functionality expansion of self-service devices requires the implementation of a specialized IT solution. In particular, the deployment of the FCX.iQ system allows the operator to set the value of the service fee and the availability of exchange of certain currency pairs for each network device, depending on the level of demand for a particular service. This allows turning every ATM into a compact and efficient currency exchange office that does not require special care and maintenance.
3. Additional advertising opportunities of the ATM
However, the profitability of self-service devices can be increased even without any users’ fees. To do this, it is enough to realize that ATMs are excellent platforms for placing targeted advertising in the modern world. Nowadays, the world has installed more than 3 million ATMs, which can display advertising messages, providing users with information about banking and other products. Many banks and independent operators of ATM networks even install additional screens for their devices to demonstrate their own or partner’s advertising. By the way, the advertising screens are dynamic and can vary depending on the client’s operations with the self-service device, including the possibility of interaction. Thus, the advertiser can count on the client’s sufficiently deep involvement in the essence of the advertising offer, which is especially important for communicating the value of the product and service.
The use of self-service devices opens up new opportunities for implementing the Direct Marketing strategy since the client can be identified according to the various parameters. This allows banks to focus their marketing activities on the most important customers.
Diebold Nixdorf as the world’s largest supplier of self-service systems, offers the Vynamic Marketing solution for these purposes, which can centrally manage the placement of visual advertising messages and obtain statistics on coverage, segmentation, and other information on customer interactions.
Anyway, the attitude toward ATM network as exclusively the expense is becoming outdated. Financial institutions that remain faithful to the development of their self-service channel are getting very effective tools to increase the profitability of the self-service devices’ network, using an additional driver to meet the still actively growing demand for cash.
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