Automated teller machines (ATMs) have remained a popular banking feature for the better part of a century. At their debut, they were simple cash-dispensing machines. Today, they feature improved functionality and modern design to provide a range of convenient banking services to consumers.
But as ATMs have grown in complexity, they’ve also increased in cost. If your bank or credit union wants to calculate the ROI of your machines, you’ll need to start by determining the cost.
Remember, an ATM price tag tells only part of the story. In reality, there are numerous factors contributing to the cost of a new ATM:
We’ll take a brief look at each. Then, we’ll offer some insight about how to keep those ATM costs down for financial institutions looking to save some money. (For example, refurbished ATMs come in at significantly lower prices.)
The Cost of ATM Hardware
The average cost of an ATM for a financial institution is around $30,000, but that number can change considerably. How much an ATM costs depends largely on what it needs to do. Will it merely dispense cash? Can it offer marketing opportunities or contactless capabilities? How about deposit automation? And will there be video banking?
Here’s what a bank or credit union can expect to pay up front for different ATM types.
1. $8,000–20,000 for very basic cash-dispensing ATMs
2. $25,000–55,000 for full-function ATMs for lobbies, drive-ups, freestanding units, etc.
3. $60,000–90,000 for ITMs
The Cost of ATM Software
The price of the machine is only part of the overall ATM cost. The software that keeps them running will also add to the final bill, and it’s not exactly cheap.
Most ATMs run on Windows 10 now, and they will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. However, Nautilus Hyosung, Diebold, and NCR require their own stack of applications to function. The cost of ATM software depends on the manufacturer and the functions they support.
1. $1,500–2,500 per ATM for simple cash-dispensing duties
2. $2,000–4,000 per ATM for deposit automation or other complex functions
Additionally, there may be added software costs for the systems that support ATMs. For example, financial institutions will also need to monitor the health of their ATM fleet, manage cash forecasting, and/or capture deposit images (along with hosting and processing).
The Cost of ATM Installation
The whole supply chain is part of the ATM lifecycle. For institutions maintaining fleets, it would be wise to factor in other logistical issues such as storage, removal, remarketing, and recycling.
However, not everyone needs a full ATM lifecycle solution. In such cases, only the cost of freight and installation need to be considered.
1. $2,500–5,000 will usually cover basic shipping and rigging
2. $15,000+ will pay for the fees above and also include construction and site preparation (electric, communications, pulling cables, etc.)
In addition to shipping and rigging, banks and credit unions will have to consider other installation costs. ATM installation usually requires a certified security vendor, a camera vendor, a service technician, and armored cars for cash swaps. Each further increases total ATM prices.
The Cost of ATM Maintenance
There are many different kinds of service plans, and ultimately the cost of ATM maintenance will depend on the particulars of the plan—and the provider. A few things that might affect the cost include:
Maintenance coverage hours
Service level agreements, such as response time and uptime
The model of the ATM or ITM
Time and materials associated with the fix for out of scope services
For example, maintenance issues that don’t require tools or opening the ATM are called first line maintenance (FLM). FLM is often taken care of by experienced branch staff—no technicians required—which saves a lot of money. On the other hand, it can be impractical to ask branch staff to troubleshoot ATMs, and the extra maintenance costs may be warranted. In addition, remote ATMs will always require technicians for FLM and SLM.
1. $1,500—2,500 for cash-dispensing ATMs
2. $4,000—6,000 for full-function and ITMs
Furthermore, ATMs typically require some level of software maintenance. Whether improving security, increasing functionality, or updating something in the back end, ATM software needs periodic service. This can cost anywhere from $300–1,000.
The (Real) Total Cost of a New ATM
Unfortunately, many institutions forget to include some of the minor associated costs. When adding all the incidentals up, ATMs will always cost several thousand dollars more than their sticker price.
But there are ways to strategically lower the cost of ATMs—and no, it doesn’t all come down to “buy in bulk.”
In fact, there are two easy ways to save on ATM costs:
1. Consider refurbished ATMs. ATM refurbishment is one of the best values in the ATM industry. Refurbished ATMs cost a fraction of what new ones do, yet they operate just as well.
With refurbishment, institutions can realize significant savings on the largest up-front capital expenditure: the ATM itself. By simply reducing the sticker price per ATM, banks and credit unions stand to gain massive savings across their fleet.
2. Work with ATM lifecycle partners. The right partners will find cost savings wherever possible. Moreover, they’ll help to maximize the ROI of ATMs with better strategy, refurbishment, and remarketing of used equipment.
Proper lifecycle partners have an intimate knowledge of the industry. They know the various ins and outs, and they find every available opportunity for cost savings at each step.
Lifecycle partners such as Tellerex bring valuable expertise to the table. In addition to offering savings through refurbishment, they help institutions identify key strategies to optimize logistics-related expenses while maintaining service and performance levels. (You can read more about those strategies here.)
Tellerex is committed to leveraging our knowledge and experience to reduce ATM expenses, increase reliability, and accelerate a contribution to your company’s bottom line. To date, we’ve helped save clients over $5M in ATM-related expenses and operation cost reductions.
If you’re committed to buying new ATMs, Tellerex can help you save on transport, tracking, storage, and management. We can also maximize the ROI of your machines through each stage of their lifecycle—even through sanitization, remarketing, and recycling/disposal.
Or, if you’re interested in exploring the value of refurbished ATMs, we’re happy to discuss how we can meet your needs.
Would you like to see how much you can save on ATMs? Contact us! We’re always happy to chat.
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