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Comparing the Functionality, Lifespan, and Value of New vs Refurbished ATMs

Adding new ATMs to your fleet is a necessary evil. Nobody likes replacing older models or shelling out to expand their fleet, but what’s the alternative? Not providing critical banking services to your members and customers? No thank you!

Of course, there is an alternative to buying new ATMs. Buying refurbished ATMs can get you almost as much ATM as a new one for a fraction of the price. But is it worth it?

Read on to learn more about the new vs refurbished ATMs.

The Latest ATM Functions

Most of the services that ATMs provide have been the same for the last couple of decades. You put your money in, you take your money out. You check and transfer balances. Maybe you deposit a check. The core of ATM functions will be the same in a brand-new machine and a 3-year-old refurbished model.

However, there are some functions that may not be available on older models. For example, the video banking capabilities on Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs) will be scarce. Not only are ITMs less likely to hit the refurbished market en masse soon, but their current rarity ensures that they won’t be very common.

Another function that refurbished ATMs might miss is cash recycling. Although most U.S. financial institutions don’t currently utilize cash recycling, it’s growing in popularity. If your financial institution is looking for a good deal on refurbished ATMs that support cash recycling, you’ll probably have to look a bit harder and pay a bit more.

Ultimately, refurbished ATMs will provide you with the entire range of functions that a new ATM would. However, if you’re moving into ITM or cash recycling territory, a new ATM might be easier to find in the near future.

The Lifespan of Refurbished and New ATMs

The lifespan of an ATM is difficult to calculate. Many factors may affect how long it will last, including exposure to elements and whether Windows 10 updates will render it outdated sooner than expected.

However, any ATM will last longer if its life cycle is well managed. Things like routine maintenance, consistent repair and service, and a few well-placed upgrades and refurbishments can extend the ATM's life very far.

That said, refurbished ATMs usually have a few years of their lifespans already gone. That means that with good lifecycle management, they probably have about a decade of useful life left in them.

New ATMs do have a longer life ahead of them, but in the grand scheme of things, the overall lifespan may be rather similar.

New vs Refurbished ATM Value

The value of ATMs fluctuates per buyer and by volume. But there are two major constants:

  1. New ATMs cost more than refurbished ones

  2. New ATMs lose their value much faster than refurbished ones

If you just spent $40,000 on a new ATM, you can practically watch the resale value plummet as soon as you unbox it. After six months of use, your ATM is probably worth about a quarter of what you originally paid for it.

Refurbished ATMs depreciate in value as well, but not as dramatically. For starters, they cost a fraction of what a new ATM would cost. Not only that, but the majority of their depreciation has already occurred—further depreciation will be slower than when it was new.

Final Thoughts on Refurbished and New ATMs

Refurbished ATMs feature a much lower total cost of ownership (TCO). They cost less to deploy, feature all the same basic functions, and last nearly as long. For value, refurbished ATMs are a far better prospect than new ones.

Then again, if you’re looking for all the latest features and an extra couple years of life, then a new ATM might serve you better. Just remember, that “new ATM smell” comes at a premium cost, and it won’t hold its value long.


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