Refurbished ATMs often cost only a fraction of what a new ATM might cost. That price point certainly makes ATM refurbishment an attractive prospect for credit unions that need to update their fleet.
Nevertheless, quality control concerns pop up. Can refurbished ATMs work as well as new ones? Are there any major risks involved? Does it make more sense in the long run to eat the cost and buy new?
Not all ATM refurbishment is created equal. Some vendors are more responsible than others, while others cut corners to save a bit more money. The differences between refurbishment techniques can be night and day.
Here’s how it breaks down:
The Problem: Replacing or Adding ATMs in a Fleet
Credit union ATM fleets have to be maintained. And, for growing credit unions, ATM fleets must be expanded. Nobody wants old, finnicky ATMs that hurt your brand and image. It’s even worse if there are no ATMs around at all!
So, your credit union must continue to provide an extensive network of working, quality ATMs. The only problem is that ATMs are expensive. Sometimes freakishly so.
Fortunately, there’s an answer: refurbished ATMs. Basically, refurbished ATMs are previously-used ATMs, usually from major banks, that have been tested, cleaned, and fitted with new OEM parts to ensure they look and work just like new.
The Total Cost of Ownership
It’s no secret that ATMs aren’t cheap. If they were, there would be almost no point to refurbishing them at all. When you consider how much it costs to buy a whole ATM fleet, then cost savings are an even bigger concern than before.
Anything that brings down the total cost of ownership of an ATM—let alone a fleet—should be worth considering. When it comes to refurbishment, some refurbished models cost a fraction of what a new one would. Plus, because refurbished ATMs usually come from big banks, they tend to be good, high-end models.
So, ask yourself:
If you could buy the same ATMs that big banks use, but spend less than a third of what they pay for them, would you?
The Drawbacks of ATM Refurbishment
One of the primary drawbacks of ATM refurbishment is that you’re not getting a brand-new machine. Another financial institution has already used it, so it may be a couple of years old. Not only that, but you can’t be sure why they got rid of it.
There is always a little risk involved in ATM refurbishment. The ATM may not have been properly cleaned, or the vendors who refurbished the machine may have cut corners and ordered no-name replacement parts from China to cut costs.
However, that risk can be easily mitigated by the right refurbishment techniques. Responsible vendors use OEM parts and assiduous cleaning practices to ensure the highest-quality results. Well-refurbished ATMs are essentially as good as new.
To Refurbish, or Not to Refurbish…
At the end of the day, you have to do what’s best for your credit union and your members. If you can find a responsible vendor that can meet your needs with refurbished ATMs, then that’s definitely a tantalizing prospect.
If you’re considering refurbished ATMs for your fleet, remember to do your due diligence. Find out what kind of replacement parts the vendor uses in their refurbishments. If they’re OEM parts, that’s a good sign. You should also check for a good warranty.
If you’d like to learn more about maintaining or replacing your credit union’s ATM fleet, subscribe to our blog. We’ll keep it updated regularly with useful tips and information about how you can get the most out of your ATMs.