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Just How Trustworthy Are Refurbished ATM Machines?

Whether replacing one faulty ATM or deploying a fleet, financial institutions end up shelling out a pretty penny for new ATMs. Some banks and credit unions have turned to refurbished ATMs to cut costs. But how reliable are refurbished ATMs?

As with most good questions, this one has no clear answer. The fact is that not all refurbishments are created equal. Still, refurbished ATMs offer an incredible value that shouldn’t be passed up.


Questions About Quality

One of the main drawbacks of refurbished ATMs are the questions about quality. And it makes sense that these questions would come up. Anything that’s been used to the point where someone wants to replace it is going to have a little personality.

However, that personality might be as simple as looks. Or perhaps a larger bank wanted to standardize its fleet.

The truth is that it doesn’t much matter whether an ATM is used or not. Rather, it matters how it was refurbished. Any questions about the quality of refurbished ATMs ultimately come down to this:

How assiduously was the ATM refurbished?

If the refurbishing company just opened the ATM up, cleaned them out so they look fresh, and put them back on the market, then the quality will suffer. We call this process the “blow and go,” and it gives refurbished ATMs a bad name. Fortunately, this process is rather uncommon.

Refurbished ATMs Are Reliable

Refurbished ATMs are reliable so long as they’ve been carefully restored. When companies put a little extra time and effort into the refurbishing process, the final results are just as good as new.

For example, at Tellerex, we don’t just clean up ATMs—we rebuild them completely. First, we inspect all the components to ensure that they’re working as they should. Then, we pull out old or worn parts and replace them with new OEM parts.

The end product is an ATM that works just as well as any new ATM. The internals have been inspected, cleaned, and replaced. They’re ready to go.

The only major difference you’ll see between a new ATM and a well-refurbished ATM is the sticker price.

A Note About New ATMs

Refurbished ATMs may not be perfect. In fact, a select few of them may have “quirks” that require attention. Often, people view these issues as a product of the refurbishing process.

But that’s not exactly the case. In reality, ATMs are complicated machines with intricate moving parts and finicky electrical components. And then there’s the software. The simple fact of the matter is that all ATMs, both new and refurbished, are subject to a modicum of error.

That’s right—even out of the box, brand-new ATMs have measurable failure rates.

So, buying new is not a foolproof way of avoiding faulty ATMs. New ATMs and responsibly refurbished ones are similarly reliable.

Final Thoughts

If your bank or credit union is looking to add more ATMs to your fleet, then you might want to consider refurbished machines. While the new machines will certainly lend some flashy pizzazz to your brand, the refurbished ones may fit your budget better. Plus, so long as performance and reliability aren’t an issue, then why not go refurbished?

Either new or refurbished ATMs will work for your financial institution. And there are pros and cons to each option. Just remember: reliability is not a key differentiator!


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