ATM Networks: The Magic that Makes it Happen

ATM Networks: The Magic that Makes it all Happen

ATM Networks

In a regular bank setting, we would walk up to the teller, request our cash, and then it would be counted by the teller and handed to us. We walk away assured that the teller debited our account for the correct amount.

A typical ATM transaction allows the cardholder at the ATM machine to withdraw funds from an account or deposit funds to an account. As a user, if withdrawing funds, we take our cash and walk away from the machine, never giving a thought as to what went into making the transaction happen. Little does the user know there is a network communicating all of the transaction information behind the scenes.

How Does an ATM Network Work?

ATMs operate through a network; most are commonly connected to an interbank network. These networks make it possible for a person to perform a transaction at an ATM that does not belong to their bank, and in some cases, out of the country where their bank is located. There are many types of interbank networks, including Cirrus, PLUS, NYCE, STAR, PULSE, BancNet, AFFN, among others.

Once a transaction is performed at a machine, the network communicates the information to the proper bank, where the information is recorded to the user’s account. The communication with the network happens much like our home computer would with an internet connection. Most ATMs connect to a host, or sometimes known as an ATM Controller, through an asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) or through a dial-up modem, which would be run through a phone line. If using the dial-up modem method, this is usually a specifically designated or leased line, rather than sharing a telephone service line. The method that an ATM owner chooses to use should be based on the amount the machine is being used. If the machine is being continuously used throughout the day, a dial-up modem might be slower and not the most efficient way to get the user’s the quick cash they are looking for. After all, you want the customer to keep coming back and using your machine.

As technology advances, many new ATM owners are now using connections through virtual private networks (VPN), or commonly known as a high speed internet connection and new ATM wireless devices such as cellular networks using dedicated wireless devices hidden in top of the ATM. There are still older methods of communicating to a bank that are still in use; some of these include Async, which is short for asynchronous communications, where transactions are communicated intermittently to the bank versus the immediate moment the transaction is completed; and Systems Network Architecture (SNA), which to date itself, was created by IBM in 1974, and is a method that interconnects the ATM with the bank.

All of this may be irrelevant for someone in a hurry, running in to the local convenient store to get the $40 they need for the night; but nonetheless, it is the network communications of the ATM and the bank that are making the transaction possible for this rushed money grabber.

If you plan to own and operate ATM Machines as a business or in your business, the cheapest way to access the ATM Networks via your ATM processor these days is to simply add the ATM to your high speed internet connection. A slow connection or high noise on the line may cause errors so consult your ATM company or your computer people prior to determining the best communication method. We are seeing most new ATMs deployed these days are using the latest ATM wireless communication systems which are available for lease for less than the cost of a phone line. Ask your ATM company about the wireless communication options available for your ATM.

How Can an ATM Machine Attract Business?

We have all been in the situation where we have run out of money and need to fill our wallets or purse with cash. Credit and debit cards are almost accepted everywhere but nothing is better than having physical cash. Install an ATM machine to attract business and you can help provide people with easy access to cash.

Did you know that there are a variety of ways to attract business and make more money when you install an ATM machine into your business? Businesses owners are unaware of the benefits of owning an ATM machine.

 What are the Benefits of having an ATM?

How Can an ATM Machine Attract Business?

ATM machines are great additions to a business because they can naturally attract customers inside. When a sign is posted outside indicating that an establishment has an ATM machine you draw in more people to visit your store.

People will casually walk in just to get some cash and often will make a small purchase. This can help increase business since a lot of people will visit in a given day just to withdraw some cash.

Psychologically, immediately after someone withdraws funds and has cash in their pocket, they are more likely to spend it right away. Spontaneous shopping happens more often after a person adds more money to their wallet.

It is very common that once people get out cash using your ATM they feel the urge to spend some of the money they just withdrew, this often leads to impulse buying which would be spent in your store..

One cleaver trick that works well is to place the ATM machine in an area of the store where you often display specials or bargains you’re promoting, this encourages spontaneous shopping.  Small businesses find that after an ATM machine is installed they make hundreds of dollars in profits every week as a result.

Large businesses and certain types of businesses notice profits often increase dramatically from having an ATM machine available. Most of the time when people withdraw cash they like to break it down into smaller bills. When receiving a few twenties that an ATM typically dispenses customers like to have smaller increments and are likely to make a purchase to facilitate making change.  Customer that withdraw money are therefor more likely to buy something from your store if they need to break down a large bill.

Convenience stores, small markets, and similar businesses can profit considerably from many small transactions a day. A customer is more likely to purchase additional items when they need to break down larger bills so the potential to earn increases.

As the owner or operator of an ATM you also profit from the commission you receive on every ATM transaction that takes place on your machine. So even if people do not spend any money inside your business you are still generating a profit from the small space an ATM uses.

Customers opt for an ATM machine as opposed to using credit cards more often to avoid credit card charges and interest payments. Between 40% – 70% of credit card charges performed are done with a bank debit card and merchants are paying a high percentage to accept this type of payment. Offsetting Credit Card Fees alone is another way to convert fees paid into money made.

An ATM machine is a profitable investment for a business in many ways. If a community or shopping area lacks ATM machines and you install one, other businesses will send people into your store when their customers ask where the closest ATM machine is. You’ll be the business that has the solution to everyone’s need for cash.

Consider installing an ATM machine to help your business attract more customers and produce more profits daily, weekly, and monthly. You’ll be surprised at the amount of additional income once you add a new machine to your business, just remember to make people aware of its presence.

How to Increase Security for an ATM Machine

ATMSecurity - Thieves in Action


How Can You Increase Security for an ATM and Safeguard Against Theft?

We all know ATM’s are like candy to would-be thieves. However, that doesn’t mean your ATM has to be a target. People target these machines because they are small and they think they store a lot of money.

In reality, most merchant-owned free-standing ATM’s (the ones in stores) don’t contain much cash. Many store owners remove the cash each evening like a cash register.

As a store owner or ATM operator, there are certain precautions you can take to limit the chance that an ATM is stolen or broken into and increase security for an ATM.

It’s easy to add a camera monitor for your ATM machine to ensure that it puts a person at risk if they try and steal money from it. The more measures you take to secure your machine the less likely someone will attempt to steal money out of it.

5 Tips for Increasing Security

  • ATMSecurity - Surveillance Camera

    Install surveillance cameras around your ATM Machine
    • No one wants to be spotted on camera. Put one directly on top of the machine and another in a location that has a good view of the ATM. These camera systems are inexpensive and work great.
  • Hang a sign up in the area to let people know that it is under constant surveillance.
    • Thieves will think twice before making an attempt to steal from the ATM when cameras are around. Several higher-end machines come with cameras installed inside to help lower the chance of theft.  Some of the new Genmega series ATMs have surveillance deterrents pre-installed at the factory.
  • Put your ATM Machine near a brightly lit area.
    • The more lit the area where the ATM is located, the less chance someone is going to try and break into it. Make sure that the area directly above the machine and the surrounding area has the proper lighting. This will also help customers feel more at ease when completing a transaction. No one wants to withdraw cash from an ATM in an area that is dark. Added security to a machine can help protect the money inside and help draw in customers.
  • Place the machine inside your store.
    • Properly secure windows and doors to prevent people from trying to break in and remove cash each evening like a cash register.
  • Install an alarm in your store so if someone tries to get inside they will trigger it.
    • Your machine should be more secure if it is inside your business. An alarm usually makes criminals move to the next target where they don’t have alarms. Alarms are inexpensive these days and go a long way to make would-be criminals think twice about breaking into your business to steal your ATM or any other valuables inside for that matter.

ATMSecurity - Lock Your SafeProtecting your investment is just good business. You do not need someone stealing from your ATM. Make sure your installer properly secures your machine to the floor or wall. Make sure the area surrounding your establishment is well-lit, and if you own and operate your ATM machines, simply remove the cash when you close and leave the safe door open is the best security measure. If the ATM in your store is operated by someone else, most of the suggestions above deter criminal activity. A few small protective measures are all it takes to increase security for an ATM and protect your valuables.

[VIDEO] Father and Son Find an ATM while Hunting in the Great Outdoors

Definitely not the best place to put an ATM.  We seriously doubt someone actually tried to install an ATM machine in the woods; no real reason you’d need cash while trying to Bag a Deer.  The father and son hunting team from Pennsylvania were surprised to spot a “blue smurf” aka older Triton ATM machine when they ventured out to go deer hunting.

According to sources, this was Aden Reich’s (11 years old) first hunting trip. Aden’s keen eye site (great for hunters) spotted the unknown odd device in the middle of a field while hunting with his dad, John Reich.  At first he told his dad he though there was a giant tomb stone in the field but upon further inspection they recognized it was an ATM.

[svpVideo v=1]

Obviously this ATM was stolen and disposed of in the woods.  If you’re in the ATM business or curious about the ATM Business and want to know the secrets of how to protect your investments the right way. Check out our latest book The Amazing Money Machine on

These people are all lined up at the ATM. We did not expect this to happen!

People Lined up at an ATM

Proper ATM Disposal after EMV upgrade

ATM Disposal or EMV UpgradeIf your ATM is not in compliance with ADA, the new EMV card reader, or you are considering upgrading your ATM you’ll need to dispose of your old one.  Why dumping your ATM in the landfill is not a good idea. Trash disposal has tripled since the 1960’s. In the US alone, we are throwing away over 250,000,000 tons of trash a year and it looks like your local ATM may be adding to the load.

While American banking systems and merchants are required to begin transferring over to a system known as EMV or Europay/MasterCard/Visa, ATM’s can and will contribute to landfills and it doesn’t have to be that way.

EMV is a system that is used all over the developed world, and America is finally getting on board. EMV makes transactions and accessing your money easier and more secure. EMV will do away with the magnetic stripe on the back of your card and will instead use a chip system, which makes it much more difficult to steal your information and create fraudulent cards at the ATM.

Sounds great right? Well, it is great but unfortunately, like all great things, there is a price. Most ATM’s in America are not EMV compliant and as as many as 200,000 may end up in a landfill near you by 2017. Between leaking batteries, non biodegradable plastics and other potentially toxic materials that make up the ATM, this is not an ideal situation and doesn’t make the industry look very good. Also, it is estimated that the EMV conversion is going to cost around $8 billion. That is quite a chunk of change. However, there are a few ways to cut costs, reduce waste and even make use of other materials that would otherwise be headed for the landfill as well.

  • The Trade Off –

Some ATM’s are too old to be upgraded. The good news is, they can sometimes be traded in for a new one, which would cut costs. They might also be able to be traded in for an older but upgraded model or a model with upgrade capabilities. This does not only cut cost but reduces the amount of waste, one less toxic ATM off to the landfill.

  • The Upgrade –

Many older ATM’s do not have the capabilities to be upgraded. There are some manufacturers who have closed their doors and others who refuse to convert to EMV. Unfortunately, we can’t do anything about that. Fortunately, there are still some options that can save time and money. Trading in an ATM that is not capable of EMV conversion, for an upgraded machine can sometimes be cost effective. Getting an upgrade kit for ATM’s that are capable of upgrades is a tremendous money saver and, once again, it keeps those extra ATM’s out of the landfill. Granted, many older ATM’s still in service will need a lot of upgrades including EMV, ADA voice upgrades, PCI compiant keyboards, upgraded security and software updates, etc. Depending on the ATM Model, it’s unlikely that older ATMs in need of a lot of upgrades will be cost effective to get field upgrade kits. In certain instances, some ATM’s will just need to be replaced. Proper disposal of older ATMs should include recycling everything possible to reduce the landfill load.

Unloading the Warehouse

There is another way to cut cost, reduce waste and make use of otherwise useless materials. Most ISO’s or Independent Sales Organization, have warehouses full of old parts. In some cases, your ATM may be able to be salvaged for their parts which can be used to repair some other ATM’s which are EMV capable since many ATMs use similar parts from the same manufacturer. This is a fantastic way to make the most of the materials that the ISO’s already have, cut conversion costs and reduce waste. This not only keeps older ATM’s out of the dump but keeps older, potentially useful parts out of the dump as well

Again, unfortunately, no matter what we do, some of these ATM’s are going to end up in a landfill, but separating out the recycling materials is better. At the end of the day, some ATM’s are just to old to convert or upgrade to EMV no matter what kits are available. That doesn’t mean that we can’t make a pretty big impact both financially and reducing waste. The last thing any ISO or IAD wants is to add tons of toxic trash to landfills across the country.

Maintaining the machines that make it so easy for us to get our hands on our money, any hour, day or night has costs associated. This article gives you an idea of why independent ATM Deployers (IAD’s) charge a fee at the ATM. Hopefully, the next time you get money out of a free standing ATM at 2 o’clock in the morning, you will remember why you are being charged that extra fee and may be helping to keep toxic waste out of our landfills.  If you are interested in becoming an IAD, please contact us anytime.