Do ATMs Have GPS?
Do ATMs have GPS? Should yours?
Thieves go where the money is. Unfortunately, that puts a target on your ATM machines. However, there are many ways to mitigate your vulnerability and loss. As criminals get more creative and more bold, more precautions are taken and security measures implemented. So which are right for you?
No ATM business looks the same. Some independent ATM deployers (IADs) operate one machine, others have entire fleets. Some machines are busier and more profitable than others. And machines are in a variety of locations with a variety of potential threats.
So when deciding which security measures are right for you, there are a number of factors to consider. Location, placement, ATM type, and budget are a few.
If you want to know do ATMs have GPS, the answer is yes. Do all ATMs? No. GPS tracking is an added feature that ATM operators can spring for just like any other security feature or add-on.
In this article, we’ll explain what GPS tracking looks like and list some other security options you might want to consider.
How Does GPS Tracking Work?
GPS tracking works just like you’d expect. The tracking device is mounted to the machine and location data allows the machine to be recovered in the event of a theft. However, there are a few other ways this can work:
In addition to informing ATM owners and law enforcement of a machine’s location, some GPS systems will also trigger a silent alarm if the machine is jostled or tilted. They can also send emails and other real-time notifications. This allows ATM owners to act quicker, retrieve their property sooner, and prevent further damage or theft.
Geofencing is another security feature that creates an electrical “fence” around a specified perimeter. Then, the owner is notified if an ATM machine breaches this electrical barrier without authorization.
Cassette trackers are also an option. Thieves might be able to break into an ATM machine and access the cash cassettes without removing the machine itself. Then, an ATM tracker would be useless, but the cassette tracker can help locate the criminals who take off with them.
Do I Need a GPS Tracker?
GPS tracking helps deter crime, recuperate property and cash, and apprehend offenders. The longer property goes unrecovered, the less likely it is to be discovered. That’s why it’s important to act fast. Knowing when a crime is taking place gives you a head start.
Thieves who take off with entire ATM machines could be tracked and arrested before they are even able to break into the vault. This quick action could prevent you from losing hundreds of dollars of cash.
The benefits of GPS tracking are clear. But there are many other factors you should consider.
GPS tracking systems can be expensive. In many cases, ATM owners not only purchase the GPS tracking gadgets, but the companies that sell them also provide human support in the event of a theft, and that service costs money as well.
For this reason, it’s more common for bank ATMs to have GPS trackers. They have more money to spend on security systems, and they can justify the cost a little easier than an IAD.
Bank ATMs are bigger targets because the higher cash levels equal a bigger reward for thieves, and they are always stocked. Independently owned ATM machines have lower cash stores and are emptied at closing (or at least should be) to prevent after hours ATM robbery.
If you are still wondering if you should invest in GPS tracking, consider the location of your ATMs. Are they in high-crime, large, metropolitan areas? These are the areas where ATM crimes are the highest. If your ATMs aren’t in a large city, you might not need such advanced security.
Are your ATM machines indoors or outdoors? Outdoor and other 24/7 ATM machines have a greater risk of theft because they are vulnerable during high-risk hours—between midnight and 4am. Indoor ATM machines also have other safeguards and obstacles like doors, walls, furniture, and alarms.
Consider what security measures are already in place where your machine is located and in surrounding areas. GPS tracking only helps you during or after a crime. So your first line of defense is precautions to deter criminals and prevent crime.
Other Security Measures
There are many security measures you can take to protect your ATM machine and prevent the need for GPS tracking. You want to make sure you have eyes on your machine as often as possible. Make good decisions about who has access to the machine. And make it difficult for criminals to access; you don’t want your machine to be an easy target….
First of all, place your machine strategically. Try to place it away from doors and windows that could be points of ingress after hours. If that’s not possible, make sure it’s in view of security cameras at your location or of cameras nearby.
Barriers and Obstacles
Create physical barriers and obstacles for criminals (while leaving a clear path for customers). Keep the front free for customers, but try to protect the sides with walls or other furniture. This will make the machine more difficult to get to, especially for hackers who might try to launch a logical attack via the electronics. We also recommend bolting your machine into the floor.
Keeping your software updated also helps protect you from logical attacks. Outdated software is easier to hack and manipulate. If a criminal has to be with your machine for more than a couple of minutes, he or she will likely just move on.
Strategic Vaulting Procedures
Be strategic with your vaulting procedures, too. Keep an irregular schedule that makes robberies hard to predict and plan. Limit the number of people who have access to the machine (theft can come from within your business as well). And empty the vault after hours, like a cash register, and keep the door open to deter money-grabbers.
Pre Existing Security
The building where your machine is located might already have a number of security features in place, too. If the building itself is protected, your machine is less vulnerable. Consider security cameras, alarm systems, barred windows, etc.
Remote Online Monitoring
If you work with an ATM company like ATM Depot, you have access to remote online ATM monitoring. This allows you to have “eyes” on your machine at all times. Once you are familiar with what a regular day looks like for your ATM machine, you will be able to spot suspicious activity (too many withdrawals in proximity, too large of withdrawals).
You might even have a camera on your machine so that you can literally monitor your ATM activity remotely. Advertise that the machine is under surveillance (Smile! You’re on camera!) to deter criminals as well.
And of course, for peace of mind, consider investing in ATM insurance. That way, in the worst case scenario, you are covered.
Why Do ATMs Have GPS?
Some ATM machines now have GPS trackers installed. This allows the owner to alert authorities immediately in the event of a theft. And subsequently, it allows the authorities to recover the property and make an arrest.
Therefore, ATM machines that have a higher chance of being stolen or broken into benefit from being able to locate the property and cash. In some cases, property may be recovered even before the criminals break into the vault.
GPS tracking systems can protect your ATM machines. But so can bolts, cameras, alarms, and physical obstacles. Choose the security features that make sense for your business and fit your budget. Coordinate with the location owner to create strategies that protect the entire store. And most importantly, don’t be an easy target!
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