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Blog posts tagged with 'Business'

Merchants will continue paying interchange: Fed Appeals court rules

Last week a Federal Appeals court reversed a lower courts decision to completely remove interchange fees or "swipe fees". Swipe fees are what merchants pay out to banks or major networks such as MasterCard & Visa.  The idea behind the fee was to re-imburse banks for issuing debit cards.

Before congress got involved the interchange fee was 44 cents "per swipe." Law makers, along with the National Retail Foundation argued that the fees per transaction were too high, so in 2011 the federal government limited interchange fees to 21 cents on the transaction.

In July of 2013 a United States District Court on behalf of the National Retail Foundation determined the 21 cent fee should be decreased further, arguing that with lower fees comes a lower overall cost of goods for consumers. They requested the fee to be limited to the cost of issuing cards. However, the federal appeals court decided that other costs such as processing and fraud monitoring must be considered.

So it has been decided that with these additional factors, the 21 cent fee will remain. Banks ofcourse applauded the court's decision to keep interchange, stating: "Reasonable minds have prevailed in vacating the disctrict courts ruling to affirm the exisitng rule".

BUT HOW DOES THIS EFFECT THE ATM INDUSTRY?

Chances are the smaller "mom and pop shops" and gas stations accept cards at the counter, asking their customers to select either debit or credit. These vendors are looking to save as much money as possible. So why pay interchange when an ATM doesn't charge the owner at all?  Having an ATM in a location is the ultimate solution to debit interchange fees.

As long as banks charge merchants and retailers, there will always be a need to accept cards for little to no charge. Having an ATM allows customers to withdraw cash at the location, while the business owner has a steady flow of cash coming in. The ATM can benefit your business, as well as your customers business. So spread the word and help out those business owners!

 

Ensuring a Successful Business Venture

Create a business that revolves around the customer.

Satisfying the market is key when developing a business plan for your company. A lot of companies will try to “push” what they are offering without considering a customer’s needs. Terrina Rishel, co-founder of ATM Authority uses the restaurant industry as an example in that, “not even the best location or most beautiful ambiance can be successful if the menu is horrible”.  The fate of most business ventures can typically be determined within the first few minutes of a pitch, depending on how focused the idea is towards customers.

Respecting your Clients

Ignoring good feedback can lead to bad trends in your company.  It’s immediately evident that you expect your clients and customers to change their ideas towards your company.  Adapting to your surroundings shows how much you care about your clientele. Leave room for accommodation, if a customer is looking for something to be done that is out of the norm, be ready to satisfy that order, this will also set you apart from the competition.

Avoid consistency in the industry

The first thing new up and comers within any industry tend to do is look at the competition and begin the processes by imitating what has already been done. Now if the industry seems to difficult to break into, it can be a sign of an overcrowded market, in which case “you may want to reconsider the venture”, says Rishel. However, if you are educated enough within the industry, you may be able to find holes that others haven’t yet considered to fill.  Rishel advises: “differentiate yourself by doing due diligence and starting with what is not working, instead of what is working”.

Over indulge in knowledge

Be an expert! The difference in knowing the answer of a question will instill confidence as opposed to having an idea or knowing the bare minimum to get by. If your company is providing a service, be prepared to answer any and all questions your customers may have. Knowing more than what is expected of you shows that you care enough about your customers to really dig deeper on any issue. “Being viewed as an expert and staying top-of-mind with your market is the fastest way to ensure that you are included when a proposal is needed”. – Rishel

Always ensure mutual benefits.

Companies will constantly try selling the “win-win” relationship that is promised  to nearly any new business venture.  Be completely honest and hold yourself to a moral compass that sets you apart from the competition. Putting yourself in your customer's shoes and realizing that it may not benefit them down the road shows a different level of respect.  Consideration in declining a proposal that doesn’t pay off for both parties will show your commitment to your principles and could lead to referrals by customers that look for honesty.

“It’s simple really: Find a customer to make happy – and do it!” - Rishel

The perfect business for the "Starving Student".

People often ask what the benefit of getting into the ATM business is.  It’s simple. Residual income.  

One of the many struggles as a college student isn’t the assignments, tests or stressful group projects, but finances.  Students constantly hope that they can do away with the stresses of being broke. As a graduate of Cal State Los Angeles I looked forward to the beginning of the quarter for one reason, financial aid. The excess cash that I had after tuition was paid ranged anywhere between $1,500-$2,000, which typically went straight to bills.  However if there is one business I would recommend any college student to get into for the purposes of making extra cash each month, it would be the ATM business.  Using the excess cash from financial aid or even some extra cash you have laying around would be enough to get started, and here's why…

Low Start Up costs.

Most common ATM locations are mom and pop shops and gas stations; locations that don’t require a machine to hold a large sum of cash. You’re first new ATM will start at around $1,700. At that point you just need to have enough expendable cash to load your ATM with. ATM cash dispensers or CDUs located in the safe can hold anywhere from $500 to $2,000.  So all in all being ready to operate your first ATM will run about $2,500.


Locations are easy to come by.

The general consensus in the ATM business is that locations for are being taken up left and right. That is something I refer to as a “fallacy”. There are always business looking to make more money and we at ATMTrader.com are constantly taking new orders on machines for new deals from our partners. And these locations are places that college students visit constantly: gas stations, bars, night clubs, mom and pop shops, liquor stores.  It can be as easy as bringing up the idea to your regular “go to” spot or to a place that is familiar with you.

No Employees needed

You are your own boss!! In this business all you really need to keep up with is loading and maintaining your machine, which really only requires a wipe down of your sensors and belts.  Monitoring your machine so it doesn’t run completely out of cash, and watch that residual dollar amount grow. There is no clocking in and it is a business that can work around your everyday schedule.

Cash is always in demand.

Providing a service that people will always need is a sure way to get your residuals flowing to a point that you will always have cash coming in.  Not every location accepts cards because of credit card fees. You can help local businesses bypass those charges with an ATM that is at no cost to them, and you need not worry about extra fees.

-ATMTrader

Ensuring Security for your ATM Business

Some of the biggest issues with ATMs are security.  Though the migration to EMV has begun, the Unites States is still heavily dependant on mag-stripe cards.  Though it is true that counterfeit-fraud hasn’t been limited to ATMs, it still accounts for $1 Billion of the $8.6 Billion lost each year.  These attacks have included card-counterfeit fraud and FI hacking and component manipulation. The best way to protect yourself and your company? Keep your machines up to date.

Software/Hardware

There was a time when our products were built to last. Cars were made of an indestructible material known as metal, and now it seems that more and more people purchase products consciously knowing they plan on replacing them within two years. Electronic companies have been notorious for creating products that require replacement in order to keep up with demands since 2007.  Their purpose? Entertainment.

However, the ATM industry has a different purpose and that is security in convenience.  Updates to ATMs serve both the ATM owner and customer. Much like constantly updating your computer’s anti-virus software, it is essential to keep your ATM up to date for security reasons. The longer your PC based ATM holds any specific version of software, the more susceptible it is to hacking.

Your hardware isn’t as updated as software, but it is important to remember how critical it is to keep your ATM physically secure. Hardware updates and even general upkeep can make the difference between a secure machine and a machine at risk.  High-security pick resistant locks can be customized for your machine and can work in conjunction with third party-security and alarm devices.  Remember, you can never put a cost limit on the protection of your investment.

Passwords

Remote ATM monitoring sites, bank and shopping sites are all targets that hackers can exploit. Keep your passwords unique, anything related to your settlement account can have a massive impact on your daily business. Email is often disregarded, but should be highly protected. If a hacker controls your email, they have access to user names and passwords, contacts, critical data and ultimately your life.

Use remote key entry

If the option is available, you may be able to remotely enter keys from a remote site, removing the human error factor as well as any shoulder surfing attempts to uncover data while entering keys in manually at a terminal.

Ensure you are Partnered with a Well-Trusted Provider

Updates are inevitable, if your ATM Provider has a plan and will push to ensure your business is safe, then your relationship is a solid one.

-ATMTrader