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Blog posts tagged with 'Financial Industry'

EMV in the US

As we ponder this question, consider the most recent ATM theft in which organized thieves drained more than $45 million dollars from ATMs worldwide in mere hours. By accessing bank databases, cyber-thieves were able to eliminate maximum withdrawal limits on individual accounts, load customer data onto any plastic card with a magnetic stripe (a hotel room key would suffice) and use them to withdraw millions of dollars in cities around the world. Such a scheme isn’t that difficult to accomplish with the magnetic stripe technology we use today.      

The good news is that EMV is coming soon to an ATM near you. But “soon”
 is a subjective term. Most industry experts agree the primary driver for EMV migration in the U.S. will come from issuers, as they’re the ones tasked with replacing more than a billion mag-stripe credit and debit cards. This won’t be a singular event – but rather an ongoing process, where expired cards will be gradually replaced with EMV chip card technology. The shift will be subtle, and the card-holder may not even be aware of the change.


Before issuers can start providing customers with EMV smart-cards, they need a plan for accepting them at terminals. The first step towards accepting EMV smart-cards at the ATM is typically an assignment of liability:

• MasterCard is the first in the U.S. to publicly declare that if fraud occurs on a transaction initiated through an EMV card on a MasterCard, Cirrus or Maestro network, then the ATM owner will be liable for that fraud if the ATM was not properly equipped to support EMV technology. Visa has also announced dates for liability shifts, and other issuers in the U.S. will soon follow suit.

• In Canada, Visa was first to shift the liability to ATM owners. Within two years, all cards from Interact members (Royal Bank of Canada, CIBC, Scotiabank, Toronto-Dominion Bank, and the Desjardins Group of Credit Unions) featured EMV chip-cards.

While the October 2016 deadline for compliance in the U.S. moves closer, the message is clear: It’s time to get ready for EMV. This shift, which can take up to a year to complete, involves hardware, software and professional services to ensure compatibility on the back end.



9 Steps to Starting your ATM Business


The first question people typically ask is usually regarding the start up cost for their ATM business.  The first thing to consider when jumping into any business venture is the start up cost but, let me reassure you, this one is very minimal.  The great thing about running your own ATM business is that you are your own boss and it is completely up to you whether  to hire someone or not, but to start up you are a one man or woman show.  Your main running cost will be transportation - driving to and eventually between your machines at various locations. However, because it is a business that you are running, you can rest assure that your taxes will benefit from your expenses.  As for purchasing your first ATM, a base model will cost as little as $1,700 for a brand new terminal, this will of course be based on your preference and the research you put into your first terminal. Different machines with more capabilities and larger cash boxes will cost more, however the payout will be a larger time frame in between loads and regular maintenance which means less gas. Another cost is your revolving cash. It's not actually going to be "spent", but this is the cash that will use to load your ATM during each visit.  Most people load their machines with $1,000 - $2,000, but a machine can be loaded with as little as $500.  The average ATM can last you up to 10 years if you conduct preventative maintenance regularly, and it wouldn’t hurt to have it serviced by a certified technician once a year. If you focus all of your residuals towards your new machine, you can realistically pay off your brand new ATM within six to eight months! Once your machine is paid off you can start raising money on another machine, or enjoy your residuals.  Either way you will have the flexibility of expanding your business at your pace, with no hassle!


Your next  and most important step when getting into the ATM business is finding your location. Many people ask, do I have to own the business to place an ATM machine there? You do not! All you have to do is approach the business owner and see if they’re interested in having an ATM placed inside their location. Some reasons why a business owner would like a machine in their business: to lower their credit card costs, so they will see more cash being spent, as well as to attract customers into their business just by having an ATM on premises. They have no responsibly of the ATM, yet get to reap all of the benefits! With credit card costs being so high, most business owners would rather see cash being spent. By having an ATM on the premises they will allow their customers to have the option of using cash and ultimately reduce the
chances of having to take the charges that come with plastic! Therefore, they will see lower credit card costs and more cash spending!

What type of locations will do well? There’s no specific location that will do well, rather the foot traffic is the main statistic to look for when trying to find a location. Anywhere from 4-6% of people walking through the door each day will use the machine. Therefore, (for the purpose of understanding math) if there are 100 people walking through the door, that machine will get 5 uses a day. You want to find a business that averages 200+ people a day. If the business sees 200 people a day, you’re looking at about 10 uses a day (300 a month) and if you’re charging the national average surcharge amount of $2.66, that’s a $798 profit each month!


When placing an ATM machine in a business, owners will more then likely ask for a portion of the surcharge, don't let this surprise you! Just think of it as rent. Being that the business owner sees all the benefits of having the machine present (more cash being spent, lower credit card costs, increased cash spending, etc.) you have some room to negotiate to ensure you get the best possible rate. Some business owners simply want the machine there, and don’t want any of the commission. At ATMTrader we suggest you pay based on a sliding scale. For example: for 0-200 transactions, pay .25 cents per. For 201-400 transactions, pay.45 cents,  401-700 transactions .50 cents. For 701 and above, pay .75 cents. This way, you’re making a good amount of money regardless of how many transactions the ATM does.


All ATM machines must be connected to the processing server. There are a few options as far as connection goes. Most businesses have internet readily available, tapping into this source can save you monthly fees most get from phone companies. You would need an Ethernet jack located within 6 ft of the ATM or an open port on the modem with the cable run to where the machine is going to be placed. Another more basic option is a phone line where you would have the jack within 3-6 feet the machine's placement. If a phone line or internet connection isn’t available, you can purchase a wireless router that creates its own cellular-like signal or wireless internet, much like ATMTrader's 8100IP or 8110+. All three options function similarly. The phone line or internet line must be run PRIOR to the installation as the ATM technicians do not run lines, but typically most locations will have this set up already, though it is something to bring up prior to installing your terminal.


Once you have your location and are ready to purchase your machine, there is some paperwork that has to be filled out. What you’ll need to do to make sure your ducks are int a row provide ais a copy of a voided check for the account you want the cash to be recycled into. Once all your paperwork is filled out, you’ll then be in the processing network and can own as many machines as you’d like! Once you have your location, just give us a call and we can get you over all the required paperwork with instructions on how to complete it!


Once you have completed steps 1-5, you’re ready to purchase your first ATM. Once you start building your franchise however, you can go as far as purchasing multiple machines at once (usually at a discounted rate) and store them for your new locations. There are multiple machine options with varying aesthetics. We suggest you pick the machine that will best fit in with the business of palcement. We offer both stand alone ATM machines, as well as thru the wall ATMs. Thru the wall machines are significantly more expensive, and are only suggested when it’s a very high volume location for walking traffic. 99% of the time, a standalone machine is what is suggested. We carry all the major manufacturers of machines, and can help suggest a good fit for any business. We do suggest that you stay with the same manufacturer for all your locations if possible, as it will make things easier for you in terms of programming and simply for the sake of recognition! You can look through all the different ATM options on, or you can give us a call for a direct e-mail of all the brochures and pricing on machines.


The ATM will be shipped directly to the location of where the machine will be operating. A service technician will program, install, and train you on how to work your new ATM. However, if you are near our office in Glendora, California we also welcome you to come in for a training session, or we can train over the phone, otherwise we will provide you with this technician. The pricing ranges from $349-450 depending on the location of the business and type of ATM. The technician will program the ATM with what you’d like displayed on the screen and receipt. He will also set your surcharge amount you've selected. The installation and training should take 1-3 hours. The technician will show you how to operate your machine, as well as how to stock it with cash and receipt paper.


Many people want to know how much to stock the machine with, and there is no correct answer to this question. Most machines hold between $16,000-$20,000 in 20s. However, most people don’t put nearly this much into the machine. We usually suggest a minimum of $1,000 in the machine. But remember the more money you put in the machine, the less you have to go back to replenish it. At this point your revolving cash will start to take it’s course. Once the cash is withdrawn from youre machine it's automatically wired right back into the bank account you set up with our company. If it’s taken out before 1PM PST, it will post tomorrow morning, after 1PM PST it’s the following day so that cash is always recycling through. But remember, the smaller amount you stock the machine with, the more often you’ll have to take that cash back out of your bank account and restock the machine. We do set you up with a website where you can monitor the machine, so you can track how much cash is left in the machine which will ensure that you never let you machine run out of cash.


Next comes the easy part! Once your ATM is operational you can sit back and relax, and monitor your machine from home utilizing our easy to use ATM monitoring system, ATM Portal. Here you can manage your loads, monitor transactions and residual income trends as well as set alarms in case your ATM runs low on cash. And when your machine gets low, simply re-stock it with cash. You can also monitor your surcharge from our ATM Portal website so you know how much you are making off of your machine! Your next step? Keep your eye out for a new location, so you can build your business up even more!




Over the last year I’ve been getting g a lot of questions regarding EMV. What it is, why there's a need to upgrade again, who should absorb the cost of the EMV upgrades and why are there so many fires in California?  The answer is of course,  security and the Santa Anita winds. 

EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) is an international standard on integrated circuit cards or “chip” cards as well as point of sale (POS) and automated teller machines for authorizing electronically transferred funds (EFT). 

Must I Upgrade?

The hard pill to swallow, never mind the fact that we’re still in the wake of ADA, is knowing that there is no choice in the matter when it comes to the EMV migration. Facing the liability shift consequences is the alternative to not complying with EMV, but no ISO or merchant wants to take on the responsibilities that financial institutions are currently fulfilling.  In the last eight years the ATM industry has gone through Triple-DES upgrades, ADA upgrades and now EMV.  But like most companies in the tech industry, upgrades are required to maintain both resiliency and government compliancy. 

The Myth Exists

Canada went through it's EMV transition the first of this year. There was an ISO that had not upgraded a handful of his machines by the January 1st deadline. Once it became common knowldedge the at his machines were not EMV ready a bulls-eye was placed directly over his locations. A group of compromised mag-striped cards were atttained and used on 4 of his machines to withdrawal the equivalent of $90,000. Since the liability had already gone into affect the card issuers were no longer liable for the lost funds, so who paid the $90,000? The ISO who didn't see it worth upgrading his ATMs. IT'S NOT WORTH THE RISK!!

Magnetic Stripe vs. Chip Technology

Currently all cards in the U.S. store data on a magnetic stripe located on the back of every debit, credit and pre-paid cards, a technology that can be routed to the 1960s.  Now with EMV, smart-card technology will feature a chip on the front of the card that stores encrypted data to protect against any form of duplication and fraudulent activity. This type of technology will also allow for more contactless “tap n’ go” transactions to follow in later years. 

Measurable result driven upgrade = 80% fraud decline

The overall goal of EMV is to reduce the risk of counterfeiting and fraudulent activity while standardizing payment activity throughout the globe.  In a study done by the Aite Group, they estimated that 8.6 billion is lost to fraud in the U.S. each year, while the U.S. secret service found that more than $1 billion was directly related to ATMs.  Europe has recorded an unprecedented decline in ATM related fraudulent activities mostly attributed to this upgrade.

In regions throughout the world that have adopted EMV, ATM fraud has dropped dramatically, as much as 80%.  The facts are solid, EMV is much more secure than the current magnetic strip and the necessity of EMV is imperative to protect people from fraud, and the United States is next in line to suit up and join the international players.

Some EMV benefits

To name a few: A massive reduction in card fraud, ability to use cards anywhere in the world and it takes the industry one stop closer to contactless and mobile payment solutions.

By the end of 2010 close to 1.25 billion EMV “chip and pin” cards were in use worldwide playing a huge part in Europe where half way through 2006 a 62 Million Euros loss was reported due to ATM fraudulent activities, then to 23 Million Euros at the end of 2010, a reduction of 63% in just 4 years! 

Yes there are some costs that come with upgrading your terminal, but remember we are in the financial industry, and we deal with customers accounts and livelyhood. So government regulations are coming much more frequent to protect the masses.  We are here to provide a service at a standard that we would expect from our providers.