If you have an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) business, this question will naturally come up somewhere down the road. Is it more cost-efficient to repair your machine rather than buy a new one?
At the outset, especially if your machine is relatively new, you can save more if you spend on ATM parts and labor to fix the unit.
Since Barclays debuted the first ATM in September 1969, the technology has come a long way. Before, only customers of the bank can access the machine. Shared ATM would not happen until around the late 1970s.
The United States has one of the largest ATM footprints in the world. According to the National ATM Council, there are more than 470,000 machines in the US. But what many do not know is that the number of independent ATMs outnumbers the units owned by banks. (278,394 against 191,741).
The Average Cost of a New ATM
The price of buying will depend on the size, capacity, and the brand. A free-standing ATM will cost you around $2,000 to $4,000. But you can buy a second-hand unit, which will cost you between $1,200 and $1,800. It can be a viable option if this is your first time venturing into the business.
Anyway, a second-hand unit does not mean that it will break down easier. With the right maintenance, it can work as good as a new one. However, you need to budget a certain amount per year on ATM parts and labor, in case of damage. For used units, the warranty is no longer applicable, unlike with new ones.
New ATMs typically carry up to two years in warranty covering parts and labor. But you can always budget around $300 per year on maintenance, which is not bad at all.
Repair or Purchase
What are the common parts that usually break down in an ATM?
You will likely spend money on the following:
- The mechanism that dispenses the cash
- The power supply
- The EMV card reader
- The screen display
- Malfunctioning keypads
- The electronic circuit board (ECB)
- The printer
The cost of repair is not that expensive because most of the components mentioned above are classified as minor parts. Perhaps, the ECB is the most complicated part of the process.
The average ATM has a lifespan of around seven years. But this can be pushed past ten years with proper maintenance. Note that newer ATMs are already Internet-ready to address the demands of the time. If this is your first business venture, you can probably do away with the Internet. However, make sure that your machine can read an EMV. It is the new standard for ATM cards nowadays, a feature added by banks for additional security.
The question of repairing your ATM as opposed to buying a new one will depend on some factors. The biggest, of course, is the age of your machine. Again, if the machine is already more than ten years old, you should seriously be thinking of investing in a new one. However, if it is still five years old, merely purchasing ATM parts would be a lot more affordable.