LONG BEACH, Miss. – Offering ATM users an ever greater array of possible services from their ATMs has been a persistent trend in the industry, despite the relatively scant evidence that consumers necessarily want anything more than basic services from the automated tellers. One of the obstacles to deploying machines that offer more services has been the cost of the machines with the additional options. Industry sources familiar with ATM purchases have likened the process to buying a car; the basic models can often be obtained at an almost flat rate, the expenses arrive with the different options the buyer wants. The higher prices attached to offering other services have meant that ATM deployers had to have a good deal of confidence that ATM users at a given location will use the additional services enough to justify the expense. But Triton, an ATM manufacturer based in Long Beach, Mississippi, has taken a different approach. In the coming months deployers of its nearly 83,000 ATMs will be able to upgrade their machines to recharge users’ phone cards, make wire transfers and cash checks for as little as $50, according Anita Nobles Arguelles, marketing manager for the firm which is a subsidiary of the Dover Corporation. “We have different arrangements of packages and there will likely be a site visit to upgrade the machine,” Arguelles said, “but the basic cost will be about $50. We wanted to make it very easy to upgrade the machines, to get the upgrades as quickly as possible on thousands of machines,” she said. The key to Triton’s approach has been to partner with service providers such as Western Union, a subsidiary of Denver-based First Data Corp., for wire transfer services, Euronet, a leading provider of pre-paid phone cards and Cashworks, a leading automated check casher for the upgrade. This serves to both cut the cost for the upgrade to the deployer and to heighten traffic to the deployer’s ATM, Arguelles explained. Deployers can expect an increase of between 30% to 50% in revenue from their upgraded machines, Triton reported. “Initial deployer reaction has been very favorable toward the upgrade package, which promises to increase their number of transaction fees with little to no additional cost,” said Brian Kett, executive vice president with the firm. Because Triton sells primarily to third party resellers, the firm could not say precisely how many financial institutions deploy its machines, although it acknowledged that the machines have been more popular among merchants. “But that is changing and we are seeing a steady increase in our deployment to financial institutions, including credit unions,” Arguelles said. [email protected]

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