CANTON, Ohio – Diebold Inc, one of the two leading manufacturers of ATMs in the U.S., has announced the production of an ATM that it said should appeal to smaller banks and credit unions. The Opteva 500 has been created with a “small footprint,” according to Diebold, that makes it suitable for smaller spaces and deployments in retail merchant locations. Machines for those deployments have traditionally been the specialty of companies that historically built primarily cash dispensing ATMs, such as Triton. “Consistent with our vision for the Opteva family of self-service solutions, the new Opteva 500 is directly responsive to the specific needs of a key group of our customers,” said Eric C. Evans, CEO of Diebold. “We believe the continued expansion of our Opteva product line will be well-received and will enable our customers to continue to provide the highest level of performance, functionality and service to their ATM users.” Ray Stankunas, Diebold’s director of sales development, admitted that in a market where the locations for new ATMs have been dwindling, the company finds the credit union market attractive. Credit unions are generally considered to have more openings for new ATMs than banks. “We think this would be a perfect machine for a satellite credit union branch or as a machine to service a factory or other member location,” Stankunas said. In addition to its small floor space footprint, Stankunas said the machines have a small service footprint as well, needing little space for service. There may be some drawbacks to the machines, however. First, while Stankunas made a point of saying that the machines have a low cost that would allow them to make money on fewer transactions, he wouldn’t estimate how many transactions that might be. He also said that the machines are likely to be more expensive than a similar sized Triton ATM. In addition, the Opteva 500 doesn’t take deposits, which may be a significant draw back for some credit unions. Its low total cost of ownership makes the Opteva 500 affordable for many off-premises locations, the company explained. The unit’s basic configurations – including the largest cassettes in the industry – and predictive maintenance capabilities provide unprecedented ATM availability, Diebold added. -dmorrison@cutimes.com