To ATM or Not: Things for Retailers to Consider

With more than half of ATMs now being located in stores and other nonbank sites, retailers are increasingly grasping the financial and customer service benefits of having an ATM onsite.

ATM Inside 

Globally, the share of ATMs located away from banks and their branches is now more than 50 percent, according to London-based research consultancy RBR. The firm asserts that banks, especially in developed markets, are turning to off-site ATMs as a more cost-efficient customer service channel and retailers are growing more receptive to the fact that ATMs serve their customers’ desire for on-demand and convenient access to cash. 

An ATM in a store or business proves beneficial on several fronts besides simply underscoring that cash continues to be a top payment method. That helps explain why, in 2016, nearly two-in-five small businesses – defined as those with $500,000-$5 million in revenue – had at least one ATM, according to the Mercator 2016 Small Business Payments and Banking Survey.

What can an in-store ATM do for retailers?

  • Boost sales. ATM users spend more in stores.  A 2017 study Cardtronics conducted with Scansion concluded that 80 percent of consumers use some of the cash they dispensed from an ATM to buy goods in those stores. Other data from the Scansion study showed that when an ATM is present, shopper spending triples in convenience stores and doubles in drug stores.
  • Generate a new revenue stream. In 2016, ATMs generated an average $860 a month – more than $10,320 annually – at convenience store firms of 11-50 locations, according to a survey by the National Association of Convenience Stores. The same survey revealed that convenience store firms considered best at executing in-store offers and attracting foot traffic garnered monthly ATM revenue of $982, or $11,784. Many retailers also arrange items in eye-catching displays near their machine, which generates sales. 
  • Lift store trafficATMs are a key driver of consumer traffic and help build store loyalty. A Populus survey of British consumers for Cardtronics found that 82 percent of ATM users planned their visit to a store around the presence of a cash access point. Additionally, 52 percent of respondents said they used the ATM in their favorite shop at least once a week. Foot traffic also increases if an in-store ATM is well advertised.
  • Enhance customer service and satisfaction.  An ATM makes customers’ lives easier. A handy ATM makes it convenient for customers to use cash to buy goods and services. For convenience stores especially, customers use cash from the ATM to purchase small value items, such as snacks, and other impulse items. In a broader sense, an ATM attracts and retains customers. The Scansion study concluded that, “Customers who like to pay in cash use their withdrawn cash to make purchases in stores, both in the same visit and in later visits as well. This indicates…that an ATM is influential in cultivating regular customers.” 

In addition, bringing greater convenience to the in-store shopping experience – such as providing access to cash – helps brick-and-mortar retailers compete more effectively with Amazon (which now accepts cash, by the way) and the rest of the digital marketplace.  

For more information on how Cardtronics aids retailers in providing customers that access to cash, click here.


Tom Pierce
Chief Marketing Officer

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