It’s a pretty serious business punching a hole in the front of your shop to house an ATM that spits money out to passers-by. In theory, some of them will spend some of it with you.
It had been a nice little earner for Tasnim Aslam for quite some time, at her Right Price store in South Shields town centre.
Her 24-hour hole-in-the-wall, Cashpoint-branded ATM, which is serviced by Bank Machine, was installed six years ago. She signed a seven-year contract.
Initially, the transaction charges for customers were £1.65, but have since moved up to £1.90. She gets a 25p transaction fee (which she had to fight for after the fee went up). On the plus side, she has never had a problem with the machine and the customers put up with the fees although, obviously, they didn’t like it very much (who wants to pay to get at their own money?).
Now Note Machine has installed a free-to-use machine in a store opposite her. Her transactions have plummeted. She was previously earning £800-£900 per quarter, but at the moment she’s lost two-thirds of her transactions in just six weeks.
She asked Bank Machine what could be done and they said they would monitor it and if she wanted to renew her contract they could make it free to use (but with no commission), or take it out.
Tasnim says hers is the better side of the road for a hole-in-the-wall as she has a school nearby, two bus stops and council offices.
Before she decides what to do next, she wants to know if any retailers have come across ATM providers with free-to-use machines which also pay a bit of commission. (Note Machine opposite does, but takes, rather admirably, an exclusivity approach, so she can’t have one of theirs.)