Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of using ATM payment systems?
No one touches the cash but the armored car service and the customer; offers a lot of advantages for multi-yard companies. Safety for employees and customers is number one. Security is number two, the ability to assist in fraud prevention (check and internal) as well as the risk of robbery. The other benefits include process flow enhancements, central cash management, head count and peace of mind. Each benefit by itself has been the deciding factor in past purchases.
Who will maintain (repairs and maintenance) the machine after we purchase it? Again, how will we know that they are a reputable company? How far will they be coming from and how long would it take them to get here? What will their total response time be? What kind of a warranty will we get on a machine that we purchase and what will be covered under that warranty?
NCR ATMs come with a 90 day warranty that will cover both parts and labor. There are several options when it comes to service. You could even opt to have NCR service the equipment. Response time is something that can actually be written into the contract. For example, NCR has guaranteed two or four options that can be written into their agreement. There are two levels of service that you will need to have in place. First line maintenance will include any cash or paper jams and second line service will include hardware repair and replacement as well as second level diagnostics.
What are the installation needs in terms of securing it to the ground, electricity and phone wiring, indoor/outdoor installation, and so on?
The ATM is normally anchored to the floor on each side of the unit. A dedicated 15 amp circuit for power and a Cat5e connection to the facilities data network. An indoor lobby ATM installation requires anchoring the ATM to the lobby floor and supplying the necessary wiring. Installation and placement of a through the wall exterior ATM necessitates the need for a hole to be cut into a wall. Once the hole has been cut, the machine can be moved into place and anchored to the ground in the same fashion as the indoor lobby ATM. Although the face of the ATM may be exposed to an outdoor environment the machine is actually behind the wall in a controlled environment. It is also recommended to wire up the alarm features found in the ATM. This would include alarm triggers such as vibration, heat and door switches. Your security company should also monitor prolonged power outages. Many customers who use the exterior model have the ATM in its own room and will have a separate alarm panel just for that space.
I have read about money being filled at our location or at the vault and then the trays are replaced. What way would this be done? I am not sure if this makes any difference to us other than how long the person filling the machine would be here. Correct? What time of the day does the machines typically get re-filled?
There are two ways that the delivery companies load cash. One is to load the money into the cassettes when they arrive on site or some companies may ask you to purchase an additional set of cassettes that are loaded at the vault and they simply swap them out with the existing ones. This is really a request or requirement that a particular service provider may have. Yes, the second option makes the actual delivery quicker. Usually you will just have a particular day of the week that the delivery takes place. For security reasons a lot of the delivery companies won’t give you an exact time but just a window of delivery. You may be able to set up a specific time with your service company but that would really have to be determined by that company and branch.
In what ways have ATM capabilities for scrapyards advanced over the past few years? How, specifically, has your company updated and improved your ATM offerings to meet the ever-changing needs of the scrap and recycling industry?
Reliability and ease of use has been the biggest change. Peddlers want cash, so the actual process has not changed much. Before 2008 our solution was based on refurbished NCR ATMs using cards that the ATM retained for each payment. TranAct is now an NCR authorized dealer and with NCR’s help we created a new solution specifically for the scrap metal industry. With bar code receipts we eliminated card issues and by adding a redundant dispenser we cut most of our system down service calls. Voice and video instructions at the ATM has also played a part in enhancing the customer experience.
From whom will we purchase the ATM machine and will they install it? How do we know that they are a reputable company that we are buying from?
The ATM machine can be purchased directly from TranAct and we are an NCR partner. Prior to shipping the ATM, we load all necessary software into the ATM and test for functionality. Upon arrival, you will need an installer or rigging company to set the machine into place. We can provide you with all the necessary installation instructions and service requirements.
In terms of scrap yard theft, how have you addressed the laws and regulations that scrapyards must abide by in terms of payments?
A good example would be “Payment Time Regulations”, holding a payment for three days is configurable in EZcash and doesn’t require any system changes. The example of “you can’t buy copper for cash” would be handled in the Scale System. Procedures and changes are required in many Scale Systems as legislation changes. The use of JPEGger to capture images is often used for scrap theft issues.
What prevents errors from happening when the bar code is read? As an example, can a transaction that is supposed to be $40. be read by the machine as $400. I just want to know if errors ever take place when the bar code is read and what safeguards are in place to prevent that.
We use encryption to verify the barcode data being sent from the ATM and check it against the EZcash database. Any unauthorized barcodes (such as one on a box) would be kicked back is invalid.
Are there any transaction fees involved if we purchase versus lease the machine by the company that services it?
Typically we sell the machines out right. However, there are finance companies that would be willing to lease the machine to you. As far as transaction fees go, the ATM is yours and the transactions occur on your own private network and there are no fees to complete a transaction
If someone else services the machine, who is responsible for ensuring that things are balanced every time the machine is emptied?
This is normal procedure for the cash delivery companies. They will load the new cash order and deposit any unused cash from the previous cycle back into your account. They will also provide you with a balance sheet once the returned funds have been counted and verified.
I have read about “ATM ready” cash. How do we deal with that?
When you order cash, you would request that it be “ATM ready”. When preparing the cash, the vault will remove any cash that it deems unfit for an ATM.
Who will service the machine? What all does this involve besides opening the machine up and refilling it? What is used to tie out the money put into the machine less all of the transactions for a period to make sure the money left in the machine is what should be there?
Cash delivery will be handled by a courier service. Some of these companies also provide first and second line maintenance. In most cases the delivery company will at least provide first line support. As far as cash deliveries go, they will need to swap the cash and insert the new cash totals into the system. Actual maintenance would be performed by the first and second line personnel. Upon cash delivery the service provider will start a new “balance cycle” and input the cash figures into the system. On the next delivery they will start another new “balance cycle”, therefore ending the prior one. EZcash will provide you with the “balance cycles” start count, dispensed count, and remaining balance (amount returned to the bank). These figures can also be verified by detailed transaction reports as well as purchase reports from within your yard management software.
If we use someone to service the machine, who’s money will be in the machine? Does the cost of servicing increase depending on how often it is serviced (filled) and how much money is put into the machine on a regular basis?
The cash will be provided by you. Yes, the cash services usually charge by drop. This cost can change based on geographic area, frequency and provider. Typically you would want to keep a little over a week worth of cash in the machine. This figure can be determined by your current payouts.
What are the parameters of ATM cash payouts? (i.e., how large or how small can they be?) Can recyclers pay exact amounts, or must payments be rounded to a whole dollar, or larger increments?
Most customers round up and down to the nearest dollar but coin is an option and mandatory in Canada and California. The ATM can pay exact amounts down to the penny or round to whatever increment is needed. Dispense limits are handled by EZcash and rules can be used to handle large payouts that may require multiple bundles of cash. Customers can easily set the maximum transaction value through the EZcash interface although it is most often managed by the Scale System.
Will we have a cutoff where we say we will issue a check for anything over a certain amount and how will that work within the software? How will we be able to let the system know that we want an ATM card versus a check and what will the procedure be once that decision has been determined not only within the software but as far as the person at the door and the persons in the office?
There are definable rules within EZcash that will allow you to set certain parameters such as maximum dispense limit. Also, you should be able to set limits within your yard management software. There will be an ATM button on the your yard management software payment screen. When this button is clicked the payment information is passed to EZcash and a barcode is returned to your yard management software. The scale operator or cashier would then click the Receiver button to print the receipt with the barcode.
What type of security issues do we have to contend with? I assume this will depend on where we actually install the machine but what is the norm? Describe in detail what procedures can be implemented to maximize security and how would ADT Security Services come into play with the ATM machine? Are there signs on the machine to let people know that the office does not have access to the money in the machines or something to that effect?
If you choose to use a cash delivery service the only thing you will have to contend with is the physical security of the ATM. In most cases the ATM is installed in its own room. This would allow you to lock and alarm the ATM separate from your main security system. Some customers also add a camera to their security system that is inside the ATM room. Also the ATM itself has some alarm capabilities. The ATM comes with a harness that can be tied into a security panel and includes functionality such as: door triggers, vibration and heat sensors. Your ADT installer would be able to have the system go off if any of these triggers occur. A custom decal or sign could be added on or next to the ATM with that message.
Are there any fraud prevention devices built into the machine?
The ATM uses sensors to prevent any over dispensing. Each bill that passes through the machine is measured for thickness and length. If any bill does not fit this measurement it is placed into a divert cassette. This prevents any notes that could possibly be stuck together from dispensing
How will it work at the window? Will the guys on the computer receiving the metal be giving a card with the transaction amount on the card to the customer? Will it be recorded in the books like a check would and the girls will not be involved in the transactions at the window at all?
This is a matter of preference, you could create the payment at the scale if you wish or have the customers go to the cashier window for their receipt. I believe the ATM payments will be accounted for separately in your yard management software, same as cash and checks are separate.
What yard management software will we need to have our ATM machine work with the scales and books, etc.? How exactly will it work to tie the ATM into our system? What types of reports will we get? (See additional question below about balancing).
EZcash software works with: Scrap Dragon, Mayer, Recy, RIMAS (Shared Logic), SAI and ScrapWare. Your software will send the payment information into EZcash and in return EZcash will send a bar code back to your software to be printed on the receipt. The EZcash Monitor can be installed on any computers on your system. The monitor will provide you with real time balance and transaction information, the data can also be exported to Microsoft® Excel.
How do we know at what point we would need to have a second machine and if we did in the future would the company we buy from take into consideration that we already had one of their machines when cutting us a deal?
If the amount of cash you are going through exceeds what the ATM can handle. Keep in mind, the current NCR model we are using has eight cassettes, each of which can hold around two thousand notes each. The typical denominations used would be: 100s or 50s, 20s, 5s, and 1s. Point being, that you can hold quite a bit of cash in one machine. You will hopefully be dealing directly with us and will offer you the best deal we can on the ATM hardware. We normally discount our EZcash software when a level of three or more licenses has been reached.
How does your ATM system work in a scrapyard environment?
The transaction starts in the scrapyards scrap purchasing software (Scale System). A Scale System is required to calculate the purchase by commodity and weight and finally the dollar amount the customer is to receive. TranAct’s EZcash software is designed to work with any Scale System. When it is time to pay, the Scale System triggers EZcash, securing a barcode that is printed on the customers payment receipt. The customer then scans the receipt at the NCR Financial ATM or cash dispenser. EZcash authorizes the transaction and the ATM dispenses the cash to the customer. The EZcash client monitors the devices and the balancing tools facilitate balancing to the Scale System and the armored car service providers. TranAct’s JPEGger software captures all transaction images from scale to payout for auditing and security.
How will having an ATM machine affect our insurance premiums? We will have to have some of the above questions answered to find this out
I don’t believe that adding the ATM will drastically affect your insurance premiums. I would recommend speaking with your agent about any actual increases that may occur.
Where will the machine be located and why? When we purchase a machine, will the company come here to tell us where the best place to place the machine may be?
We should have a discussion to make this determination. Some of the variables will include: ATM model type (lobby or thru wall), space, and customer flow.
What are the costs of installation, use, and maintenance for recyclers?
The costs for installation and maintenance fluctuate based on the location and equipment type. Our typical installation is an exterior through the wall ATM like the side of a bank building. Some customers provide a private room and a cash dispenser for large payouts. Behind the counter cash dispensers with cashiers are not used as often as self service configurations. Whether you are putting it in a lobby, through the wall or adding a building the total costs change. NCR ATMs run from $13k to $38k, this range includes refurbished and new ATMs; EZcash is $10k per ATM. A new Arcatech 2600 cash dispenser is around $19k. The transactions themselves are private; there are no usage or transaction fees. TranAct’s precast ATM building sells for $15k plus shipping, power, slab and a cable crane. Our customers typically manage their own rigging for obvious reasons. The required local support include “first line” (cash/paper jams) and “second line” maintenance (hardware failure). Yards can expect to pay around $1,200 each per year for first line maintenance and software support $1,500.00 to $2,500 for second line maintenance. Cash replenishment can be contracted through an armored car company estimated at $70 to $90 per drop or managed locally by yard personnel who would then also do the first line maintenance. The average cost per transaction in a scrap yard works out to be around $.50. Cameras run from $350 to $2,500 plus software and hardware for recording.
How should a scrapyard go about selecting an ATM vendor? What questions should be asked?
For the software and hardware purchase, make sure the vendor can meet your requirements. An ATM is a fully contained self service device that is designed for outside exposure installation. Cash dispensers can be configured as a self service device but are not fully contained and are designed for office environments. One benefit of being fully contained is you can get one service contract on the entire payout solution. Balancing procedures for cash suppliers and Scale System should be reviewed. An enterprise solutions may be required if more than one device is needed. Due diligence should include good references for experience in this industry. A solution provider should guarantee that the system provided will perform for its intended purpose. Don’t forget to inspect the peddler’s process flow at the ATM; try to avoid entering data for single payout transactions. Local first line, second line and cash suppliers are typically contracted direct with the yard and many options for service providers.
Do companies ever service the machines themselves and if so if we were to limit the amount given to a customer before we would write a check, what would be the norm and the maximum amount of cash that we would have in the machine and how often would we ourselves have to add money? What makes sense for us as a company?
Yes, some companies choose to load cash themselves. The maximum amount that a customer could receive from the ATM can be defined in EZcash and within your yard management software. I have noticed that several companies cap the dispense limit at around 2k, but again, this can be determined by your organization. In our professional opinion, the best option is to have a delivery company handle the cash. This is the safest and most secure way to handle your money.
I have read literature about us receiving a fee for each transaction made and do not understand what that means. I do not believe we would want to charge our customers for using our ATM machine. Out of curiosity, what is the norm in our industry, which is the metal recycling scrap yard?
No, in the scrap industry, companies typically do not charge a transaction fee. Remember, your ATM transactions are private and do not involve any banking networks. I can only think of one company that charges a cash convenience fee to their customers.
Are there limitations in terms of number of transactions or value of transactions per day? (In other words, could a recycler have too much business for one ATM?)
Things such as redundancy, security for large transactions and traffic flow should be considerations for the use of multiple units, but if the number of transactions is consistently exceeding 400 per day, the facility should certainly consider using two terminals.
Is there any way to have a machine on premises that would give us a card that the customer could actually take to our bank and use the bank’s ATM to get the cash instead of us having the cash here? Is there such a thing?
There are companies that are selling systems that would allow you to pay customers using a prepaid debit card. We are actually developing this option ourselves and may have this solution available down the road. I am not sure what the costs are to implement this sort of solution but one of the obstacles that we have come across are the fees associated with the cards. The end user (your customer) and the card issuer (your company) are responsible for various transaction fees. Really the main argument for using this sort of solution is this; Customers prefer cash. If your competition is paying cash, customers may be more likely to sell their materials to them.
How will this come into play with an industrial customer or anyone else that would go across the big scales? Will it work the same way with the software?
This will remain the same as your current process. You can choose to pay your industrial tickets or group of tickets via your yard management software using cash, checks or ATM.
What construction if any will have to be done in order to install the ATM and who will do that? Will the company we purchase from give us this information?
This again will depend on the ATM model that is going to be purchased. Physical requirements for a thru the wall ATM will require a hole where the ATM is going to be placed. Other requirements that either ATM will need include power and network connectivity.
How do you anticipate ATM solutions to evolve in the future?
A lot depends on legislation but the next step for TranAct is a bank branded debit card. This solution is being used in some yards now. If you can get your customers to use this card for retail purchases, this model works. The merchants pay the transaction fees when the customer uses the card to buy goods. The problem is, Cash-Is-King and peddlers are skeptical about leaving the yard with a card. Also, if you calculate the cost to get cash, the transaction fees add up to much more than running a private ATM. Congress recently calculated that a banks average cost to do cash transactions at an ATM is less than $.50. TranAct’s scrap yard customers and banks own and operate their own high volume financial ATMs and the costs are similar, less than $.50 per transaction. Debit card providers often charge fees to move funds to cards that are $1.00 or more. Most retail ATMs in the US are owned by third parties and do much lower volume than bank machines driving up fees. The average ATM owners surcharge is over $2.50 in the US and the bank interchange charge adds $1.00 or more per cash withdrawal. We are up to $4.50 per transaction now. Most retail and bank ATMs limit daily cash payouts to $300.00 increasing the number of cash transactions. A cost affective debit card solution needs to include an all cash payout option without fees. TranAct’s debit card release will coincide with an ATM that can provide private and bank transactions. Peddler skepticism is hard to overcome but not taking anything away from them will help.