What’s true in real estate holds true for optimizing an ATM fleet: it’s all about location, location, location.
Fortunately, the tools available for helping financial institutions site ATMs in high-performing locations are getting increasingly sophisticated. New software uses urban planning data, demographics, traffic counts, socioeconomics and more to determine the best way to site an ATM from the fleet level to the individual machine.
However, it’s important to blend these tools with industry know-how to ensure compliance with local regulatory guidance that might compel financial institutions to provide equal service levels throughout a community. Consultants can help filter the data produced by location scouting tools through the specific needs and perspectives of the banking industry against legal requirements to make sure investment decisions strengthen an FI's compliance obligations.
It’s also important not to rely solely on the data in the spreadsheet. Regular inspections of an ATM’s environment can catch problems algorithms can’t.
For example, a modern, well-cared-for ATM in a busy supermarket should see good foot traffic. But if it’s blocked by shopping carts, floor merchandising and other obstacles, it’s unlikely. On-site inspections ensure FIs can catch problems like this.