Can an ATM make you "Super Rich?"

By : Colin Gordon

September 25, 2014 12:32 PM

In recent months, there have been a number of ATM-based viral videos being used by companies for marketing and promotional purposes.  In each instance the theme of withdrawing cash and rewarding the consumer is used.  The latest company to do so is the online betting exchange Betfair in the UK.


In this marketing campaign, the “Super Rich” ATM is used to highlight the concept of a “Price Rush.”  You’ll note that “Super Rich” is an anagram of “Price Rush” which gives the consumer "better odds than they bargained for," according to the campaign.


In this “Price Rush” ATM, in South London, Betfair decided to give consumers more cash in the transaction than they intended to withdraw.  Already, over £10,000 has been gifted in this promotion.


The ATM gives away money without asking for a PIN number or taking any details from customers’ cards, leading users to tweet their surprise to others.


Whilst these campaigns have been effective in showing how the ATM is a vital channel for consumers to withdraw their cash, the actual odds on getting more money than you expected at a cash machine are extremely low.  ATM availability globally is generally around 99 percent - such are the reliable functionality and security features that are part of the modern ATM.  Cash cassettes always have to be checked to ensure they have been filled with the correct denominations of notes.  Any rare mistakes can usually be attributed to human error.  In the unlikely event an ATM gives out a higher value note, it will be as a result of the incorrect denomination of banknote being loaded in the cash cassettes.


High reliability, security and availability are of fundamental importance at the ATM, as financial institutions realize this is something they can’t take a risk on.  Most ATMs are connected to interbank networks.  This enables consumers to withdraw and deposit the correct amount of money from machines not belonging to the bank where they have their accounts or in the countries where their accounts are held.  ATMs rely on authorization of a financial transaction by the card issuer or other authorizing institution on a communications network. This ensures the consumer gets the amount of money they requested from the ATM time after time.


Before an ATM is deployed, it typically has undergone extensive testing with both test money and the backend computer systems to ensure it is able to perform transactions. Banking customers expect high reliability in their ATMs, which in turn provides incentives to ATM providers to minimize machine and network failures.  The financial consequences of “gambling” with incorrect machine operation also provides a high degree of incentives to minimize malfunctions such as the “Super Rich” ATM.


Whilst the “Super Rich” ATM "overpayments" may be good for spreading cheer among consumers, ATMs and their supporting electronic financial networks are generally incredibly reliable.  All of this means you will only ever be as “Super Rich” at the ATM as the funds in your banking account allow.


Learn more about NCR Financial solutions.

Colin Gordon

Financial Services SelfServ, Marketing Manager

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Colin Gordon is a Global ATM Marketing Manager based at NCR’s R&D Center in Dundee, Scotland. Colin is responsible for the marketing of NCR’s financial hardware portfolio with a specific focus on activities such as demand generation, sales enablement, market analysis and customer engagements for the ATM business.