Taking The Reins Off ATMs

Follow these steps to create high-value member experiences before, during, and after the transaction.


If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? If a service is available to your cardholder, but the cardholder doesn’t know it’s there, will it really help the credit union attract and retain members?

That’s a philosophical way of expressing a simple truth: members can only value the services they’re aware of. Yet, in an environment of information overload, how can credit unions effectively build awareness? Consider this: building awareness of any particular product or its features and benefits may be as much about the when as the what. Put another way, a perfect message will fall on deaf ears with membership if not delivered at a memorable moment.

It’s through an engaging experience delivered at just the right moment that cardholder behavior can be influenced. Here are a few tips that Cardtronics has found to be successful among its hundreds of credit union clients:

Before The Transaction

A Clean, Current Environment

It’s simple, but it’s foundational. A clean, uncluttered ATM free of displays and excess signage provides optimal visibility to encourage ATM use. Making sure the machines are running up-to-date software can also enhance the ATM experience. This not only provides the credit union with the flexibility to do more with each ATM transaction, it conveys to current and prospective members that the credit union values technology that makes their lives easier.

Locator Services

Whether the institution enjoys membership in a surcharge-free ATM network or is invested in its own off-premise ATM infrastructure, locator technology can help cardholders find the services they need, through the channel they’re most comfortable using. Many location services offer customizable, multi-channel technology, so members’ web experience is not only embedded in the web site with the institution’s brand style, it’s also similar to what members might experience on a mobile device or through the institution’s IVR channel. This makes it easy for members to find the right ATM in a quick and efficient manner.

Contests And Promotions

Ever wonder why MasterCard and Visa run so many sweepstakes? Because they are effective. Making ATMs a destination through a sweepstakes program or other contest helps build cardholder awareness while influencing behavior and providing a potentially unforgettable reward to members.

During The Transaction

ATM Marketing Campaign Management

Make the most out of current marketing campaigns by extending them to the ATM. Many available ATM advertising services allow marketers to differentiate campaign messaging by cardholder segment, ATM location, or time of day without increasing transaction time. By producing both dynamic on-screen messaging, as well as a call-to-action on the transaction receipt, these solutions allow the credit union to effectively monitor and track campaign success, while creating a memorable transaction experience for cardholders.

Give The ATMs Personality

Your credit union probably has a unique value proposition or member base. Extend the credit union’s voice to ATMs by customizing the transaction flow and screen sets to each individual brand’s style. Spotlighting a member, calling-out the institution’s involvement in a local event, or featuring a new product that members have been asking for will help make ATMs an extension of your larger branch network or teller staff.

After The Transaction


Make the most of ATM receipt real estate through dynamic coupons and offers. Whether the credit union partners with a local retailer or offers a coupon or promotion of its own, the ATM receipt is a powerful channel for such messages. Using this space helps keep members engaged after the transaction, while developing positive perceptions of their transaction experience at the ATM.

ATM Fee Alerts

Whether it’s through a text message or email, patented new technology from Cardtronics allows credit unions to raise cardholder awareness of surcharge-free ATM options, even when member forget to use the ATM locator. Through a dynamic, geo-based platform, this service allows credit unions to provide members with alternative, surcharge-free ATM locations and a way to avoid ATM fees by providing alerts immediately after an out-of-network transaction is performed.

Beyond the ATM Transaction

The moment of cash dispense need not be the only time members appreciate the value of an ATM or the financial institution that made that transaction possible. By delivering memorable, engaging messages just before and after the transaction, credit unions can help build positive awareness and loyalty through their ATM network.

As the world’s largest retail ATM deployer, Cardtronics is focused on helping our credit union partners create a memorable experience for their cardholders before, during and after the ATM transaction.

As Executive Vice President of Product Management for Cardtronics, Bill Knoll is responsible for developing and managing Cardtronics suite of solutions for financial institutions, retailers and consumers.

To learn more about Cardtronics’ solutions for credit unions of all sizes, visit cardtronics.com, call 832.308.4925 or email us at cash@cardtronics.com.




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Nov. 5, 2012


  • Very good article on something that most of us forget about. We are working with Diebold and their Campaign Office solution. It will soon be on all 22 of our machines. This has given us the same look/feel as members and visitors see on our website and branch environments. We will soon be using QR codes printed on ATM receipts for non-members (yes, you can push marketing messages out to non-members via BIN-based marketing). These QR codes will point to a landing page created by our Marketing team that will give an intro to 3Rivers and encourage the visitor to go to our website where they can begin a new relationship and/or apply for a new loan.
    Jim Johnson