Using an automatic teller machine (ATM) is an easy way for people to access money from personal bank accounts or to conveniently obtain cash advances from credit cards. It can also enhance the revenue of establishments who choose to rent them, and make the machines available to patrons. Proper ATM placement helps potential customers easily find the machine and feel safe using it. Positioning the unit in a well-lit area and installing a security system helps discourage thieves, and is often advised to protect the interests of customers and the business alike.
Safety is often the top issue when deciding on ATM placement. A brightly lit area, such as those illuminated with flood lighting, is best for deterring criminals from preying on individuals who are using the machine after dark. Many times, a security system is built into the machine that captures video, but its scope is usually fairly limited. For this reason, surveillance cameras are often also installed nearby to monitor activity.
Convenience stores, pharmacies, and fast food restaurants frequently opt for ATM placement inside the store, because it offers a level of safety for consumers that preclude outdoor positioning. Fees associated with using the machines are sometimes higher at these locations, but the customer is generally paying for the convenience of quick access to cash. This also generates revenue for the business, which can help pay for the rental of the unit, as well as its electricity use and other associated costs.
Hospitals, hotels, and shopping malls often choose ATM placement nearest to the institution's lobby, or another central location in an area that has the highest amount of foot traffic. This makes the machines easy for people to locate. Usually, these machines are not placed in secluded areas because of the potential risk of theft or vandalism. A consumer should feel safe using an ATM, which makes the physical location of the unit all that much more important.
Many times, ATM placement is most convenient just outside of a business or financial institution’s doors. This is especially true for companies that are not open 24 hours a day. Since most financial institutions do not charge a fee for account holders to use their machines, many customers choose to access cash at a branch location where their banking is normally conducted. As an added incentive, customers are usually allowed to make deposits through ATM machines that are owned by their bank, and therefore, they are not required to wait in long lines to make simple transactions.