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Still servicing your own ATMs? Beware of these dangers.


In recent years, most financial institutions have shifted to using an armored carrier service to service and replenish their ATM machines. These businesses realize that the cost to outsource their ATM servicing needs to a professional cash management partner is well worth paying in comparison to the potential risks and loss of efficiency that come with handling this process on their own. However, some still choose to assume these risks.

“Surprisingly, we’re finding that there are still banks and credit unions who are servicing their own ATMs,” says Robert Lynch, Senior Vice President of National Financial Business Development at Loomis. “When this responsibility falls on staff who aren’t fully trained or prepared for the task, it creates a danger to the financial institution’s people, customers, and even their brand image.”

So, what risks should financial institutions keep in mind when considering servicing their own ATMs?

It leaves you more open to threats of armed robbery and injury to your employees.

According to Lowers & Associates’ analysis of U.S. ATM robbery trends from 2008 – 2017, 89% of U.S. ATM robberies against armored carriers over the last 10 years have included the use of violent force.

“Keep in mind, these statistics don’t reflect attacks on those who self-service their ATMs,” says Lynch. “These are against people who are professionally trained to follow stringent protocols, who are licensed, and armed with a firearm. Needless to say, the risk dramatically increases for financial institution personnel who may or may not have the training or the protection of a firearm.”

The rise in robbery attempts and attempted homicides against armored carriers over the last five years is even more alarming. According to the 2017 U.S. Robbery Trends report prepared by Lowers & Associates for NACA (National Armored Car Association) and the SCTA (Secure Cash Transport Association), between 2013 – 2017, 34% of robberies occurred at ATM locations, and 22% occurred at financial institutions. This is 3–4 times that of any other type of location. Even more serious, 21% of robberies involving attempted homicide occurred at ATM locations, and 26% occurred at financial institutions. Sadly, four of these incidents resulted in actual homicides at ATM locations.

These statistics show that ATMs are not only a huge target for robbery, but that the number of attacks and robbery attempts have risen drastically over the past decade. Financial institutions need to be more aware of these risks, and shouldn’t underestimate the advantage of partnering with an outsourced cash management provider for their ATM servicing needs.

Depending on the type of ATM location, assessing the risk isn’t necessarily simple.

There are island ATMs, which people drive up to, and these may or may not have a branch attached,” says Lynch. “Typically, financial institutions will outsource these for service since they're exposed, and therefore are most at risk for attempted robbery. There are kiosks, which carry the second-highest level of risk, and finally, there are ‘through the wall’ ATMs,” Lynch continues. “These ATMs can be serviced from inside the bank or FI, and many businesses choose to service these themselves. However, this still creates vulnerability for internal shrinkage or theft, and robbery is still a present threat.”

It leads to inefficient use of your resources.

Not only does servicing your own ATMs put employees at risk, it also puts a strain on valuable resources. You may not realize it, but allocating time and budget to training your employees in ATM servicing can still lead to under-preparedness and dangerous situations, as well as issues like shrinkage and theft. By outsourcing your ATM servicing needs, it allows you to focus your staff and resources on more important tasks.

Something to keep in mind as well if you are part of a risk department is the potential for miscommunication internally. Imagine if your institution’s operations department has made the decision to service your own ATMs, but you are unaware of this. That’s added risk that you are not taking into consideration, and therefore you are unable to fulfill your role effectively.

These are just a few of the reasons why most financial institutions have decided that investing in an armored carrier service is well worthwhile in order to avoid the potential collateral damage and brand impact that could result from an incident.

Improving your operations with a trusted partner in outsourced cash management solutions (CMS)

There are many factors that contribute to making Loomis the nation’s leading ATM service provider. Loomis manages a network of more than 85,000 ATMs throughout the United States with comprehensive solutions for replenishment, settlement, pickup, processing, maintenance, and forecasting. Our dedicated process for servicing and replenishing ATMs along with our professional staff and their wealth of industry best practice knowledge and training ensures you get the most efficient service, and that your people and assets remain secure.>

“From a Loomis perspective, our internal risk department and our branch personnel are constantly training to be prepared for any situation,” says Lynch. “Being a part of the NACA group allows us to further our dedication to sharing best practices for the industry, and protecting our staff, our customers, and their assets.”

Learn more about ATM Services

About NACA

Formed in 1929, the National Armored Car Association (NACA) is a business association that brings together the four major companies of the armored car industry—Brink’s, Dunbar, Garda, and Loomis—with a focus on protecting and promoting the common interests of the industry.

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