Fixing an Old ATM vs. Buying a New ATM

By Vito | April 19, 2010

Depending on how long you’ve been involved in the industry you’ve seen several generations of ATM machines come and go.  We still see plenty of the old Triton 9600’s going strong and in operation, although they are starting to become a dying breed.  Many of those probably died with Triple DES, but let’s face it, every product has its shelf life.  So, the questions becomes, when do we retire an ATM and move onto sleeker and sharper models?

Triton 9600

Am I dead yet?

Well, one reason the 9600 has come this far is because of the sturdy DeLaRue SDD dispenser which has endured the test of time.  There in lies the answer.  The ATM dispenser is an ATM machine’s most vital component, responsible for dispensing of cash and sorting out rejects to the reject bin.  The dispenser is also typically the most expensive part of the unit often running as high as 70% of the price of an entire ATM  machine.  So, when our dispenser breaks down, we know we face a very big question: do we repair it, replace it, or just buy a new ATM?

Back near deregulation in 1996 the first units costs upward of $8,000.  Times have changed and we can all get our hands on units such as the Tranax 1700, with standard features, for as little as $1,700.  So, if a dispenser is going to cost around $1,200 the decision seems like a no-brainer.  Of course, there is a chance that the dispenser only needs a bit of repair on the cogs or belts, which can run only several hundred dollars.  But, when you weigh the decision to repair one part of the ATM, you’ll want to factor in the age of the unit.  The reason for this, is because if the unit is old enough, you can likely expect that other parts will begin to fail as well.

So, like an old car, you might garner an emotional attachment to your old ATM.  But Just as significant as considering trading in your old junker for a newer more reliable model, an ATM is no different.  There is a time and place to repair, but with all the bells and whistles of the new models (color screens, TCP/IP connectivity, nicer look), sometimes it’s best to put the old beast out of its misery and deliver it to its final resting place–the nearest recycling center.

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