By Marlene Milczarek

Case Study

Situated north of the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario, this ESSO gas and convenience store provides quick and easy to access to amenities, such as gas, grocery and cash. The area is boosted with an influx of over 200,000 visitors in the winter and over 20,000 in the summer, becoming a handy one-stop for all, as the area’s key source of cash with the nearest bank a 20-30-minute drive away.

Business Challenge

When the owners took over the combined convenience store and Esso gas station, an Access Cash ATM was already installed, with the sellers loading their own cash, so the new owners assumed the contract and loading process. In the beginning, the couple say managing and loading the ATM was a process of trial and error, so they kept a close track of the cash balance by logging onto the machine to see the settlements and cash position.

“We’d have to see how much cash came out of the ATM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to know what we could use as a deposit, “say the owners. “We’d need the Access Cash portal to do that because of the lag in the deposits on weekends.”

The couple run their ATM separately from the convenience store business, which enables them to purchase money from the store to refill the ATM, instead of incurring high cash deposit charges at the bank.

“When we do deposits at the bank for our business, we get our ATM business to purchase all of the twenties so that we’re not depositing twenties and then have to go to the bank to purchase twenties to refill the ATM,” they say. “It helps reduce our banking fees on the business side and on the ATM side, it gives us most of the twenties that we need to operate.”

When the couple first started loading the ATM, they started out with a smaller sum of cash for loading, which meant they’d have to replenish the ATM in the summer time two to three times per week, as they kept using that cash. However, three years later, their ATM revenues have grown along with their bank account so they don’t have to load as often.

The Solution

The owner and her husband, who have a placed ATM and load their own cash, say the portal is a fantastic tool to help them manage their ATM. They’re able to leverage the portal for cash visibility, balancing and troubleshooting, as needed. Today, they use the portal weekly – sometimes two to three times a week.

Self-loading ATM cash reduces bank fees, saves time and provides added security. For a small business, depositing cash is expensive, so, to reduce bank fees, the couple uses the twenties from their store that would have been deposited into the bank and replenish the ATM with them.

“We pay a banking fee of $2.50 per thousand dollars that we deposit in cash at the branch,” they say. “Whereas when we deposit cheques, it’s about 35 cents per cheque.”

Assuming a deposit of $16,000 worth of twenties, the couple would pay $40 in bank fees for that deposit versus writing the business a cheque for $16,000, only costing them 35 cents.

“The savings add up,” they say. “Another benefit is that typically when you want to withdraw a large sum of cash, the bank needs 24-hours’ notice, so it saves us that time and hassle from not having to call the bank and order cash. It saves us travel time to and from the bank and provides security from not having to carry a lot of cash both ways.”

The couple leverages the Access Cash portal to inform them of their cash position and for troubleshooting. A customer recently withdrew $40 from the ATM and his receipt said $40 but the cash dispensed/received from the ATM was $60. “Within minutes,” they say, “we were able to validate what happened because his transaction was in the portal.” In real time, the owners were able to reconcile how much money was in the cartridge versus the bank versus in limbo.

Key Outcomes

The owners generate $12,000 in ATM revenue annually, which is on par with the National Association of Convenience Stores’ State of the Industry report noting that ATMs generate $984 per month, second only to lottery/lotto as an in-store other income generator.

In convenience stores, an average of 20-30 per cent of cash withdrawn from the ATM is spent on location. The owners reaffirm this saying that when a customer walks in to get cash from their ATM, there’s additional revenue from customers who often purchase lottery, coffee, milk or cigarettes while they’re in store.

“On a few occasions, we’ve had our POS down, or a customer credit card declined,” say the owners. “Because we have an ATM onsite, the customer is able to pay for gas.” Also, the store doesn’t provide cash back at the till. If someone needs cash, they are directed to the ATM.

Marlene Milczarek is director of marketing for Access Cash – Canada’s leading ATM operator with over 11,000 ATMs across North America.
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