ATM Advertising Options:

 Four Ways to Grow
   New Revenues

by Tony Shaw

This year, people around the world will perform approximately 11 billion transactions on ATMs. For advertisers, these transactions represent opportunities for 11 billion direct, interactive ad impressions. And this enormous total represents only a small fraction of the impressions that ATMs can make on the millions of people who pass them in banks, malls, convenience stores and airports.
   It�s clear that ATMs offer advertisers a rich, underutilized channel for reaching consumers. It�s also clear that ATM advertising represents a substantial new revenue source for ISOs, one that will cost them very little to service and maintain. A well-designed ATM can present four distinct and independent types of advertisement simultaneously:

  • Decals and signage on the unit housing
  • Printed take-aways such as receipts, coupons and vouchers
  • The transaction screen
  • Full-motion video (FMV) displays mounted on top of units, completely independent of the transaction screen

   Each one of these channels presents a separate opportunity for an ISO to sell advertising.

Decals and Signage

From a retailer�s perspective, ATMs can readily serve as three-dimensional billboards for products in a store. Conventional or illuminated advertising signs can be placed on or above the unit itself, LED displays with animated ads and ticker-like bulletins can be added and the entire unit can be sheathed in vinyl wrap-arounds with graphics, logos or product images.
   For those who may dismiss this mode of advertising as inconsequential, consider that the display ads at bus stops command around $3.00 a day in revenues. At rates like these, you and your retailers could be splitting $1,100 a year in revenues for each ATM, at little or no additional cost.

Take-Away Advertisements: Receipts and Coupons

It is easy and inexpensive to print an advertiser�s message on the transaction receipt. Most of us don�t record our transactions at the ATM. We take receipts home and look at them again when we record the transaction. The advertiser gets a �two-fer� � two impressions for one printing.
   A printed coupon offers additional possibilities. It can offer a discount for on-site merchandise or a voucher for a  

free cup of coffee. ATMs also offer ways to dispense these coupons interactively. We can dispense one on activation or after the transaction is completed. We can dispense one kind (a discount on a soft drink) to some customers and another (free chips with a sandwich purchase) to others. We can limit discount offers on pricey items to individuals who withdraw sufficient money. Or we can simply ask users which coupons they want. That way, we don�t waste food offers on serious weight-watchers, who might even resent the temptation.

Transaction Screen Advertising

   The transaction provides opportunities for interactive choices. One simple approach is a slide show showing still-frame images while a second is to present a short video clip. A third approach is to combine a screen display with a coupon or voucher printed on the receipt. The one drawback to transaction screen displays is that they only reach the cardholder using the machine. And most advertisers want to reach as many consumers as they can for their dollar.

Heads-Up Advertising

   With top-mounted Heads-Up video displays units, ATM ads can reach anyone passing within 20-30 feet of the unit. Display units can present full-motion video (FMV), still screen graphics and animations. With sophisticated split-screen technology, they can present six different images simultaneously, including FMV, tickers and a rotating still image for branding.
   A full-capability FMV unit gives ISOs several different advertising sections to sell independently or in various combinations. Properly positioned, it generates an impression for every customer entering a convenience store. Placed by the entry to a busy mall or sports arena, it could be seem by thousands of people each day � and the more who see it, the more advertising and advertising dollars it will generate.
   These examples are only a few of the new advertising strategies that advertisers, ISOs and manufacturers are now developing. There is no single strategy that�s right for every advertiser, but we do have one good standard for program design. If we structure our programs to yield added value for cardholders, increased sales for advertisers and increased ATM traffic and sales for retailers, the results can only mean higher profits for ISOs. What surcharging did for ISOs in the �90s, advertising will do in the �00s. Get ready.

Tony Shaw is Director of Global Marketing for Triton Systems, Inc. Visit the Triton website at