ARE YOU READY TO DISRUPT THE STATUS QUO?
By: Kelly Flynn, JMFA National Director

How to get the best deal on branch equipment management contracts 

How many different vendors do you use to manage and maintain all of your credit union’s ATM and branch equipment? And how many hours are you dedicating each week just to keep that equipment up and running? There’s likely a better deal out there — one that can save you both time and money. 

By simply reviewing your current contracts, you’ll be able to streamline your efforts and:

  • eliminate poor use of branch staff time;
  • resolve unnecessary double coverage;
  • improve service response time and quality;
  • improve overall equipment maintenance and management processes; and
  • focus on core competencies that help your institution reach its goals.

I know this can be accomplished because it’s what I help banks and credit unions do, day in and day out. All it takes is willingness to disrupt the status quo and explore other options. 

What’s involved in equipment management?
When you consider all of the different equipment it takes to keep your financial institution running, the list is staggering (and the costs even more so). Your credit union probably engages with third-party vendors to maintain:

  • Drive-up lanes
  • Counterettes/drawers/windows
  • Remote teller systems
  • Point-to-point systems
  • Alarm systems
  • Card readers/access embossers
  • Vaults and safes
  • DVR and security cameras
  • Teller cash dispenser (TCD)
  • Teller cash recycler (TCR)
  • Check equipment
  • Check scanners
  • Coin sorters & counters
  • Coin wrappers
  • Currency counters
  • Endorsers
  • Self-service coin sorters
  • Printers & copiers
  • Mailing equipment
  • Digital signage

And that doesn’t even include ATM equipment monitoring and maintenance — a huge undertaking with a price tag to match — with services like:

  • Software & hardware updates
  • ATM screen marketing
  • Cash handling and replenishment
  • Armored car service
  • Telecommunications
  • Event monitoring 

Separately, each of these services requires money and time to operate; and together, they make up a significant part of your institution’s service contracts and spending. So instead of just accepting the status quo when it comes to ATM and branch equipment and maintenance, consider other options that could free up both time and resources.

What are the benefits of having an unbiased expert on your side?
Looking at the above list of equipment, you may be overwhelmed at the thought of taking a different approach with all of these contracts. However, it becomes much simpler when you have an expert in your corner. We have relationships with many trusted vendors that consolidate equipment management in a number of ways. Whether you’re looking for total branch equipment management or a more streamlined, less hands-on approach to ATM maintenance and monitoring, we can help you secure the best equipment maintenance solution for your institution.

And it couldn’t be easier to take the first step. Getting outside help from an expert at contract negotiations can provide you with a free analysis of your equipment contracts — as well as other contracts, such as debit and credit card processing and card brand (VISA/MasterCard) agreements. 

We’ll show you:

  • what you’re paying for each service;
  • what other institutions like yours pay for each service; and
  • how much time and money you could save by consolidating vendors and/or renegotiating contracts.


When you see the projected savings and competitive advantages, we know you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Then the exciting work begins: We’ll send out Requests for Proposals to vendors, make recommendations and begin negotiating the very best deal for your credit union. Since we know the vendors and know what other financial institutions pay them, we — and therefore, you — always have the upper hand. 

Plus, with an expert’s help, you’ll be sure to come out ahead — our contingency fees mean our success is directly related to yours. And with additional expertise and insider knowledge taking the lead throughout the process, you can keep focusing your talents where they’re needed the most.

How can consolidating vendors benefit your credit union? 
In my experience, many credit unions and community banks take a do-it-yourself approach to equipment maintenance. They think it’s less expensive, easier to just keep doing it the way it’s always been done or they just don’t know what’s out there to simplify the process. 

Here’s the real deal: A vendor that specializes in complete ATM and branch management equipment would be able to generate a work order ticket automatically, resolve the issue efficiently using its network of technicians and follow up to make sure everything is working properly. Think of how much time would be freed up if your staff did not have to deal with such distractions anymore. The old adage, ‘Time is money,’ definitely applies here. 

And on top of all of the time savings you’ll achieve by consolidating vendors, doing it this way still usually ends up costing less than trying to handle equipment maintenance in-house. It’s really an all-around better approach for almost any credit union. 

When is the best time to review your equipment contracts?
Most financial institutions I encounter make the mistake of renewing their equipment contracts without even trying to negotiate them, as long as the costs stay relatively unchanged. But when you maintain the status quo, you can’t expect to see savings or improvement in service — quite the opposite, actually. When a vendor doesn’t have to re-earn your business, they may become complacent in their quality of service, or raise your fees because they know you won’t push back.

I recommend you start playing offense and get a free contract analysis 12 months before a contract renews. This timeframe is the perfect opportunity to look at ALL of your branch equipment maintenance and management, including ATMs, to see if you can improve efficiencies and get a better deal by consolidating vendors. 

To get the most out of your contract review, our team can also look at your other service contracts at the same time, including debit and credit card processing, card brand agreements, core processing and Internet banking. As our many of my clients would attest to, there’s absolutely nothing to lose by getting a second opinion by an expert— but most definitely a whole lot to gain.

It’s easy to get a free evaluation of your service contracts, and you’ll be amazed at how much time and money you could be saving by simply challenging the “business as usual” mindset. 

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