Entries in ATM (4)


Ad-Supported ATMs Expand in NYC

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A small start-up called Free ATM Inc. and the Barclays Center stadium of Brooklyn, N.Y. are partnering to bring ATMs with no fees to New York City.

The Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets and oft-used concert venue, will have seven ATMs on Sept. 28, including one that provides access to the public who are not attending an event.

Instead of paying an ATM fee, typically $2 or $3 when you use a machine outside of your bank’s ATM network, Free ATM machines are supported by advertising.

Telecommunications company MetroPCS and online review site, Yelp, have signed up as an advertiser to support the fee-less ATMs.

Clinton Townsend, CEO of Free ATM Inc., said the Free ATMs can provide cash and convenience to the over 3 million expected visitors at Barclays Center.

Townsend said the partnership with Yelp, a national company that serves hyper-local markets, was a strategic move.

“This gives us the opportunity to leverage both the national and local brands to use this platform,” he said.

Townsend said he was approached by Barclays in part because his company is also a local business.

The ATM ad plays during the time the screen’s message indicates a transaction is processing, typically 15 seconds or less, Townsend said.

This is Free ATM’s second location to host its machines after introducing its prototype in a music venue and bar called the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on Nov. 4, 2011.

Townsend said 5,000 people have used the first ATM since its launch, one-third of whom are repeat-customers, saving about $1,000 a month in fees.

“When people know this is in their community, they are coming back time and time again,” he said.

Some people have used the ATM up to 8 times in a month, he said.

The Barclays Center ATMs are expected to distribute $5 million in cash in its first year.

The ultimate goal of the company is to expand to the rest of the country, he said.

But next up, the company is planning to host its ATMs at five more locations in New York City, including Manhattan and additional spaces in Brooklyn.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Detroit Man Gambled Away Over $1.5M After ATM Error

Hemera/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- A Detroit man is facing 15 months in prison after he was able to withdraw unlimited cash from his Bank of America account that only held a few dollars.

Ronald Page, 55, took advantage of a bank mistake that placed his account into a "pay all" status, allowing him to withdraw unlimited overdrafts, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit said.  And withdraw he allegedly did: From August 1 to 18 in 2009, Page hit ATMs, mostly at casinos and cashiers, for $1,543,104.

Page, a retired worker after 30 years at General Motors, had maintained an average balance of about $100 in his account from Dec. 1, 2008 to May 31, 2009, according to his indictment.

He pled guilty on March 7 to theft of bank funds.  His sentencing will take place on June 27.

Page could not be reached for comment.  His attorney, Richard Morgan, did not immediately return a request for comment.

A spokeswoman for Bank of America provided a statement to ABC News saying, "We can't provide specifics in regards to Mr. Page's account as it is proprietary and because his case is still in the courts, we are unable to comment."

Court papers state that Page was a frequent gambler at casinos in the Detroit area and Las Vegas from January 2009 to February 2010. Between February 2009 and August 2009, his Bank of America account was used primarily for gambling, a court document states, in which he would deposit his winnings and withdraw amounts from $2,000 to $50,000.

On Aug. 1, because of the bank error, Page withdrew $312,000 from ATMs at Greektown Casino in Detroit, then $51,727 the same day from MGM Grand Casino.  But the party came to an end on Aug. 18, when his attempt to withdraw $52,000 from his account at Greektown Casino was denied.  He also went to the Motor City Casino on Aug. 19 and attempted to withdraw $51,400 from his account but was again denied.

Bank of America advised Page on Aug. 21, 2009 that his account was overdrawn by over $1.5 million and demanded immediate repayment.  He has not repaid the bank.

The U.S. Attorney's Office recommended 15 months in prison for Page and that the court order restitution to Bank of America for the $1,543,104.

They also recommended Page be prohibited from gambling activity, lotteries, or wagering of any kind along with banning him from entering the premises of any gambling casinos, horse tracks, bingo parlors, or dog races or wherever gambling activity is conducted.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Chain to Open 24-Hour Cupcake ATMs 

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Sprinkles, the popular cupcake chain with outposts across the country, will begin selling cupcakes in 24-hour ATMs.

Called "cupcake automats," the first one was to open in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Friday.

The company plans on opening multiple locations in New York City: "At least three or four - we're looking at midtown, downtown, and the Upper West Side," company spokesperson Nicole Schwartz said, as well as in Washington, D.C. and Chicago this summer.

"Each cupcake is packaged individually in a box that is held by an insert. The package is a really great gift option," she said.

The cupcake automats will be stocked with hundreds of cupcakes at a time, as well as cupcakes for Fido, apparel and cake mixes. The company serves more than 30 different cupcake flavors.

And don't worry about eating a stale cupcake, the bakery is a nearly round-the-clock operation with bakers opening at 2 a.m. and closing at midnight.

Candace Nelson, Food Network's Cupcake Wars judge and company founder got the idea for the ATMs when she experienced cravings during pregnancy.

Nelson said, "I conceived the idea of an automatic cupcake machine after having late-night sugar cravings while pregnant with my second son. Even as Sprinkles' founder, I couldn't get my midnight cupcake fix!  I thought 'there has to be a way' and so the concept of 24-Hour Sprinkles was born!"

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Could ATM Ads Replace Surcharges?

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- ATM users could soon be able to opt out of ATM surcharges by agreeing to watch an advertisement in the same amount of time it takes for a typical transaction.

Clinton Townsend, a 25-year old Brooklyn, N.Y., resident from New Jersey, is the founder and CEO of Free ATMs NYC.  He created an ATM that uses targeted advertisements to cover the cost of the surcharge of an ATM outside its network. And, Townsend assures, the transactions don't take any longer than they would without the commercial.

The ad plays during the time the screen's message indicates a transaction is processing, typically 10 seconds or less, Townsend said. Or customers can choose not to view the ad and pay an ATM surcharge of $3.

And at the bottom of the ATM receipt there might be a coupon that can be torn off and redeemed at a local business.

Though Townsend has plans to expand through the New York area and eventually beyond, his first and only ATM for now is in a music venue and bar in Brooklyn called the Knitting Factory.

"I've heard nothing but good things from customers," general manager Bob Reiter, who has hosted the ATM since Nov. 4, said.  "I've had a lot of people who come in not for the bar or a show but just to use the ATM.  It's been good for business."

Reiter said he has used the ATM himself and found it "pretty simple."

"I didn't find it any more difficult than any other ATMs," he said. "Instead of a screen that tells you it's processing, it gives you an advertisement.  I hardly noticed there was an ad there."

Townsend has two ATM models: One has a 10.2 inch main screen through which transactions would be conducted and the short advertisement viewed, and the other would have a 15-inch LCD screen above that shows a looping video advertisement.

A 2008 graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta with a degree in finance, Townsend is mum on the company's specific plans, although he said he planned to "aggressively roll out" additional ATMs and hire employees.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio