Storm-Damaged ATMs Yet To Be Replaced

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Many ATMs damaged or destroyed during Hurricane Katrina have yet to be replaced, say several ATM vendors.

ATM vendors and independent sales organizations (ISO) hoped to see a sales surge by now, but that hasn't happened because the area is still devastated, more than six months after the hurricane hit.

Financial institutions and retailers are more concerned about rebuilding their buildings than whether they will place ATMs in them, Johnny Hales, marketing director for NetBank Payment Systems, a Jackson, Miss.-based ISO, told ATM & Debit News (Jan. 26), an affiliate of The Credit Union Journal.

They anticipate a sales boost later, when retailers and institutions do begin rebuilding. They also expect the ATM market to become more competitive, like the real estate market. NetBank says half of its merchant customers plan to rebuild and install ATMs.

ATM manufacturer Diebold Inc. has introduced a special ATM purchase program for customers in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, offering discounted, pre-owned "i" and "ix" Diebold products. Diebold will expedite those orders when possible. A center in Ohio is preparing the refurbished machines for deployment.

Triton, which manufactures mostly off-premise ATMs, will work with its ISO customers individually to meet their needs. And ATM manufacturer NCR says it is accelerating delivery time for those impacted by the storm.

It'll be another six to 12 months before people can relocate and deal with ATMs, according to Triton. Triton took a hit with its large presence in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and it had two buildings damaged by the hurricane. Between 2,000 and 3,000 off-premise ATMs were damaged, including Triton machines and those of other firms. Triton estimates that 50% to 60% of those machines are now working.

About 200 of the 800 ATMs NetBank deployed in the area were severely damaged; most are still inoperable, Hales told the publication.

Fiserv Inc., which processes transactions on about 250 bank ATMs in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi said about 114 bank-owned machines were either damaged or inoperative. All but a few are now operating.

Diebold is still tallying numbers but says so far it has replaced 90 ATMs and repaired about 90 others. It estimates about 200 Diebold machines were damaged, the company told ATM & Debit News.

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