MESA, Ariz.-With many credit union CEOs seeking ways to make better use of the technology they already have in place, Todd Nuttall says the answer is staring them in the face: the ATM.

"Balancing goals for growth with the need for efficiency and increased profitability is not as daunting as many might think," said Nuttall, CEO of Better ATM Services. "As credit union managers look around their branches and examine their key structures, what does the credit union have in place that can be leveraged without costly investment? The answer is the ultimate in convenience and one of the most important, trusted, consumer-facing financial channels, ATMs."

As reported in Credit Union Journal ["Test of Prepaid Cards Proves To Be A Winner," Dec. 24, 2012] Better ATM Services has grown its business as ATM-dispensed gift cards and other prepaid media are gaining in popularity. Nuttall said the use of ATMs frees tellers to focus on other essential services, while providing members with time and place convenience.

"It is a pretty simple concept," he said, "a menu selection offers ATM users prepaid media dispensed right from the cash tray just like cash. Visa's national offering of ATM-issued Visa gift cards speaks to consumer response and Visa's appreciation for the import of getting prepaid cards into the hands of people through the 24/7 convenience and security of the ATM."

According to Nuttall, fees for prepaid cards are "negligible" compared to the price of many financial services, a fact he argued has not been lost on the consumer. As prepaid products of all categories continue to grow throughout the nation, he said this trend translates into "ever-increasing product choices and revenue opportunities" for ATM owners.

"For several years, Americans have been increasingly purchasing gift cards and GPR [general purpose reloadable] cards from big box and convenience stores. But do credit unions really want to encourage their members to get prepaid products outside of the credit union?" he asked. "There is much to be won or lost. At stake is an annual prepaid market surpassing $549 billion with GPRs expected to surpass $118 billion in annual funds loaded last year."

For info: www.betteratmservices.

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