WILLOUGHBY, OH - Western Reserve Group, a leader in automated teller machine sales and service (See V/T September 1999), unveiled its state-of-the-art "Vision 100 ATM" during its recent annual two-day appreciation and training meeting for its independent sales organizations.
During the gathering, the ATM manufacturer and trainers discussed in detail the features of the operational components of the new machine.
WRG's new "Vision 100 ATM" combines new profit centers, sophisticated functionality and competitive pricing. Features include a spill-proof display and keypad, a color touchscreen, a graphics program that can store and display between 15 and 20 advertisements, and the ability to print as many as three different coupons.
"We are proud to deliver to the ATM industry a machine that carries the most sought-after features while adding sophistication, from its full-color touchscreen to its modular design," said Mike Stevenson, vice-president of WRG. "We listened to industry requests, shared that intelligence with our research and development team, and came up with what we believe to be an innovative, state-of-the-art machine that has tremendous added value."
Known within the ATM industry for its recent development of the "C.A.S.S." ATM software program, WRG has created a new version for the "Vision 100 ATM," offering the same dependable features that customers are used to, plus some additional capabilities.
WRG's "Vision 100 ATM" is the first ATM to incorporate a Hypercom "Ice 6000" point-of-sale platform in an ATM. In fact, Hypercom awarded the company its prestigious 2000 Value Added Reseller of the Year award for innovation (see P. 106). The machine also includes remote monitoring software as part of the basic package.
The Hypercom "ICE 6000" POS platform adds such features as a 256-color touchscreen capable of displaying digital on-screen advertisements, and it also prints graphic and text-based coupons. The interactive multi-coupon feature allows a customer to select one or none of three coupons for printing after the transaction.
With these additional features, "Vision 100 ATM" has added value in its ability to generate additional revenues for the ATM industry beyond surcharge fees.
The "Vision 100 ATM" also is the first ATM to feature the Sargent & Greenleaf electronic lock as standard equipment. S&G's "Comptronic 6120" features high-tech design and offers fast and easy one-step operation for efficient cash loading and management. The "6120" lock allows for multiple users, and lets the operator change codes at any time with a few touches of the keypad. It also provides an automatic relocking feature.
With a worldwide reputation for reliability, the new DeLaRue "MiniMech" cash dispenser ensures positive cash delivery. A high-performance component, the dispenser requires no scheduled maintenance. It also has multimedia capability, so its use is not limited to banknotes.
More than 60 independent sales organizations from across the U.S., Canada, England and Ireland attending the meeting had the opportunity to learn about the new ATM's state-of-the-art components from the experts, including John Miller, export manager, and Elaine Trise, marketing executive, DeLaRue Corp. (London, England), who presented an overview of the ATM cash dispenser unit.
Tom Hartmann, vice-president, bank products division, Sargent & Greenleaf (Evanston, IL), detailed the electronic lock system and Kris Wells, business analyst, Hypercom Corp. (Phoenix, AZ), discussed the "ICE 6000" ATM operating platform, which is the first ATM application for the "ICE" product.
Other speakers included Bob Fincher, sales and marketing vice-president of the industry's online trade journal ATMmarketplace; Rob McConnell, president of ATM Systems (Syracuse, NY); Jeffrey A. Munford, president of ECS Inc. (Largo, FL); Kelly Armstrong, Concord EFS (North Olmstead, OH); and WRG employees, Bruce Sandacz, leasing manager; Jason Kuhn, general manager; and Mala Miller, director of processing.
According to Stevenson, a 25-year vending and amusement industry veteran, WRG's "Vision 100 ATM" presents an ideal add-on for vending operators at existing locations. "Where else can you get a profit center that needs only a 2-ft. by 2-ft. square, a phone jack and an electrical outlet to generate profit?" he commented.
And, according to Stevenson, it's a misperception of many vending operators that ATMs are too high-tech to operate with ease. In fact, with WRG's support, the "Vision 100 ATM" probably requires less expertise than any vending machine they already have. "It's a simple turnkey operation with the ATM. You load the cash, and WRG does the rest for you," he said. "We work with the banks, the credit card companies, customer disputes on cash withdrawals, and we provide you with parts to swap if ever you have a problem. But in reality, most of our service is provided by our full-service repair and customer support departments. Most problems with an ATM can be handled over the phone by talking with our techs."
At most, operators must turn to their "Vision 100 ATM Maintenance Tool Kit," which consists of a #2 Phillips screwdriver and an 11/32 hex nut driver, according to Stevenson. And when necessary, WRG will overnight a replacement part for the operator to swap and install.
"WRG represents one of the few full-service partners in the ATM industry," said Virginia K. Mullenax, director of marketing. "Offering hardware and software solutions, processing management, repair service, leasing and ATM supplies in one location allows WRG to provide unprecedented service."
In preparation for the rapid deployment of the new "Vision 100 ATM," WRG moved to its new Willoughby, OH headquarters in December 2000, doubling its capacity. The former Euclid location was retained for additional manufacturing space. WRG's service center team maintains a complete ATM repair shop with a huge parts inventory to provide service and maintenance on most ATMs. Currently in a sustained growth mode, WRG is expanding its distributor network, with several new relationships already under development.
Internationally, WRG plans by the end of the year to place ATMs in several foreign markets, including Vietnam, Mexico and China. They're also slated for rollout in retail stores and vacation venues in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the United Kingdom.
The company introduced its "Fast Cash" ATMs just over a year ago and has installed about 500 of the ATMs throughout the U.S. and Canada to date. The company will continue to offer its "Fast Cash" machine as a basic ATM.
Stevenson expects the new business overseas and the debut of the new machine to double sales in 2001, to $24 million.
According to Stevenson, since the U.S. deregulated surcharges on ATM transactions in 1996, much of the world is now following suit, and ATM operators abroad can finally make money. As a result, the big ATM boom that took place in the U.S. in the 1990s is about to take place in many overseas markets.
The company is currently dealing with inquiries from more than 12 countries. As V/T goes to press, the first ATM shipment overseas may have already arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
WRG is a full-service automated teller machine partner, and provides ATM hardware and software solutions, transaction processing and leasing services through its three divisions: Western Reserve ATM Solutions, Western Reserve ATM Processors and Western Reserve ATM Financial.
More information is available from Western Reserve Group, 37500 North Industrial Parkway, Willoughby, OH 44094; tel. (800) 531-1230 or (440) 942-8650; www.wrgservices.com.