Cash and casinos go hand in hand; indeed, paper currency has always been the primary payment option preferred by casino customers, and will likely remain so for years to come.
For this reason, cash access is a vital concern throughout all gaming enterprises and automatic teller machines (ATMs) are in the forefront of making sure customers can easily and efficiently obtain money as needed.
There are some setbacks to this continued reliance on cold hard cash however, especially as gaming facilities grow in size and complexity, making physical cash management at the ATM a more time consuming and costly task. “[Paper money] can require expensive armored services to move it from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ as well as significant staff resources,” said Tom Bartelt, senior product marketing manager, gaming, Glory Global Solutions North America. “Staff can spend hours counting and balancing cash drawers throughout the day, or reconciling books at the end of a shift. It is therefore no surprise that gaming enterprises are looking to automate these processes with cash handling solutions.”
The consumer-facing end of the ATM is also undergoing a transformation, as gaming customers and operators seek multifunctional product that can do more than just dispense cash.
“ATMs occupy a fixed space that occupies square footage on the gaming floor and technology allows us to drive new value into that space,” said Jim Kirner, senior vice president of sales and marketing at DiTRONICS Financial Services. “So anything we can do to add value to the ATM space we are going to do.”
According to Kirner, casino-based DiTRONIC ATMs average about 450 transaction per day, but can see transaction volumes rise to 1,000 or more per day during periods of high customer visitation. Surprisingly, such usage patterns dictate the continued need for basic, traditional ATMs on the casino floor despite the overall push to more multifunctional units.
“Many casinos are divided using only ticket in/ticket out (TITO) machines or TITO machines with an ATM,” said Bob Gibson, vice president branch operations at Cummins Allison. “However, many casinos are adding stand-alone ATMs because it gives the casino customer another platform for cash availability if one of the TITO platforms is busy or goes out of service.”
Potential new government-mandated financial security practices are also impacting ATM development. The latest is the Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) standard, created to reduce fraud and protect sensitive payment data that is present on bank cards by placing this sensitive information in a much more secure chip than traditional magnetic stripe. According to various reports, ATM providers have until October to enable their machines to read bank card chips and become EMV certified; failure to do so may make ATM suppliers and operators liable for fraud that occurs through their devices. The problem: it’s a complex and costly process to become EMV certified, so the reality is very few ATM providers will be converted by October 2016.
That said, there are some ATM producers that have managed to stay ahead of the game. “Everi made EMV compliance a major focus in 2015 and we have successfully completed EMV certifications on all of our hardware platforms, including ATMs for both Visa and MasterCard,” said Darren Simmons, senior vice president—payments solutions at Everi. “We are very much at the forefront of EMV technology in the U.S.”
As new technologies are integrated into ATMs and they become more multifunctional, their value as a casino asset grows and will continue to do so until gaming machines and tables are able to accept wagers in forms other than good old-fashioned cash. Here is a rundown of some of the leading casino ATM providers and what they are doing to add value to their product lines:
Cummins Allison’s roster of products includes advanced currency, check and ticket processing solutions many of which have found homes in casino back-offices across the U.S. Building on this success, Cummins Allison expanded its product portfolio to include ATMs in 2013 and now offers its H22N Series and the E300L lines that offer high-quality, reliable solutions to fit any casino configuration.
The H22N series is designed for applications that need a small footprint ATM. This affordable dispense-only ATM delivers high performance bundle-cash dispensing, solid security and maximum availability in a variety of limited-space environments. All H22N series models are easy to upgrade and hardware ready for EMV, according to company literature.
Cummins Allison’s E300L series gives casinos reliable cash dispensing in an attractive, slim-line design. Storing 2,000 notes in up to three cassettes, the freestanding E300L is a great option for virtually any lobby environment.
“The H22 and E300L models are strong, reliable dispensers ideal for casinos,” Gibson said. “In addition, our nationwide network of local sales and service support stands behind all our products and is noted for its proactive focus, expertise, quick response times and customer service orientation.”
Reno, Nev.-based Leisure Gaming, operators of six casinos throughout northern Nevada, recently installed the E300L ATM at one of its gaming facilities. “It is important for us to provide guests with a unique gaming experience, and part of that experience is providing them with constant access to cash,” said Ryan Albright, general manager, Leisure Gaming. “We have been doing business with Cummins Allison for years. Each of our facilities has a JetScan currency and JetSort coin counter, and we are pleased to continue our longstanding relationship with them by adding an ATM to our facility. We chose to fill the ATMs ourselves and it is extremely easy to do.”
Everi is the combination of two business segments—Everi Games and Everi Payments. The combined company focuses on leveraging slot gaming experiences, cash access services and information and compliance solutions to enhance the full enterprise value proposition to casino operators. Everi Payments’ ATM offering includes standalone ATMs and fully integrated ATM-enabled multifunction kiosks.
Casino-based ATMs represent the majority of ATM installations at Everi. In addition, they have an ATM install base in non-gaming areas of casinos. “We grow our ATM business by providing added value features and functionality,” said Simmons. “For example, we introduced a unique new EMV signature transaction type that is the first in the world on an ATM. As we look to the future, we are enabling new payment types, like mobile and wallet functionality.”
Everi’s best-selling ATM product is their CXC platform. The latest is the CXC 4.0 R and CXC 4.0 RS. The CXC 4.0 was the first multifunction ATM-enabled kiosk to feature 22-inch high definition monitors, similar to slot machines. They also have a unique curved design, customizable lighting package and high-capacity dispenser. The CXC platform is the first multifunction ATM-enabled kiosk to be fully EMV chip certified in the gaming industry. It supports EMV for all transaction types, including ATM cash withdrawal as well as PIN and signature cash advance.
“We are excited about introducing mobile and wallet functionality to our ATM product line which will help shape the future of payments in gaming,” said Simmons.
GLORY GLOBAL SOLUTIONS
Glory Global Solutions delivers cash management technology and solutions that provide security, productivity and innovation to customers. These solutions are supported by the technical expertise of GLORY Group of Japan, a pioneer in development and manufacture of money handling machines across the financial, retail, vending machine, amusement and gaming industries for nearly 100 years.
Productivity and staff efficiency are key areas directly affecting operational performance and profitability and are at the center of Glory’s gaming cash management solutions. Through the implementation of cash management solutions tailored specifically for the gaming sector, Glory enables customers to efficiently manage cash while increasing staff productivity and improving overall business performance. Glory’s SK-500 offers a user-friendly, one-stop service for ATM, voucher redemption and bill breaking. SK-500 is easy-to-use and offers patrons a convenient cash exchange solution on the casino floor.
“Our solutions directly address the challenges of staff efficiency by removing manual cash counting and authentication, consequential human error and monotonous and repetitive tasks in order to ensure your staff is more productive and able to undertake high-value tasks such as serving customers and achieving core operational goals,” Bartelt said. “Glory’s comprehensive suite of software connectivity solutions further provides important business intelligence to manage cash across gaming operating environments.”
Glory brings real innovation to customers through technology, process and their people. Through their innovation, they fundamentally change the way cash moves across operations, how teams work, how customers are engaged and the ways in which businesses connect their cash management systems and processes.
DiTRONICS FINANCIAL SERVICES
DiTRONICS is the largest private funds access provider in gaming, focused on providing funds access which includes ATM, cash advance, payroll and personal check guarantee, as well as providing ticket redemption kiosks for casinos.
“Our best-selling product is probably our DFS-500 which is an ‘all in-one’ solution that optimizes the player experience at the ticket redemption kiosk,” Kirner said. “The DFS-500 state of-the-art kiosk provides exclusive software enhancements for ticket redemption, bill breaking, ATM, cash advance and check cashing transactions.
Moving forward, “We are looking at extending funds access transactions across the enterprise, whether it is mobile, or regardless of the transaction type in making all of them available on the box,” Kirner said. “Transaction to ticket and extending the casinos marketing to touch transaction is also something we are looking at doing and actively working on right now.” DiTRONICS is also adding new functionality like Jackpot processing at the kiosk which has been well received by the casinos, according to Kirner.