ATM security is paramount to the success of your ATM business. Without it, your business can lose customers and even worse: it can lose a great deal of money.

Your ATM Physical Security

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all rule for keeping your ATM safe, but there are steps you can take to improve the overall physical security of your ATM. Experts categorize ATM’s into several different styles based on their locations. Those styles include:

Kiosk – A standalone ATM machine that can often be found inside walkable shopping centers.

ATM Room – A room built or altered for the use of ATMs and the safety of the individuals servicing the ATMs.

ATM Lobby – Usually an ATM lobby is located just outside a bank and allows access to the ATM when the bank is closed.

Freestanding ATMs – These are some of the most common ATM machines. They’re typically located in other retail shops like convenience stores and supermarkets.

Threats Your ATM Faces

Since ATMs hold cold, hard cash – usually a great deal of it at any given time – they’re often the target of theft.

This is the biggest physical risk your ATM business faces. Though you might think your ATM is completely safe against any type of theft, you still may be at risk. There are several common types of ATM thefts.

ATM Service Attacks – These types of thefts take place when the ATM is being serviced. The thief will wait until the money has been accessed or will force the servicer to access it in order to make off with the money with a minimal effort. The other two common types of ATM thefts require a bit more physical effort on the part of the thief.

Basic Burglary – ATM burglary requires some skill for a robber. They must crack into the ATM machine and break into its inner safe. Sometimes, though, the thief will use explosives or accelerating chemicals.

Smash-n-Grab – The name of this type of ATM robbery is pretty self-explanatory. It’s also known as a Ram Raid, in which a burglar will smash into an ATM machine or smash through a wall to get to the ATM machine. They’ll load the loosened machine into their vehicle and retrieve the money from it later.

How to Lower Your Risk

Conduct a Risk Assessment – You should evaluate the location at which you plan to put your ATM and decide the level of risk involved. Factors that you should take into account are the safety of the people around the ATM (staff, users, general public, etc), crime history of the location, position of the ATM, method of cash replenishment and level of security of safe you plan to use.

Talk to Police – Let them know you’re planning on putting an ATM at the location you’ve chosen and ask for their help on safety tips.

Talk to Insurance Company – Insurance companies often have minimum requirements for security depending on ATM location.

Make Sure You Have a Good Safe – Some ATM providers only offer one type of preferred safe to put inside the ATM, in which case you may want to limit the amount of cash you keep on hand. A good rule of thumb is to try to get the most secure safe possible.

Have an Alarm System – Make sure your ATM is outfitted an alarm system that is monitored remotely by a security company.

Anchor Your ATM – This provides the best security against Smash-n-grab burglars. Ideally, the ATM should be anchored to a solid concrete foundation with heavy-duty bolts. If the floor is made of wood, a thick steel plate can be used.