In this FDD Talk 2015 post, you’ll learn the following:
- Section I – Background information on the ACFN franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
- Section II – Estimated initial investment for an ACFN franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD
- Section III – Presentation and analysis of ACFN’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2015 FDD, including information on the:
- possible results of an ACFN franchisee operating 1 ATM, a small network of 5 ATMs, and a larger network of 10 ATMs, based on a combination of variables
- 2014 average annual franchisee income for the top 5, top 25, and all 172 ACFN franchisees that completed training and signed an ACFN franchise agreement prior to or on December 31, 2013, and were still operating an ACFN franchise in the United States as of December 31, 2014
Section I – Background Information
With a tag line of “No cost. No hassle. Pure profit,” you can see why any number of people would be interested in finding out more about ACFN’s ATM franchise operation. With more than 2,100 ATMs located in 47 states, ACFN has plans to keep growing.
It’s a pretty straightforward concept: You buy ATM machines from ACFN and find high foot-traffic areas in which to place them, then sit back and enjoy a relatively passive stream of income (I say relatively because there is work to be done, but it’s only part-time for most).
Here’s how ACFN keeps the green river flowing for consumers and franchisees:
The Demand for Cash
North American ATMs see more than 10 billion transactions each year that dispense half a trillion dollars. About half of all adults in North America make regular use of ATMs. When ATM-users withdraw cash from a machine located in a retail outlet, they outspend non-ATM users by 20-25%.
The Latest ATM Technologies
ACFN installs top of the line Triton ATMs with world class DeLaRue Dispensing Mechanisms, Color LCD Displays, and TCPIP capabilities that allow communications via the Internet for optimal processing speed, troubleshooting and monitoring diagnostics. No phone line is required with wireless options for connectivity.
Compliance is important in any business that involves financial services, and ACFN makes sure its equipment is both ADA and PCI compliant.
The machines can handle up to seven different graphics that will display on the ATM screen, which means they could be used for very targeted advertising.
Every ACFN machine has stickers on it clearly displaying a toll-free number in the event a guest needs customer service. The ACFN help desk troubleshoots most issues remotely, but in the event a dispatch is required, someone can usually be on site within 24 hours, even on weekends and holidays. The average response time is 4 to 6 hours.
Benefits to Locations
There are few things more embarrassing than standing in a retail line only to have your debit or credit card transaction turned down at the register for insufficient funds. Having an ATM in the business location means customers can avoid this by checking their balance, and then withdrawing cash – probably more than they need, and they often end up spending it.
Fees, Fees, Fees
Transaction fees are how you make money as an ATM franchisee, but it’s also how ACFN makes its money, along with a bunch of other little fees and surcharges that leave some franchisees feeling nickel-and-dimed to death.
The unhappy franchisees claim that the ACFN ATMs are way more expensive than most (marked up at least $1,000 to provide ACFN with revenue). The company doesn’t share the “interchange” fee with its franchisees, and charges a $0.08 per transaction “communication” fee, a marketing fee, an accounting fee, and possibly more.
Section II – Estimated Costs
- Please click here for detailed estimates of ACFN franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD (updated).