9/28/2020

ATM RFP Guide: Process, Timeline & Recommendations

Leaders at financial institutions can spend a great deal of time planning and budgeting for ATM replacements and new purchases. From deciding on what you need, to finding new vendors, to benchmarking quotes and more, the ATM RFP process can be both time-consuming and overwhelming.

Whether your institution is opening up a new branch, upgrading underperforming ATMs, or doing a bulk replacement, we’re here to help you plan for and implement new ATM and ITMs at your facility.

ATM vs. ITM-Ready ATMs vs. ITM

You first need to decide what you’re looking to purchase—ATMs, ITM-Ready ATMs or ITMs. Which you choose will depend on both your budget and business needs. Identifying your existing ATM data points and benchmarking them against industry averages will also provide direction for this process. If you choose ATMs, the main manufacturers are Diebold, Hyosung and NCR. You may be inclined to continue using whichever ATM brand or vendors your staff is familiar with, but it’s important to explore alternatives to make sure you make the best decision for your business both now, and in the future.

Timeline: When to get Started

Now that you have an idea of what you’re looking for, it’s time begin the RFP process and map out your timeline. Ideally, you should give yourself 5-6 months to run through a thorough RFP process. For example, if your budget review takes place in the fall, say October, you should get started in April.

ATM RFP Process & Steps

1. Start gathering information.

You may already have an idea of what you would like to purchase down to the brand, make and model. But many businesses in this earlier stage do not. Start by gathering information yourself, or from third-parties you trust, such as other financial institutions, vendors or Equips. While keeping your options open may make the process take longer, it could introduce new, better technology to support your branches long-term.

2. Get quotes from your current vendors.

Obtaining quotes from your current service providers is a great place to get started—provided you like the vendors you are currently working with. They know your business well and should be able to provide solid recommendations based on their historical knowledge of your account.

3. Identify new vendors to get comparable quotes.

In life, it is best to have options, and the ATM RFP process is no different. There may be vendors that have found you by meeting you at a convention or visiting your office. Reach out to them for quotes. Asking others in your network for recommendations or searching for top vendors online can provide you with even more options.

4. Compare your quotes and options.

Once you have gathered all your equipment and service quotes from providers, it’s time to start comparing. While price is important, it is critical to think about service quality, reputation, contract terms and any other factors that are important for your company. Partnering with an objective third-party, like Equips, can help you benchmark your quotes against marketplace averages and obtain valuable industry insights. For example, you do not need to go to the same provider to purchase, install and service your equipment. ATMs can often be serviced by multiple providers and may come with a short-term, 90-day warranty from the OEM.

5. Collect your data and put together a business case.

If you are replacing an existing ATM, this is the stage where you need to dig into your data. You should run transaction reports to project the fee income you will have coming in. If you’re upgrading your ATMs you should evaluate how staff costs, including human error, and time savings come into play. For example, can you replace a full-time equivalent? Incorporating technology may also drive revenue generating activities, as your staff will have more time to interact with customers/members instead of managing day-to-day administrative tasks. Make sure to include these, and other personalized calculations to provide your best estimate on ROI. Finally, you may also want to create a comparative cost analysis to assess the value in making a change from the status quo at this time.

6. Make your case to the leadership team/board.

You have done your homework, now it is time for the final exam. You know your team best, so make sure to account for individual personalities, nuances, and questions as you prepare your presentation and reports.

7. Get approval and put together your next plan–to implement it!

Well done! Once you get approval to move forward, it is time to role out the project plan for implementation. Best of luck on your next project.

Looking for ATM RFP Assistance?

We’re here to help. Our team of industry experts has experience helping financial institutions navigate the ATM RFP process. We can help you find providers, do a comparative pricing analysis, or simply benchmark the quotes you already have. Contact us for more information.