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How Financial Institutions Can Use ATM Branding to Boost Brand Recognition?

by Darren Smith | Originally published by CUInsight

As major banks continue to close branches in rural communities, community banks and credit unions are stepping up to fill the void. Where consumers are at risk of living in financial deserts, smaller intuitions, especially credit unions are working hard to provide essential financial services to these underserved areas.


In these situations, establishing a physical presence is just one step in gaining traction. Brand recognition is also a key component to raising awareness, comfort, and trust. It is this budding relationship that helps pull in new accounts and create a brand foothold to bring financial services fully into these underserved communities.


To quickly and efficiently reach these neighborhoods in need, establishing a physical presence through branded retail ATMs can often be a more cost-effective solution than building a full-fledged branch. When properly branded, these machines offer convenient cash and account access for consumers. But they also serve as powerful tools to boost brand recognition and reinforce the community bank or credit union's commitment to the local community.

Why Branded ATMs?

Branches are an important part of community bank and credit union service and brand building. However, they are also a large investment. Credit unions, especially, looking to move into new areas can easily begin building brand recognition, positive relationships, and a reputation for convenience with branded ATMs in local schools, retail stores, shopping destinations, and parking lots. These machines can be prominently placed and provide a wealth of marketing options to boost the credit union brand through passive and active interactions.


In fact, one of the key advantages of branded ATMs is the ability to easily update and convey brand messaging both on the machine and on-screen – including timely promotions and marketing campaigns. Yet financial marketers often overlook this valuable brand-building opportunity.


By customizing the ATM screens at off-site locations with visually appealing graphics, special offers, and relevant messaging, community banks and credit unions can effectively capture the attention of their current and potential account holders. Even better, they can help drive engagement with their products and services. This simple yet impactful branding strategy can significantly enhance brand recognition and recall among the local community.


Yet another advantage for retail and other off-site ATMs for financial institution branding is the ability to leverage new technologies like MiniBranch and customized takeaways. For instance, ATM receipt graphics with QR codes can serve as a powerful tool to direct customers to special promotions, the mobile app, or specific sections of their website. By integrating QR codes into the ATM experience, credit unions and community banks can seamlessly bridge the gap between their physical presence and digital offerings, providing a convenient and engaging experience for consumers.

Expanding ATM Branding Opportunities Even Further

It’s not just permanently placed ATMs that can play a significant role in enhancing a credit union or bank's visibility and community involvement.  Branded mobile ATMs can also be strategically placed as part of sponsorships or support for local community events, festivals, or gatherings.


Providing these temporary ATM placements allows institutions to not only demonstrate their commitment to the community but also increase brand recognition. These branded mobile units also help establish the institution as a trusted and involved member of the community. Even better, the strategic placement complete with branded wraps and on-screen information can help promote more permanent locations – assisting in attracting new ATM users to those locations and, eventually, new account holders all while strengthening already existing relationships.

ATM Experts Can Help Community Banks & Credit Unions Leverage Branding

While ATMs are an excellent way for credit unions and community banks to begin their expansion to new markets, it can be difficult to find appropriate local establishments and locations for the best placement opportunity. In addition, there is the issue of logistics when it comes to cash, service, and general ATM operations – especially when there are no nearby branches.


To fully leverage the potential of branded ATMs, institutions can seek the expertise of ATM outsourcing vendors, like ATM USA. These vendors specialize in providing complete ATM services. This reduces or eliminates the concerns surrounding one or more machines operating as vanguards for the financial institution.


Most independent ATM outsourcing businesses are also well-versed in customized branding solutions. These options usually include branded ATM wraps, custom screen designs, and receipt graphics. By partnering with ATM USA, credit unions and community banks can ensure a cohesive and professional branding experience across all their ATM touchpoints, enhancing their brand recognition and fostering stronger connections within the communities they serve.

ATM Branding for the Win!

In today's competitive financial landscape, building and maintaining a strong brand presence is crucial for financial institutions to thrive. ATM branding presents a valuable opportunity to achieve this goal, especially in rural and other underserved communities where establishing a physical branch might not be feasible or cost-effective.


By leveraging customized ATM screens, receipt graphics with QR codes, and strategic ATM placements, credit unions can effectively promote their offerings, engage with current and potential members, and establish a strong presence in the communities they serve. Moreover, by collaborating with ATM USA, credit unions and community banks can streamline the branding process and ensure a consistent and impactful brand experience across all their branded ATM touchpoints.

Expanding into new communities? Find out how ATM USA can help you quickly, easily and affordably establish your brand.

Darren Smith, Vice President, ATM Management  • 919-534-3232 • Schedule a Meeting 

Craig Helmers, Vice President, ATM Management


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