We had the order to set up ATM machines again by May 2020, after which we had collected almost all available machines by December / January 2020, driven them into the company, serviced, cleaned and configured them. We also had to replace all locks.
In the second step, we brought the machines back to locations. At the beginning of March we were at a stand of almost 25% of the machines that are back at locations and can be operated. However, one has to say that the operating costs of a few machines clearly exceed the margins. From December / January, the operating costs could only be calculated from the software side to EUR 5,000 net per month, plus maintenance costs and cash exchange. As a result, the machines were not profitable at that time.
In March we were able to bring the costs down and drove the next machines to Slovakia. This was already active Corona time and on the way back our employees had direct contact with the police who just let us drive through to Germany. After that, the borders were closed due to Corona.
Belgium and Holland were also banned from going out and all shops were closed. You couldn’t even drive across the borders.
So our order to set up the machines at full speed was stopped by order of the authorities. Because to this day it is not possible for us to get to the machines. On the one hand, we don’t get across the borders, on the other hand, almost all the shops where the machines are located are also still closed.
So that the costs did not continue, we decided to have the ATM machines issued and to wait until the authorities reopen the borders and shops.
Unfortunately, we are therefore subject to higher powers.
What happens now?
As soon as the borders to Poland and Slovakia and the shops in Holland and Belgium are fully open again, we will arrange to switch on the machines and thus reactivate the ATM business. We do not yet know when that will be, but we are always keeping ourselves informed.
In the second step, we then begin to set up the next machines as soon as driving across borders and entering shops has been completely restored. Since there are also a number of vending machines in restaurants, we hope that the business will be able to open again soon.
In addition, we have now received an offer for working capital. Which ensures the operation of the large number of machines.
In addition, there have been some laws regarding crypto at EU level, which are currently being successively implemented by the individual countries, faster or slower. There are now license models for this if you want to set up machines. It is our turn here, but unfortunately the authorities do not yet have processes that are feasible in all countries. Austria is once again a pioneer there. There we will shortly begin licensing through the FMA financial market supervisory authority there and are confident that we will be licensed there.
In the Netherlands there is currently an obligation to report with a transitional period, but unfortunately there is still no clear procedure. However, we can imagine that if we are licensed in Austria, it will be easier to be licensed in other countries. Poland and Slovakia are a bit more moderate, but have other prerequisites that we currently meet, such as starting a company in the respective country.
We will now use the Corona time for these measures as far as possible, because there are also bottlenecks from the authorities.
Even if politicians are beginning to loosen the barriers, they also point out that it can be tightened again at any time. So we’re not kidding ourselves. It will all happen a little slower than planned.
Even if everything is open again, we need several weeks or months to catch up and to physically bring the ATM devices to the new destination after it has to be acquired.
At the moment we always receive information from inquiries in these countries: “Not now, but we can talk if the corona time is over and how the shops open again”.
There are also clear restrictions on the POS equipment market. We are working on a meanwhile own call center team to place POS devices in retail.
For this purpose, we place advertisements to which interested parties / shopkeepers react and are then looked after by telephone through the call center.
Since the beginning of the Corona period, there have been problems with setting up new POS devices because shop owners were increasingly no longer available and also reacted less to advertising. The owners we reached often postponed the decision to Corona or “Please call me again in four weeks” came very often.
Nevertheless, the hardworking call center team managed to conclude further contracts and an absolute upward trend is currently clearly visible. We are achieving more again, the advertising is more effective and the shopkeepers are again more positive.
At the moment we are increasingly installing in Austria, where the ban has obviously been loosened considerably more. One customer even offered our affiliated purchasing community a whopping 64% discount. After all, that’s a 32% discount for the customer.
Why your own call center?
The own call center is the result of several attempts to initially advertise stores through connected sales staff, which did not work at all. Then in a second step with former sales staff in telephone support. It didn’t work either, especially because many unfortunately cannot work independently from home. External sales, who already had experience, was the next step until a foreign call center in Lüneburg burned us several 1000 euros of leads with no noteworthy results. Now with our own people who are very committed and ambitious, it works very well right from the start and it becomes more and more efficient.
We are also happy to seek support here. If you feel addressed, want to make calls from the home via payment terminals in the retail trade and earn commissions in the process, please contact us at +49 581 212 99 141. You will be trained quickly and easily and will be accompanied. A nice job with free time management 🙂