Ever see a brilliant business idea and think to yourself: “why didn’t I think of that?” I did that when I read this story about a simple idea that will possibly change a lot of the things we hate about banking.
When you use an out-of-network bank, you are often charged by the bank you aren’t affiliated with to use their ATMs. Fees usually range between $2 and $4, and when you’re only taking out $40, that’s a pretty significant percentage of your withdrawal. I hate it, and it’s actually the only reason I still have a Bank of America checking account today: it’s so freaking convenient!
An Innovative Solution: Free ATMs NYC’s Plan to Offer Ad-Supported ATMs
Free ATMs NYC is planning on launching a new type of ATM throughout the country by the end of 2012. These ATMs won’t charge you any fees (but your bank may charge you for using an out-of-network ATM) but in return, you can simply watch a commercial.
Free ATMs NYC will charge companies for ad space and that will cover the costs that users were being charged.
Think this is a small market? Think again: Americans spent about $4 billion in ATM fees this year!
Explore the benefits and drawbacks of a cashless society
If these ATMs show up in my neighborhood, you can bet I’ll be visiting them pretty often and I’ll be able to close my checking account at Bank of America once and for all and end that nightmare.
When I read this, I thought of other applications for the same idea. I hate the idea of paying 8% of my savings at Coinstar just to have them count my coins. What if there was a machine that made me watch a commercial for a minute while it counted my change? I’d sign up for that in a heartbeat!
Readers, do you think free ATMs will catch on? What other “obvious” business ideas have you missed out on?