Having an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in your business may just be one of many services and products you offer your customers. To some, an ATM is almost a necessity for customer convenience and to help ease increasing credit card processing costs. Even with its relatively small physical footprint and minimal upkeep, it can be a great source of additional revenue that makes it almost a necessity for your business’s profitability. However, similar to needing a liquor license to sell alcoholic beverages, there are regulations concerning ATMs as well.
Many of these regulations occur “behind the scenes” so that you don’t always see them on a regular basis. One of the primary reasons they exist is to prevent money laundering and funding of nefarious activities (tied to the Patriot Act of 2001). Your role in this as an ATM owner comes to light with the State of Minnesota. Specifically, it is required that all ATMs be registered with the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
In previous years, this ATM registration was taken care of with a few paper forms and an annual fee of $100 that could have been dropped off in-person or by mail. However, with the changes in electronic banking and digital payments, it’s no surprise that the registration process for one of its key players – the ATM – has changed along with it. Even if you’ve registered in the past, you must re-register your information via the new online system. And yes, the $100 annual fee is still required (no surprise there – this is the state of Minnesota, after all).
The online registration filing uses the already-existing website for the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (www.nmls.org). If it seems confusing that a system designed for real estate and financial institutions would be used for ATMs, you’re not alone. Quite frankly, it is confusing since your ATM is neither real estate, nor a bank in and of itself. However, there is help to make it as painless as possible.
Here are three key things you should know before completing your ATM registration:
You’re sharing a website used for other purposes. The wording on the NMLS website may seem unfamiliar as it is geared towards mortgages and financial institutions. But it’s still necessary to use this website for your ATM registration.
The online registration process is more detailed and involved than the previous paper-only filing. It will take some time to gather all the needed documents. Thankfully, much of what’s required is general information about your business, yourself, and your ATM.
Both the NMLS website and the MN Dept. of Commerce have detailed reference guides available to explain the registration process. The downside is they’re numerous and quite lengthy.
Keep in mind, this registration is an industry-wide requirement for all ATM owners in the state of Minnesota. Whether you have or have not received notice about this filing, you must still register your ATM with the MN Dept. of Commerce.
If you’re looking for assistance in navigating the registration process and even the cumbersome reference guides, I have created a “How-to” manual that helps to explain each step along the way. Using this manual and personal instruction, ATM Source has helped numerous customers to complete their filing. If you have questions or concerns about your ATM registration, please feel free to contact Kevin Starcevich, President of ATM Source: 612-325-7006 (mobile) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrew Grunseth, Office Manager for ATM Source