Brooklyn Man Dreams Up Fee-Free ATMs

The young entrepreneur says the ad-supported ATMs could serve areas where big banks are scarce and independent ATMs charge hefty fees

Thursday, Dec 1, 2011  |  Updated 9:26 PM EDT
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Brooklyn Man Dreams Up Fee-Free ATMs

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With bank charges and fees seemingly on the rise, a Brooklyn man says he's come up with a way for users to withdraw money from ATMs without any machine fees.

There's a catch, though: users have to watch an advertisement while they wait for their money to be dispensed.

Clinton Townsend, 25, created Free ATMS NYC, which offers free withdrawals to all users, according to the New York Times. While users wait for their cash to be dispensed, an advertisement plays on the 15-inch screen.

The withdrawal receipt is then issued along with a coupon for a discount at a nearby establishment.

Townsend told the Times he wanted to install the machines in areas of New York City that big banks weren't serving and where independently operated ATMs charged as much as $3 per transaction.

The Times noted that ads at ATMs aren't new, but Townsend's ATMs would open advertisements to local businesses instead of banks and are totally free to all users.

The company's first free ATM has been installed at the Knitting Factory in Williamsburg, where the machine displays the calendar of events at the Knitting Factory.

The company charges $60 a month to each advertiser for each location, the Daily News reports. Clients can also purchase a vinyl wrap that covers the ATM.

Of course, many banks still charge users for using ATMs out of their network, which can't be avoided on these machines.

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