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Company > Cardtronics PLC: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2024

Cardtronics PLC: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2024

Published: Feb 15, 2024

Inside This Article


    In this comprehensive blog post, we delve into the intricate workings of Cardtronics PLC, a leading ATM operator. We'll explore the company's unique business model, which has allowed it to thrive in the financial services industry. A detailed SWOT analysis will provide insights into its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as we move into 2024. Additionally, we'll examine Cardtronics' competitive landscape, identifying key rivals and analyzing how the company stands out from the competition. This post aims to offer a thorough understanding of Cardtronics PLC's market position and strategic approach as we look ahead.

    What You Will Learn

    • Ownership and Vision: Discover who owns Cardtronics PLC and understand the core mission that drives their operations, setting the stage for their strategic objectives and market positioning.
    • Revenue and Strategy: Gain insights into how Cardtronics PLC generates revenue through a detailed explanation of their business model canvas, providing a clear view of their operational structure and strategic approach.
    • Market Position and Analysis: Learn about Cardtronics PLC's main competitors and delve into a comprehensive SWOT analysis, identifying the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats within the competitive landscape.

    Who owns Cardtronics PLC?

    Cardtronics PLC, a prominent player in the world of ATM network services and financial technology, has seen various ownership changes over the years, reflecting shifts in the financial services landscape. Understanding who owns Cardtronics helps in comprehending the strategic directions the company might take and how it fits into broader industry trends.

    The Acquisition by NCR Corporation

    In January 2021, a significant development occurred when NCR Corporation, a global leader in banking and commerce solutions, announced its intention to acquire Cardtronics PLC. This move was part of NCR's strategic efforts to expand its digital banking and payments solutions. The acquisition, valued at approximately $2.5 billion, was seen as a major step towards creating a financial ecosystem that bridges physical and digital channels for banking and commerce.

    The Role of Private Equity

    Before its acquisition by NCR Corporation, Cardtronics was influenced by the actions and decisions of private equity firms. One notable period was when Hudson Executive Capital LP and affiliates of Apollo Global Management, two prominent private equity entities, showed a keen interest in Cardtronics. Their involvement highlighted the attractiveness of Cardtronics' vast ATM network and its potential for integration into broader financial service offerings.

    Institutional and Retail Ownership

    Aside from these major shifts in ownership through acquisitions and private equity interest, Cardtronics PLC has been owned by a mixture of institutional and retail investors. These investors include pension funds, mutual funds, and individual investors who see value in the company's operations and growth potential. Institutional investors often play a significant role in shaping the company's strategies through their voting power on company matters brought to shareholders.


    The ownership of Cardtronics PLC has evolved over the years, reflecting broader trends in the financial services and technology sectors. From private equity interest to its acquisition by NCR Corporation, these changes in ownership underscore the company's significant role in connecting the physical and digital dimensions of banking and commerce. As Cardtronics becomes integrated into NCR's operations, it will be fascinating to see how its legacy of innovation and service continues to evolve under new stewardship.

    What is the mission statement of Cardtronics PLC?

    What is the mission statement of Cardtronics PLC?

    Cardtronics PLC, as a leading ATM owner and operator, has crafted a mission statement that reflects its core objectives and strategic direction. While the company has not explicitly published a succinct "mission statement" in the conventional sense, its operational ethos and corporate activities suggest a commitment to providing secure, convenient, and cost-effective access to financial services across the globe.

    The essence of Cardtronics' mission can be distilled into several key components:

    1. Accessibility: Ensuring that consumers around the world have easy and convenient access to financial services, particularly cash withdrawals and deposits, through a widespread network of ATMs.

    2. Innovation: Leveraging technology to enhance the user experience, improve security measures, and introduce new services that meet the evolving needs of consumers and financial institutions.

    3. Partnerships: Working closely with financial institutions, retailers, and other stakeholders to expand service offerings and increase the accessibility of ATM networks.

    4. Security: Prioritizing the security of transactions and personal data to maintain trust and confidence among users and partners.

    5. Sustainability: Implementing environmentally responsible practices in its operations and contributing to the economic well-being of the communities it serves.

    By focusing on these areas, Cardtronics PLC aims to solidify its position as a key player in the financial services industry, facilitating access to cash and banking services for millions of people worldwide. The company's mission is thus not just about maintaining and expanding an ATM network; it's about bridging gaps in financial access, fostering innovation, and building partnerships that enrich the global financial ecosystem.

    How does Cardtronics PLC make money?

    Cardtronics PLC is a prominent player in the world of ATM (Automated Teller Machine) operations and network services, offering a wide range of financial services to consumers around the globe. The company has crafted a multifaceted business model that allows it to generate revenue through several streams, primarily focused on transaction fees, surcharges, and network services. Understanding how Cardtronics PLC makes money sheds light on the company's success and its pivotal role in the financial services industry.

    Transaction Fees and Surcharges

    One of the primary ways Cardtronics PLC generates income is through transaction fees and surcharges. Whenever a consumer uses one of Cardtronics' ATMs that are not within their bank's network, they pay a fee for the convenience of accessing their money. A portion of this fee, known as a surcharge, goes directly to Cardtronics as revenue. These fees vary depending on the location and the terms of agreements with the host venues and financial institutions. High-traffic locations such as airports, shopping centers, and tourist spots often have higher surcharge rates, contributing significantly to the company's revenue.

    Network Services

    In addition to earnings from ATM transactions, Cardtronics also generates substantial income from network services. The company operates Allpoint, one of the world's largest surcharge-free ATM networks, offering access to over 55,000 ATMs across the United States and beyond. Financial institutions pay Cardtronics for their customers to have surcharge-free access to the Allpoint network. This arrangement benefits both the financial institutions, by providing value-added services to their customers, and Cardtronics, through the network service fees collected from these institutions.

    Managed Services and Branding

    Another revenue stream for Cardtronics comes from managed services and ATM branding. Under managed services, Cardtronics operates and maintains ATMs on behalf of financial institutions and retailers, taking on the responsibility for ensuring that the machines are functioning correctly, stocked with cash, and securely processing transactions. In return, Cardtronics receives service fees from these entities.

    ATM branding agreements allow banks and credit unions to brand Cardtronics ATMs as their own, enabling them to expand their presence and offer their customers fee-free transactions without the need to invest in and maintain their own ATM fleet. These branding partnerships are beneficial for both parties involved, as they help financial institutions grow their footprint and enhance customer satisfaction, while Cardtronics benefits from steady income through branding fees.

    Advertising Revenue

    Lastly, Cardtronics leverages its extensive network of ATMs as advertising platforms. The company sells advertising space on its ATM screens and receipts, providing advertisers with a unique opportunity to reach consumers at the point of transaction. This not only generates additional revenue for Cardtronics but also enhances the user experience by offering relevant deals and promotions.

    In summary, Cardtronics PLC has built a diverse and robust business model centered around its expansive network of ATMs. Through transaction fees, network services, managed services, branding agreements, and advertising, the company has established multiple revenue streams that have contributed to its position as a leader in the ATM industry.

    Cardtronics PLC Business Model Canvas Explained


    In the ever-evolving landscape of financial services, Cardtronics PLC has emerged as a pivotal player. The company's innovative approach to ATM operations has not only reshaped how cash is accessed globally but has also offered a unique business model worth exploring. In this section, we'll break down the Cardtronics PLC business model canvas, offering insights into the key components that drive its success.

    Value Propositions

    Accessibility: Cardtronics PLC places a strong emphasis on providing accessible cash withdrawal and deposit solutions across a vast network of ATMs. Their machines are strategically located in high-traffic areas, ensuring that customers can easily access cash whenever needed.

    Convenience & Reliability: The company prides itself on the reliability of its services. With a focus on maintaining a high uptime for its ATMs, Cardtronics ensures that customers can conduct their transactions smoothly and without hassle.

    Partnership Opportunities: For financial institutions and retailers, Cardtronics presents a valuable partnership opportunity. By leveraging Cardtronics' ATM network, these entities can extend their brand presence and offer additional services without the need to maintain their own machines.

    Customer Segments

    Financial Institutions: Banks and credit unions utilize Cardtronics' network to provide their customers with wider access to cash, without the overhead of operating a large number of ATMs.

    Retailers: Retail businesses, from convenience stores to shopping malls, host Cardtronics ATMs, benefiting from increased foot traffic and a share in the transaction fees.

    Consumers: The end users of Cardtronics' services are individuals seeking convenient cash access. This includes not only customers of partner financial institutions but also the general public.

    Key Activities

    ATM Network Management: At the heart of Cardtronics' operations is the management of its extensive ATM network. This includes installation, maintenance, and regular updates to ensure security and functionality.

    Partnership Development: Forming and maintaining partnerships with financial institutions and retailers is crucial for expanding the ATM network and enhancing service offerings.

    Technology Innovation: Continuous investment in technology is vital for Cardtronics. This includes everything from enhancing machine security to integrating new transaction types beyond cash withdrawals.

    Key Resources

    Physical ATM Network: The widespread distribution of ATMs is a primary resource for Cardtronics, enabling it to serve a diverse customer base.

    Technological Infrastructure: Robust IT systems support the operation and monitoring of ATMs, ensuring efficient transaction processing and security.

    Strategic Partnerships: Relationships with banks, credit unions, and retailers are key to the expansion and accessibility of the ATM network.

    Revenue Streams

    Transaction Fees: Cardtronics charges fees for transactions made at its ATMs, which constitute a significant portion of its revenue.

    Network Participation Fees: Financial institutions pay fees to participate in Cardtronics' network, gaining access to an expanded ATM footprint without the need to operate the machines themselves.

    Brand and Advertising: The company also generates revenue through advertising on its ATM screens and through branded ATM programs, allowing partners to increase their visibility.


    Cardtronics PLC has crafted a business model that not only addresses the needs of consumers for reliable and convenient cash access but also offers significant value to its partners. Through its strategic placement of ATMs, innovative technology, and strong partnerships, Cardtronics continues to play a crucial role in the financial services ecosystem. Whether you're a consumer seeking easy access to cash, a retailer looking to increase foot traffic, or a financial institution aiming to expand your service offerings, Cardtronics PLC presents a compelling model of efficiency and convenience.

    Which companies are the competitors of Cardtronics PLC?

    Cardtronics PLC, a prominent player in the ATM industry, operates in a competitive landscape that encompasses a wide array of companies offering ATM services, financial technology solutions, and payment processing. The competition includes both direct rivals in the ATM space and broader financial service providers that indirectly compete by offering alternative cash access and payment methods. Below, we will delve into some of the main competitors that Cardtronics PLC faces in the market.

    Direct Competitors

    1. Diebold Nixdorf

    Diebold Nixdorf is a significant competitor, providing a comprehensive suite of services including ATM sales, software, and managed services. Their global footprint and extensive product line position them as a formidable rival to Cardtronics in the ATM market.

    2. NCR Corporation

    NCR Corporation, with its broad array of technology and services for the financial, retail, and hospitality sectors, directly competes with Cardtronics. Their offerings in ATM machines and financial services software make them a key competitor in providing integrated technology solutions.

    Financial Technology and Payment Companies

    1. Square, Inc.

    While not a direct competitor in the ATM space, Square, Inc. represents the evolving landscape of payment processing and financial technology. Their suite of products and services, including point-of-sale systems and online payment solutions, offers businesses and consumers alternatives to traditional cash transactions, indirectly affecting the demand for ATM services.

    2. PayPal Holdings, Inc.

    PayPal is a leader in the digital payment space, offering a wide range of payment solutions for consumers and merchants globally. As digital payments gain prominence, companies like PayPal indirectly compete with ATM service providers by reducing the reliance on cash.

    Bank-Owned ATM Networks

    1. JPMorgan Chase & Co.

    Many large banks, such as JPMorgan Chase, operate their own networks of ATMs, providing free transactions for their customers and, in many cases, innovative services such as cardless withdrawals. These bank-owned ATMs compete directly with Cardtronics' machines, especially in locations where consumers highly value the convenience of in-network ATMs to avoid fees.

    2. Bank of America

    Bank of America's extensive ATM network offers direct competition, especially in high-traffic areas where the presence of bank-owned ATMs can influence consumer behavior and reduce transactions at Cardtronics' machines.


    The competitive landscape for Cardtronics PLC is complex, involving direct competition from other ATM service providers and indirect competition from financial technology companies and banks. As the financial services industry continues to evolve with technological advancements, Cardtronics and its competitors must adapt to changing consumer preferences and the increasing shift towards digital and cardless payment options.

    Cardtronics PLC SWOT Analysis


    1. Extensive Network and Global Presence: Cardtronics PLC has established a vast ATM network spread across various countries, facilitating widespread access and convenience for users. This extensive network is a significant strength as it enables the company to serve millions of customers, providing them with easy access to cash and other financial services.

    2. Diverse Customer Base: The company serves a wide range of customers, including financial institutions, retailers, and consumers. This diversity helps in risk distribution and ensures a steady flow of revenue from different segments, making the business model resilient and robust.

    3. Innovative Solutions and Services: Cardtronics is at the forefront of introducing innovative ATM solutions like contactless transactions, which enhance user experience and security. Their commitment to innovation ensures they remain competitive and relevant in the rapidly evolving fintech landscape.

    4. Strategic Partnerships and Alliances: Through strategic partnerships with banks, credit unions, and financial services providers, Cardtronics has expanded its service offerings and market reach. These collaborations have also enabled the company to offer surcharge-free transactions to a broader customer base, enhancing its value proposition.


    1. Dependence on Physical Infrastructure: The company's business model heavily relies on physical ATMs, which could be a potential weakness as the world moves towards digital and cashless transactions. This reliance could limit growth opportunities in the long run if not addressed through strategic diversification.

    2. Operational Costs: Maintaining and servicing a vast network of ATMs across different geographies incurs significant operational costs, including site rentals, maintenance, and cash logistics. These costs can impact the company's profitability, especially in competitive markets where reducing service fees might be necessary to retain or grow market share.

    3. Regulatory Challenges: Operating in the financial services sector, Cardtronics faces stringent regulatory requirements across different jurisdictions. Compliance with these regulations can be complex and costly, affecting operational flexibility and speed to market for new services.


    1. Expansion into Emerging Markets: There are significant opportunities for Cardtronics to expand its ATM network into emerging markets where banking infrastructure is still developing. These regions offer a growing customer base that requires access to financial services, including cash withdrawals and deposits.

    2. Digital and Cashless Payment Solutions: Diversifying into digital and cashless payment solutions could open new revenue streams for Cardtronics. By leveraging its existing network and customer base, the company can introduce mobile wallets, online payment platforms, and other fintech services.

    3. Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS): Collaborating with fintech companies and non-traditional financial institutions to offer Banking-as-a-Service can provide Cardtronics with a competitive edge. This approach can attract a younger, tech-savvy demographic looking for innovative banking and financial services.


    1. Rising Competition from Digital Payment Platforms: With the increasing adoption of digital wallets and online payment systems, Cardtronics faces significant competition from companies that offer convenient, cashless payment options. This shift towards digital transactions poses a threat to the company's traditional ATM-based business model.

    2. Economic Downturns: Economic downturns can lead to reduced consumer spending and lower transaction volumes at ATMs, affecting Cardtronics' revenue. The company's performance is closely tied to the overall economic health of the regions it operates in.

    3. Security Risks: As an operator of financial service terminals, Cardtronics is exposed to security risks, including data breaches and physical ATM thefts. Maintaining high-security standards is crucial to protect customer information and cash, but it also requires significant investment in technology and security measures.

    In conclusion, Cardtronics PLC has established a strong position in the ATM services industry through its extensive network, diverse customer base, and commitment to innovation. However, the company must navigate challenges such as reliance on physical infrastructure, operational costs, and rising competition from digital payment solutions. By leveraging opportunities in emerging markets, digital payments, and Banking-as-a-Service, Cardtronics can address its weaknesses and mitigate threats, positioning itself for sustainable growth in the evolving financial landscape.

    Key Takeaways

    • Ownership and Leadership: Cardtronics PLC, a leading ATM owner and operator, was acquired by NCR Corporation and private equity firms, indicating a significant change in ownership that positions the company for enhanced growth and innovation in financial services.

    • Mission Statement Focus: Cardtronics PLC is dedicated to expanding financial access and convenience worldwide, aiming to bridge the gap between physical and digital banking through its extensive network of ATMs and innovative financial solutions.

    • Revenue Generation: The company primarily makes money through transaction fees, surcharges on ATM withdrawals, and partnerships with financial institutions and retailers, leveraging its vast network to offer accessible financial services to consumers while providing value-added services to its partners.

    • Business Model Insights: Cardtronics operates on a robust business model that emphasizes the strategic placement of ATMs in high-traffic locations, collaborations with banks and retailers, and a focus on high-efficiency operations. This model is designed to maximize revenue while meeting consumer demand for convenient cash access and digital banking services.

    • Competitive Landscape and SWOT Analysis: Competitors include traditional bank ATMs, emerging fintech companies, and other independent ATM deployers. The SWOT analysis highlights Cardtronics' extensive network and established partnerships as key strengths, with challenges arising from regulatory changes and increasing digital payment trends. Opportunities lie in expanding digital services and global markets, while threats include competitive pressures and technological advancements.


    In conclusion, the exploration of Cardtronics PLC has offered a comprehensive insight into the workings, ownership, mission, revenue generation strategies, business model, competitors, and an in-depth SWOT analysis of this influential entity. Initially, it was highlighted that Cardtronics PLC, a leading non-bank ATM operator, was acquired by funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management and Hudson Executive Capital LP, marking a significant ownership transition that positions the company for further growth and innovation.

    Cardtronics PLC's mission statement, which focuses on providing secure, convenient, and cost-effective ATM and financial kiosk services globally, underscores the company's commitment to enhancing financial access and inclusion. This mission is achieved through a robust business model that leverages a widespread network of ATMs, partnerships with financial institutions, and advanced technology to generate revenue. The company's primary income streams include surcharge fees, interchange fees, and ATM management services, which together create a solid financial foundation.

    The business model canvas of Cardtronics PLC further dissected how the company creates, delivers, and captures value, emphasizing its customer segments, key activities, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key partners, cost structure, and value propositions. This holistic view provided a clear picture of Cardtronics PLC's strategic approach to navigating the complex ATM services landscape.

    In analyzing the competitive landscape, it became evident that Cardtronics PLC faces stiff competition from various players, including traditional banks with their own ATM networks, other independent ATM deployers, and emerging financial technology companies offering alternative cash access solutions. Despite this, Cardtronics PLC's extensive network and innovative solutions position it as a formidable player in the industry.

    The SWOT analysis further delved into the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to Cardtronics PLC, offering a nuanced understanding of its market position. Strengths such as a vast ATM network and strong partnerships stand against weaknesses like reliance on physical infrastructure in a digitally evolving world. Opportunities for expansion and leveraging fintech innovations are juxtaposed with threats from regulatory changes and competitive pressures.

    Overall, the exploration of Cardtronics PLC paints a picture of a resilient company with a clear mission, innovative business model, and strategic approach to overcoming challenges while capitalizing on opportunities. As the landscape of financial services continues to evolve, Cardtronics PLC's adaptability, strategic partnerships, and commitment to service excellence will undoubtedly play pivotal roles in its ongoing success and growth.


    What is PLC SWOT analysis?

    PLC SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to identify and analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a company operating in a mature market with stable growth. The analysis helps businesses understand their position in the market and develop strategies to maximize their strengths, minimize weaknesses, capitalize on opportunities, and mitigate threats. It is commonly used for companies with products or services that have reached the maturity stage of their lifecycle.

    What will be your SWOT analysis for the company?


    1. Strong brand recognition and reputation
    2. Diverse range of products and services
    3. Robust distribution network
    4. Innovative technology and research capabilities
    5. Strong financial performance and stability


    1. High dependency on key markets
    2. Limited geographic presence
    3. Vulnerability to market fluctuations
    4. Slow adoption of new technologies
    5. Limited customer engagement and loyalty programs


    1. Expansion into emerging markets
    2. Strategic partnerships and collaborations
    3. Introduction of new products and services
    4. Increased focus on sustainability and corporate social responsibility
    5. Utilizing data analytics and AI for better decision-making


    1. Intense competition from rivals
    2. Changing regulatory environment
    3. Economic downturns and market volatility
    4. Rapid technological advancements
    5. Shift in consumer preferences and behaviors

    What is a SWOT analysis of a public organization?

    A SWOT analysis of a public organization involves assessing its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This analysis can help the organization identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to capitalize on its strengths and opportunities while mitigating its weaknesses and threats.


    • Strong mission and purpose
    • Access to government funding and resources
    • Established reputation and credibility
    • Skilled and experienced workforce
    • Broad public support and trust


    • Bureaucratic processes and red tape
    • Limited flexibility and adaptability
    • Lack of innovation and creativity
    • Inefficient use of resources
    • Public scrutiny and accountability


    • Collaboration with other public and private organizations
    • Expansion of services and programs
    • Use of technology to improve efficiency and effectiveness
    • Public-private partnerships
    • Advocacy for policy changes and reforms


    • Budget cuts and funding reductions
    • Political interference and instability
    • Increased competition from other organizations
    • Changing public attitudes and expectations
    • Legal and regulatory challenges

    Overall, a SWOT analysis can help a public organization identify its internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats, in order to develop strategies that will enable it to achieve its goals and fulfill its mission effectively.

    What is a SWOT analysis for a bank manager?


    • Strong leadership skills
    • Knowledge of banking industry regulations and best practices
    • Experience in managing a team and meeting financial goals
    • Ability to analyze data and make informed decisions


    • Lack of experience in certain areas of banking, such as risk management or marketing
    • Difficulty adapting to new technology or changes in the industry
    • Inability to effectively communicate with team members or clients
    • Struggles with time management or prioritizing tasks


    • Further education or training to expand knowledge and skills
    • Networking with other industry professionals to gain new perspectives and insights
    • Implementing new technology or software to streamline processes and improve customer experience
    • Exploring new markets or services to increase revenue and customer base


    • Competition from other banks or financial institutions
    • Economic downturn or changes in regulations that impact the banking industry
    • Security breaches or cyber attacks that compromise customer data
    • Changing customer preferences or expectations that require the bank to adapt quickly

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