What You Can Get at the ATM

When I lived in Germany, there were vending machines that dispensed fresh flowers. At any time, day or night, you could insert 5 Marks and get a bouquet. I thought that was a neat idea and apparently this flowers-at-all-hours vending is alive and well and you can see the flower kiosk from Israel here.

Earlier this year in Las Vegas, the news reported that there was a new ATM in town. USA Today wrote, “If you’re sick of just getting plain-old cash out of the ATM, head over to the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, where you can withdraw funds from your account in the form of gold.” You can read it here.

It would appear that this ATM “Gold to Go” idea has caught on and the Gitanjali Group in India who describes themselves as the world’s largest “integrated conglomerate of diamonds, jewelry and lifestyle brands” is taking the ATM to the next level. They have introduced the world’s first gold and diamond dispensing ATM in Mumbai.

Picture this: insert plastic – out pops diamonds. And not just loose diamonds – but necklaces, bracelets and pendants with religious motifs. This could be the perfect solution for those last-minute shoppers. But, I wonder how they will handle returns? Imagine the possibilities…

“Honey, I love the pendant but I would prefer a bracelet. Can we return it, which store did you buy it from?”

“Sorry my love, I got it from the ATM on the corner of 1st and 3rd Avenues. I don’t know if they have a return policy.”

The Gitanjali Group’s gold and diamonds come with certificates of authenticity. They will cost you anywhere from $20 to $700. The company is planning to roll out 75 of these ATMs throughout India in places where people congregate in large numbers. They pride themselves on “instant gratification to the purchaser.”

I think if we’re going to start putting anything in ATMs in this economy, it ought to be something worthwhile that folks could afford that would provide “instant gratification” such as an ATM on the side of the road that dispenses Starbucks at 3:00 am for those truckers who are on the long haul.

What’s in your wallet or your ATM?







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