NEW YORK (5/28/08)--ATM manufacturers are finding that, contrary to expectations, the credit crunch stemming from the housing market's woes is boosting ATM sales at credit unions and banks. According to ATM & Debit News (May 22), some analysts had expected ATM sales of less than zero this year in the U.S. They based those expectations on the large financial losses major banks were reporting from the subprime-lending fallout. One analyst had predicted ATM sales in the U.S. would drop 5% this year, compared with flat-to-minimum sales growth of 1% last year and in 2006. Now he says sales for 2008 may be flat or up slightly. So, who's buying? Bank of America Corp., JP Morgan Chase & Co., and Wells Fargo & Co. are driving up sales in the U.S. for envelope-free ATMs, including some that accept bulk-cash and bulk-check deposits. They are using the ATMs to shore up frontline relationships with their customers. ATMs are cheaper than financing other bank operations. Credit unions and small banks are driving up sales of bulk-check deposit, envelope-free ATMs, said the article. It pointed out that BECU (formerly Boeing Employees CU), an $8.124 billion asset credit union based in Tukwila, Wash., and other credit unions have purchased multifunctional kiosks. Regional banks, who are often takeover targets, aren’t buying; they're worried about capital expenditures, said analysts. North Canton, Ohio-based Diebold, a CUNA Strategic Service provider, reported first-quarter revenue for its ATM manufacturing unit as $495.8 million, an 8.1% increase over the $458.9 million in first-quarter 2007. It had installed 7,400 deposit automation ATMs in the U.S. as of April 30, said Diebold President/CEO Thomas W. Swidarksi.