Show Me the Money

If you have a business that handles a significant amount of cash or coins in the Tulsa area, you are likely a customer of Financial Equipment Co. of Jenks.
Financial Equipment Co., 13000 S. Elwood Ave., has been serving the financial, gaming and commercial business markets in the region since 1978, when President Jack White started the business in his Bixby garage as F&E Check Protector.
The firm now represents more than 40 manufacturers of a full range of solutions for handling coins, currency and checks, as well as other business office applications, including shredders. A business built on sales and service of that equipment and software, the company covers a region including Oklahoma, northern Texas, western Arkansas, southwestern Missouri and southern Kansas, with some customers in Alabama and New Mexico, said Joe Horton, general manager.
“We specialize,” White said. “We handle the heavy duties that the banks or the casinos use.
“Nearly all the banks in Oklahoma are our customers — all of the credit unions and, I would say, most of the casinos,” he said. “Our guys are all bonded because they are dealing with the money room, with currency, all the time. Of course to us, when it’s in an environment like that, it is not even money to us. It’s just a medium that we have to count.”
While a large part of the firm’s business involves the banking industry, providing and servicing coin and currency counting equipment, teller machines, currency discriminators and dispensers, the casino business has opened a growing market for ticket redemption kiosks, White said.
“If you are fortunate enough to win some money or get some money back at the casino, a ticket comes out of a slot machine and you take that ticket either to the cashier window or to one of our kiosks and put it in, and it will automatically dispense your currency,” White said.
The kiosks that serve the TITO (ticket in, ticket out) systems are also increasingly sophisticated, Horton said.
“They are evolving,” he said. “They used to be a pretty simple machine. You just walked up, stuck in your ticket and it gave you money. Now it has a screen that gives you options – how many tickets do you want to cash out? How do you want denominations? And now some of them have ATM functionality. As time goes on, some of them will add player point redemption. Also, in the not distant future, patrons will be able to go up and make reservations and redeem comps.”
Financial Equipment Co., which also operates a branch in Norman, moved into its 10,000-SF offices about five years ago.
With about 20 employees and $8-10 million in revenue a year, White said the company has experienced continuous growth and may need additional space for equipment and staff.
“We will probably be adding on in the near future,” he said. “We have never gone backwards. It has not been astronomical growth. It has been steady growth.”
White attributes the company’s growth to its service philosophy and longevity of employment.
“Most of the guys have been here forever,” he said. “That is the key, retentions. When we go to a customer’s office, they have known the person for 10 to 15 years. We are more of a service organization – we want to make sure that all of our customer’s equipment keeps running. When they buy equipment, they call us because we have kept that equipment running for 10 years.”
Financial Equipment Co. was recently named a distributor for Tidel Engineering LP, which offers a line of robbery prevention and cash management solutions designed for the convenience store and retail markets, opening a market for the firm.
“It’s what we do already,” White said. “It’s just that we haven’t done it for the retail, the convenience and grocery stores. This is exciting for all the employees because it opens up a whole new field.”

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