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Recycle your Apple phone for money

Apple Stores Mark Earth Day, Day After Announcing New Green Initiative
Apple Stores Mark Earth Day, Day After Announcing New Green Initiative
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

You may be interested in the new Apple iPhone soon to be available with a mobilized payment feature from the phone. It will operate on NFC- near field communication system. The actual credit card providers, such as American Express, are rumored but not yet confirmed, according to Forbes on Tuesday.

A suggestion for an exchange of your current Apple iPhone is from ecoATM, a San Diego e-waste recycler. I spoke with its co-founder Mark Bowles. He offers two benefits from recycling your current iPhone or your android phone while you plan your new Apple iPhone purchase.

First, while it is true that consumers are able to upgrade iPhones with Apple, there are a number of unique benefits to ecoATM. The first big incentive is the instant cash. Carrier stores often provide store credit, or force another contract, meaning a consumer is locked into that carrier or contract. Online retailers provide a check, which can take days, sometimes weeks, to get mailed.

The second benefit is that ecoATM accepts all types of devices, in any condition. Water damaged phones, original generation iPhones, and even those old flip phones. Often, carrier stores, including Apple, put restrictions around the phones that can get ‘traded in’ or traded up for newer devices. If a phone is water damaged, the carrier may not accept the device but ecoATM does, and pays cash instantly.

Who is ecoATM and why use the service? Bowles explains that he read a stat in 2008 from a Nokia research report. It stated that only 3% of cell phones was recycled. This was in a year where there were millions of phones on the market! He set out to solve this challenge with ecoATM. He knew convenience, ease of use and incentive were key factors for creating a solution. From this thought, ecoATM was born.

It has dramatically grown since 2008, and in July 2014 was acquired by Outerwall, the owner of other kiosk brands, which include Redbox and Coinstar. Now, as a brand inspired by Outerwall, ecoATM operates over 980 kiosks.

Consumers who want to sell or recycle their old device can place it in a kiosk at more than 980 high-traffic locations, including shopping malls and select Walmart and grocery stores nationwide. Additionally, ecoATM offers instant cash payments for many electronics devices including mobile phones, tablets and mp3 players while ensuring that all devices are responsibly recycled or resold.

The process of using the kiosk takes about five minutes per device. To start, a customer places the device into the kiosk and is required to provide a government issued ID along with providing their thumbprint. Cameras capture the customer's photo and live operators verify that the customer's image matches the driver's license.

Once the customer's identity is verified, the kiosk sensors scan the device to determine what type of device it is and what condition it's in physically. The consumer can verify it by plugging it into the kiosk. When the kiosk finishes its investigation, an offer is made and the customer has the option to accept or decline. If a person accepts the deal, cash is dispensed. If the deal is declined, the ecoATM kiosk returns the phone, tablet or mp3 player.

You can find out more about the company and its kiosk locations at its website. You may find this as an option as you plan your new Apple iPhone purchase.

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