HOUSTON, Aug. 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cardtronics (Nasdaq:CATM) today announced that Costco Wholesale (Nasdaq:COST) has renewed the company as a key provider of ATM services in the United States, adding a long-term contract extension to a relationship established in 2005. The world's largest retail ATM owner, Cardtronics owns and operates more than 450 ATMs located in Costco membership warehouses spread across 39 states today, and has expansion rights for future Costco locations. Characteristic of the premium, high-traffic retailers that host Cardtronics-owned ATMs, Costco Wholesale offers compelling opportunity for banks and credit unions by way of Cardtronics' ATM Branding program. Elevated brand awareness and enhanced fee-free cash access for account holders—these are the key reasons 12 financial institutions have already placed their brands on a portion of Cardtronics' portfolio of Costco-located ATMs. Plus, with the recent expansion of Cardtronics' ATM branding program to include both Principal Branding and Preferred Branding , all 450 ATMs are once again available to interested financial institutions. "Offering easy and convenient access to cash, that's the central reason why Costco and our ATM branding partners continue to choose Cardtronics — it's why Cardtronics is at the convergence retailers, financial institutions and the customers and members we all share," said Rick Updyke, president, North America Business Group, Cardtronics. "With the recent evolution of our ATM branding program, Cardtronics can make life easier for a greater number of Costco shoppers, financial institution partners and their accountholders. And we can do it with an expanded, cost-effective ATM branding solution set that can be tailored to meet a bank or credit union's specific needs." Principal Branding, for all practical purposes, results in a Cardtronics-owned ATM appearing to be owned and operated by the branding bank or credit union. This is accomplished through some combination of ATM toppers, skins, screens, receipts and outdoor signs all displaying the brand and logo of Cardtronics' ATM branding partner. Principal Branding is available on a one financial institution per ATM basis. With Preferred Branding, up to nine additional financial institutions can use the same premium retailer location and the same Cardtronics-owned ATM, including locations that already have a Principal Branding partner, to expand fee-free cash access for their accountholders and generate awareness for their bank or credit union. As for how it works, financial institutions have their 2x2 inch logo added to the Preferred Branding decal located on the ATM's safe door. Financial institutions have cumulatively branded a total of 19,000 Cardtronics-owned ATMs.