Cost To Start An ATM Business

In our comprehensive guide for starting an ATM business, we briefly mentioned the costs involved. Now we will study all the costs to start an ATM business, including the regular expenses and different setups available.

Furthermore, it is also useful to have a sort of checklist about how to start an ATM business from a practical perspective.

Cost To Start ATM Business

You can get started into the ATM business for a very low cost. For as little as $2,099, you can purchase your first machine. You can stock the machine with as little as $500 or as much as $16,000+. Most customers stock their ATM machines with between $1,000-3,00

Overall, you can expect to pay about $3,000 to $4,000  to start an ATM business. These costs are divided between the cost of the machine itself, internet connectivity, cash reload fees, and relevant vendor fees. Depending on the location and type of machine you get, you may end up paying upwards of $10,000 to get your ATM business off the ground. 

ATMs cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on if you buy a used or new machine.

A new indoor ATM machine is approximately $2,500. Outdoor machines are closer to $10,000. Renting space for the machine can be $100 per month. A phone line for connecting to other banks is $30 a month. Replacing receipt paper is $50 per month, and armored cash delivery can be as much as $500 per month.

You can get a machine between $2000- $3000 if it’s going INDOORS. In addition, you can choose to purchase a brand new ATM or refurbished machine. Determining the type of machine is a crucial aspect for ATM business owners.

As I said above, automated teller machines at ATM locations that are outside can cost closer to $10,000 since they have to be both weather-proof and more secure from theft.

Loading services

If you ruin an ATM business, then you will need to make sure your machines are constantly loaded with cash for customers to take out. There are several businesses that offer cash loading services for independent ATM owners and corporations.

On average, cash loading services will cost you between $50 and $100 a week, depending on how many machines you own. If you have multiple machines, you can expect to pay about $50 to $70 for each machine.

Paper

You also need to consider the costs of receipt paper. Most ATMs still use paper reel receipts though there is a small group of newer machines that do not. ATM receipt paper is fairly cheap and you can expect to pay about $30 to $50 a month for it. 

Internet

You also need to pay for internet connectivity. If you already have internet at the location, then you can piggyback your machine off of it. Typical dial-up internet service costs about $20 to $30 a month while more advanced WiFi connectivity will cost between $60 and $70 per month. 

Shipping/installation

You will also need to consider shipping and installation costs for the ATM. Most manufacturers offer delivery for their ATM system for an extra charge. Typically, you can expect to pay about $400 for delivery, depending on the type of machine that you get.

License costs

Most states require independent non-bank ATM owners to have a permit to operate their machines. You will at least have to get a state operating license and may have to get a local operating license as well.

Licensing costs will differ depending on the state and which licenses you need. But you can expect to spend about $100 as one-time licensing fees. You may also have to pay to revalidate your license every year.

How Much Do ATM Machines Cost

An average ATM machine costs $3,000. However, they can range anywhere between $2,000 – $8,000. Many factors influence the price, such as the level of banking services available, if it’s freestanding or built-in, and whether or not it offers wireless technology.

Freestanding

Freestanding ATMs consist of a single unit that sits free from any other structure. They are typically small and are commonly found in gas stations, restaurants, and small retail shops. These types of ATMs are typically the cheapest and cost around $1,500 to $2,000 on average.

Dial-up

Dial-up machines are similar to freestanding units by they also contain a small 56 kbps modem to connect to the internet. Since these kinds of machines connect to the internet, you will need a separate phone line to hook them up. Dial-up machines are slightly more expensive because of the hardware. 

Countertop

Countertop ATMs are small and typically are put on counters and other places when there is not enough space for a freestanding ATM. These ATMs tend to be small but they are more expensive to install because they have to be built into the countertop instead of just placing the machine.

Wireless

Wireless ATMs are the next model of dial-up ATMs and contain WiFi capabilities to connect to the internet. Since these machines use modern wireless protocols, they are usually faster than dial-up machines.

However, if the WiFi goes out, then customers won’t be able to use the machine. You can also buy wireless adaptors for older machines if you want to give them WiFi connectivity and don’t want to buy a new machine. WiFi ATMs typically cost about $3,000 on average, though you may be able to find a used version for around $2,000.

Built-in

Built-in ATMs are the kind that you find in banks and are built into the wall or a larger structure. This is the kind of machine you’d find on a bank’s drive-through.

Generally, built-in ATMs are the most expensive because they require substantial construction. You can expect to pay about $10,000 on average if you want to buy and build a built-in ATM. 

The cost of your ATM will also depend on the specific brand and manufacturer. Below is a table showing average prices for popular brands and models of ATMs. Keep in mind that these figures are averages and may be subject to change. 

Here are three ATM machines we found that make sense for small businesses:

  • Hyosung Monimax 5000: This is your typical stand-alone ATM machine that provides easy access to cash in many retail stores. It includes a sign topper to help your customers locate it, and it has a small footprint.
  • Genmega G2500: This model is a very basic ATM machine. It doesn’t have as many features as some machines, but it is small and freestanding, making it ideal for smaller companies.
  • Genmega GT3000: This is an example of a “through-the-wall” ATM machine. This means it is not a standalone unit, but rather one that builds into a wall within your business. This can be a good option for businesses looking to provide outdoor ATM machine access in a safe, efficient manner.
BrandModelPrice
HyosungHalo2$2,500
HyosungForce$2,700
TritonTraverse$2,700
TritonArgo FT ATM$15,000
HantleT4000 ATM$5,500
Hantle1700W ATM$3,000
GenmegaOnyx$2,300
Genmega2500$2,500
GenmegaGT 3000$4,000

As you can see, the costs of ATMs can vary significantly from just over $2,000 to well over $10,000. Most ATM owners end up paying around $3,000 on average for the machine and other accessories they need. 

How Much Do ATM Owners Make?

ATM business owners primarily make money off surcharge fees when customers make withdrawals. If you own the ATM outright, then you get to keep 100% of these fees. The typical ATM can make anywhere between $15 to $25 a day, assuming average use.

Assuming a net profit of $2.50 and an average of 10 transactions per day, you can expect to make about $500 to $700 a month in passive income with just one machine. Once you start adding more machines, you’ll start seeing more money.

If you own your ATM you can keep 100% of this income and you can basically set the surcharge to whatever you want. Otherwise, you will have to factor in monthly leasing costs and surcharge fees. 

The exact cost will differ depending on the specific machine and how much traffic it gets, but the average ATM can expect to make about $15 to $25 per day.

The average ATM in an urban location sees about 6 to 10 transactions a day. Assuming a net profit of $2.50 from each transaction, that comes out to anywhere between $500 to $700 a month. 

One of the most important parts of making money with an ATM is the surcharge fee. When you own the ATM, short-term keep all of the surcharge fee (minus relevant ISO fees).

Considering that the average surcharge is $3.00 for ATMs in the US, that can come out to a tidy profit over time. If you own the ATM, you can choose whatever surcharge you want. Just make sure you don’t set it so high that nobody uses it. 

In other words, owning an ATM can be an excellent source of side income. The exact amount you will make depends largely on transaction fees. Different states and cities have different ATM transaction costs. For example, an ATM in a larger city will have more fees and likely be more profitable than an ATM in a rural area with less traffic. 

How Does Owning An ATM Work?

When people use an ATM machine, they typically pay a small fee between $2 and $3. That fee is how businesses make most of their money through an ATM machine.

“When a business allows an ATM to be placed at their location, they have the opportunity to earn a commission,” said Paul Carriere, attorney at Favret Carriere Cronvich. “The simplest way to conceptualize earning a commission is when a person uses an ATM, there is a ‘surcharge,’ a fee for using the ATM.”

However, business owners typically don’t receive the whole fee. If you rent the ATM, the business that maintains the machine (fills it with cash, repairs it, etc.) receives some of the money.

“There are a number of variations on the split, but the business earns money based on the surcharge transactions,” Carriere added.

While businesses can make money through the fees, some business owners look for other ways to use ATMs to make money. One of the most common methods is by placing advertisements on the ATM machine.

“Companies are placing screens on top of ATMs and selling ads to run on those machines,” Carriere said. “This can increase revenue for ATM operators and locations.”

you can get a good machine in a location that has a lot of foot traffic. ATMs have very high-profit margins because they are automated and require very little maintenance and upkeep.

You will periodically have to refill the machine or get hardware maintenance, but the rest of the time you can just sit back and watch the passive income accrue. 

One major barrier to starting an ATM business is finding a good location. If you can find a decent location, then your chances of making money are much higher. Generally speaking, good places for ATMs include outside of retail spaces of stores that only use cash. For example, placing an ATM near a cash-only bar would be a great idea and get more people to use the machine. 

If you’re considering installing an ATM at your place of business, there are several benefits you can expect. Chiefly, if you are a cash-only business, having an ATM machine onsite allows your customers to withdraw cash so they can pay you for goods or services. Additionally, you reap the benefit of an extra commission.

Other benefits include:

  • Increased revenue: Revenue could increase because of the commission you earn on each transaction, as well as from new customers who are entering your establishment to use the ATM. 
  • Reduced credit card processing fees: Businesses with ATM machines located inside their shop receive more cash payments compared to businesses that do not. By putting an ATM machine inside your store, you can drive down credit card processing fees. 
  • Convenience: Providing your customers with an easy cash option inside your business means you’re providing them with a convenience. It may even boost customer satisfaction.
  • Flexible plans: ATM machine companies often allow you to buy or lease your machine, depending on what works best for your business. There are short-term contract and cancel-anytime options, and some companies help you with marketing the ATM.

Do You Need An LLC For An ATM Business?

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your ATM Business is sued.

You can form an LLC yourself and pay only the minimal state LLC costs or hire one of the Best LLC Services for a small, additional fee.

Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.

ATM Business License

Before you start an ATM business, you must follow your state’s licensing requirements.

you may have to visit the State Attorney General’s office to register the business. The cost of the registration varies depending on the business entity. However, the range is between $10- $700.

You must have thought of a business name which you will register with your county clerk. In addition, you may opt for a limited liability company.

This protects you from personal liability. Furthermore, you should get all necessary business licenses and permits by paying all required fees before commencing the business.

Purchasing ATM insurance is not compulsory.

You can decide to get it or not. The cost depends on what plan covers the machine and/or cash. The number of employees and location of the business may also influence it.

But on average, expect it to cost about $500/year to insure an ATM for up to $1,000,000 in general liability coverage.

However, remember to check if an insurance policy already covers the location. If it does, this will determine the type of insurance to purchase.

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Factors That Affect the Costs of Starting an ATM Business

Location

A major factor determining the cost of running an ATM business is the location you pick. AS you might expect, an ATM in a rural location that does not see much foot traffic will probably cost less to buy and operate than one in a major city that gets a lot of foot traffic.

However, ATMs in cheaper locations usually see fewer profits because of lower traffic, but there are exceptions to this rule. The location also matters because of the percentage of people who rely on cash for goods and services. The greater the need for cash in the area, the more traffic you can expect.

Vendor Fee

Most of the time, you will want to put your ATM by an already established location or business. In that case, you will have to pay a regular vendor fee as a kind of “rent.” Vendor fees can vary widely and depend on how much money the ATM pulls in and how much traffic it gets.

ATM vendor fees are typically established on a per transaction basis. The typical vendor fee is about 20 to 50 cents per transaction. The typical ATM gets used about 300 times per month, so you can expect to pay about $60 to $100 per month in vendor fees. 

Accessories

ATMs use cassettes to hold bills of different denominations. The typical ATM carries about 4 cassettes for $1, $5, $10, and $20. Some ATM owners may want to get additional cash cassettes for higher denominations of bills such as $50 and $100. The typical ATM cash cassette costs anywhere between $50 and $100, depending on the brand. 

Accessibility Features

Modern ATMs have advanced accessibility features such as LCD touchscreens, thermal printers, and connectivity features. An ATM that has a touch screen will cost significantly more than one that only uses buttons. Make sure to consider the kinds of accessibility features your ATM needs and plan your purchase accordingly. 

ATM Insurance

While not required, it is usually a good idea to purchase ATM insurance. ATM insurance works like any other insurance policy in that it protects you from vandalism, theft, and other property losses. ATM insurance costs anywhere between $40 to $70 a month, so the average ATM owner ends up spending between $400 to $700 a year for $1 million in liability coverage.

Insurance Covers Things Like

Employee theft
Physical damage
Property loss
Robbery
Mysterious disappearance (i.e., someone removes the entire ATM)
Hacking (i.e., “jackpotting”)
Weather damage

The exact coverage will depend on the specific insurance policy, so make sure you understand the ins and outs of your coverage. 

Miscellaneous ATM Business Costs

Loading services

If you ruin an ATM business, then you will need to make sure your machines are constantly loaded with cash for customers to take out. There are several businesses that offer cash loading services for independent ATM owners and corporations.

On average, cash loading services will cost you between $50 and $100 a week, depending on how many machines you own. If you have multiple machines, you can expect to pay about $50 to $70 for each machine.

Paper

You also need to consider the costs of receipt paper. Most ATMs still use paper reel receipts though there is a small group of newer machines that do not. ATM receipt paper is fairly cheap and you can expect to pay about $30 to $50 a month for it. 

Internet

You also need to pay for internet connectivity. If you already have internet at the location, then you can piggyback your machine off of it. Typical dial-up internet service costs about $20 to $30 a month while more advanced WiFi connectivity will cost between $60 and $70 per month. 

Shipping/installation

You will also need to consider shipping and installation costs for the ATM. Most manufacturers offer delivery for their ATM system for an extra charge. Typically, you can expect to pay about $400 for delivery, depending on the type of machine that you get.

License costs

Most states require independent non-bank ATM owners to have a permit to operate their machines. You will at least have to get a state operating license and may have to get a local operating license as well.

Licensing costs will differ depending on the state and which licenses you need. But you can expect to spend about $100 as one-time licensing fees. You may also have to pay to revalidate your license every year.

Costs In Detail

1k Removable cassette-This is a 1000 note removable cassette which allows you to either buy an extra cassette and swap cassettes when vaulting machines or remove cassette and add cash in a private or more secure location.

Electronic Lock- most of the locks for the safe come standard e-lock although some still have a dial lock as base and most operators upgrade to the e-lock for an additional small cost. Audit Lock (single use Armor truck requirement) can add $300-$400 to the lock cost

Topper– Adds potential advertising space for the ATM, a topper upgrade is around $50-$100 on a new machine

Safe– Safe and safe door where vault cash is contained

Lock– There are 3 main lock types, Dial Lock (standard) Electronic Lock ($50 upgrade), Audit Lock- one time use Armor truck ready ($300-$400 upgrade)

Dispenser– This is the area where cash is stored and dispensed.  The most expensive part to replace and is typically repaired rather than replaced.  Standard issue is fixed cassette.  A 1000 note removable cassette normally adds $50-$100 depending on the retailer. New single cassette dispensers run around $800-$1000

Hyosung Halo2

Cassette– 1000 note removable is typical issue although 1700 not cassettes, dual cassettes and more are available.  A removable cassette is normally a $50 upgrade on a new machine.  Spare 1000 note cassettes run around $400

Screen– The exterior screen for customer use, can be touch or just visual screen, most screen replacements run $200-$300.

Main-board– Most main board with modem are $650-$700 replacement

Card Reader– EMV is new and latest standard.  Most ATMs built in the last 5 years can be upgraded to EMV fairly easily and with relatively low expense ($275-$400)

Modem board– Usually located on main board although can be separate, run around $125

Printer– A printer assembly runs around $600-$700

Keypad– typically a $400-$500 part for newer ATMs

Power Supply– To replace a power supply on an ATM runs around $300-$350

Wireless– Many options exist for wireless devices and these typically run around $15-$20 per month for a lease or $275 to purchase the box and $5 per month for the connection to the wireless provider

XXXXXXX

ATM Machine

ATM machines can range in cost from $1,000 to $8,000. This is a wide range, but it depends on the size of the machine and the age. 

Realistically, however, you should probably expect to pay around $2,000-$3,000. That is the range for the most common, free standing ATM machines.

Wall mount ATM machines are smaller and will cost less than a through-the-wall ATM machine designed to service areas with a lot of foot traffic and a lot of business. And a refurbished machine will cost less than a brand new machine. At least as far as the unit is concerned.

Upgrade Kit

What you have to look out for with refurbished machines is compliance. As regulations change, so must ATM design. Fortunately, to help accommodate these changes, upgrade kits are often available to keep a machine compliant without having to scrap it completely!

However, in some cases, a machine is just too old that it won’t support an upgrade kit. And if this is the machine you purchase, you will probably end up losing money. 

You also don’t want to purchase a machine that isn’t certified refurbished. If you do, you run the risk of spending more money on repairs than you would have if you had just purchased a new machine!

So keep these three things in mind when shopping for a refurbished machine:

  1. Will it need repairs?
  2. Will it need an upgrade kit?
  3. Am I saving money or creating more expenses?

On the other hand, you could find a nearly new, certified refurbished ATM machine that still has close to 8 years left of life or more. 

Choosing equipment is the biggest, most important decision of your ATM business. Because it is your ATM business.

Extra Features

There are a number of features you can add to your machine to help draw in more business. These features are not necessary for your machine to function or be compliant, they just help you keep up with your competition.

Lighted keypads draw customers in at night. Signs can be added to the top of your machine to help catch the eye of passers-by. And cameras can add another layer of security to your business.

As you can see, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of your ATM equipment purchase. Do you want to spend a little bit more for a brand new ATM machine that comes fully loaded or is it a bargain to purchase a used or refurbished machine that might need upgrades or supplemental features to draw customers? 

Insurance

You don’t have to purchase ATM insurance. This is completely up to you. ATM insurance works just like any other insurance policy: you pay a regular price so that you are covered in the instance of vandalism, theft, weather damage, lawsuit, etc. Typically you can choose a policy that covers the equipment and cash or one or the other. This gives you a few more options and flexibility. 

And you don’t have to purchase it right away. If you want to wait until you start making money from your machine, you can pay for the insurance later from the ATM revenue. 

You will want to work with an ATM company that is associated with the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA). These companies can guide you toward a policy that meets your specific needs so that you don’t pay for more than you need or avoid not having full coverage.

To give you an idea of what to expect if you do want to purchase ATM insurance, the average ATM business in the United States spends about  $400-$700 per year for $1 million in general liability coverage. Factors that contribute to the price of your policy are location, deductible, and number of employees.

However, if the business where your ATM is located has insurance for the property or business, your machine might be covered under the existing policy. Other location owners might require you to carry general liability insurance in order to work with you. Therefore, you open yourself up to more opportunities if you have coverage. So check with the location owner to see if there are insurance requirements you need to follow. 

Leasing a Space

You might find a business or store owner who is willing to rent the space where you want to place your ATM. This amount will depend on the location itself. And whether or not you agree to the rent price will depend on your projected revenue. Will you still be able to make a fair profit after deducting the cost of rent?

To make sure you always make enough to cover the rent, you might suggest splitting the revenue instead of a set rent price. That way, even when business is slow, you are still guaranteed a profit.

Revenue Split

If you don’t have your own business or store, you might have to convince a store owner to allow you to place your ATM in his or her business. While it doesn’t cost anything to reach out to and make connections with local business owners and decision makers, you might have to negotiate a revenue split to get them to agree to your proposition. 

This isn’t necessarily a start-up cost, but you’ll have to consider it when calculating the rate of your return on investment (ROI). It’s also a good alternative to paying rent for the space.

Factors That Affect the Costs of Starting an ATM Business

Location

A major factor determining the cost of running an ATM business is the location you pick. AS you might expect, an ATM in a rural location that does not see much foot traffic will probably cost less to buy and operate than one in a major city that gets a lot of foot traffic.

However, ATMs in cheaper locations usually see fewer profits because of lower traffic, but there are exceptions to this rule. The location also matters because of the percentage of people who rely on cash for goods and services. The greater the need for cash in the area, the more traffic you can expect.

Vendor Fee

Most of the time, you will want to put your ATM by an already established location or business. In that case, you will have to pay a regular vendor fee as a kind of “rent.” Vendor fees can vary widely and depend on how much money the ATM pulls in and how much traffic it gets.

ATM vendor fees are typically established on a per transaction basis. The typical vendor fee is about 20 to 50 cents per transaction. The typical ATM gets used about 300 times per month, so you can expect to pay about $60 to $100 per month in vendor fees. 

Accessories

ATMs use cassettes to hold bills of different denominations. The typical ATM carries about 4 cassettes for $1, $5, $10, and $20. Some ATM owners may want to get additional cash cassettes for higher denominations of bills such as $50 and $100. The typical ATM cash cassette costs anywhere between $50 and $100, depending on the brand. 

Accessibility Features

Modern ATMs have advanced accessibility features such as LCD touchscreens, thermal printers, and connectivity features. An ATM that has a touch screen will cost significantly more than one that only uses buttons. Make sure to consider the kinds of accessibility features your ATM needs and plan your purchase accordingly. 

ATM Insurance

While not required, it is usually a good idea to purchase ATM insurance. ATM insurance works like any other insurance policy in that it protects you from vandalism, theft, and other property losses. ATM insurance costs anywhere between $40 to $70 a month, so the average ATM owner ends up spending between $400 to $700 a year for $1 million in liability coverage.

Insurance Covers Things Like

Employee theft
Physical damage
Property loss
Robbery
Mysterious disappearance (i.e., someone removes the entire ATM)
Hacking (i.e., “jackpotting”)
Weather damage

The exact coverage will depend on the specific insurance policy, so make sure you understand the ins and outs of your coverage. 

Leasing vs Buying an ATM

If you do not want to outright buy an ATM, you can start by leasing a machine. When you lease a machine, another company provides the hardware and logistics while you focus on day-to-day operations and maintenance. In return, you pay a licensing fee to the owner and also give a portion of the profits. 

Companies have different terms for leases. For example, one company may require a $100 monthly licensing fee and take 20%-30% of profits from surcharges. The prices can vary heavily depending on the type of machine and location, but you can expect to pay an average of $80 per month to lease an ATM. In some cases, owners may waive surcharge fees in favor of higher monthly fees and vice versa. 

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Author D Laidler

I am David, economist, originally from Britain, and studied in Germany and Canada. I am now living in the United States. I have a house in Ontario, but I actually never go.  I wrote some books about sovereign debt, and mortgage loans. I am currently retired and dedicate most of my time to fishing. There were many topics in personal finances that have currently changed and other that I have never published before. So now in Business Finance, I found the opportunity to do so. Please let me know in the comments section which are your thoughts. Thank you and have a happy reading.

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