Pros And Cons Of ATM Business
We will study here the pros and cons of an ATM business. The reason for this study is that we have received many questions in the comments section of our complete guide to starting an ATM business.
Likewise, we respond to why the ATM business is not dying and, in fact, keeps increasing every year.
One of the primary reasons business owners install an ATM in their store is to obtain an additional source of income. Business owners earn revenue in the form of a surcharge amount or a convenience fee, which is an amount charged to the customer’s bank card each time they make a transaction using your ATM.
Business owners also receive more exposure amongst potential customers. There is often additional visibility due to an in-house ATM and increased foot traffic in their store. People wanting to withdraw money visit their store and file away the memory of the store’s name in case they ever want to visit again or refer it to someone else looking for an ATM machine.
The whole point of starting a business is to make money, right? The money you make from your ATM machine is considered passive income because the machine does most of the work for you. You essentially make money while you sleep, while you take a vacation, while you work your day job….
Speaking of day jobs, you might decide you want to quit your day job. If the money you make from operating your ATM machine supports the lifestyle you desire, then quit your 9-5 and enjoy the flexibility and freedom of running an ATM business.
Otherwise, the money you make from your ATM machine supplements your existing salary. You now have extra money to put towards the things your salary doesn’t currently cover. And the best part is, it’s a simple business model!
Simple Business Model
The ATM business is not complicated. In only five steps you can have a machine delivered to your front door (not that you would want to run your ATM from your home…). Complete and submit your documentation, select your equipment, choose a location, set your surcharge, and once the machine is installed you can start to make money!
One of the greatest benefits an ATM business offers that other business models don’t is that you can start making money immediately. An ATM business is a service-based business rather than a sales-based business, so you don’t have to pursue clients and customers. If you strategically choose an optimal location for your machine, the customers will come to you. The quicker you make your return on investment (ROI), the quicker you start to profit.
And most of your revenue will be profit. Your only business expenses will be receipt paper, insurance (if you have it), and whatever you set aside for maintenance. Plus, an ATM business is scalable. Once you get the hang of owning and operating one machine, purchase and place another! You could be making thousands of dollars a year with five to ten machines.
Even with ten machines, you still get to enjoy a fairly flexible schedule. An ATM business requires minimal work from you. Again, that’s why it’s called passive income!
As long as people use cash, there will be a need for ATMs. So you don’t need to worry about them becoming obsolete any time soon. Although society is moving in the direction of digital currency, it has yet to take over completely.
Even still, if you decide you’d like to get into the Bitcoin ATM business, that’s an option as well. And it won’t require very much effort to make the switch. Either purchase a Bitcoin ATM or convert a traditional ATM machine if it has the capability.
The point is, you have a lot of time to make a lot of money with ATM machines.
ATMs are alluring due to the convenience of getting cash or making a deposit quickly and without stepping out of your car. The allure of ATMs led to their installation practically everywhere. They are located on-site at bars, shops, universities, and other establishments to give customers easy access to cash.
Provides a 24-hour Service
All of its customers have access to ATMs every day of the year, including holidays. It doesn’t operate on a set of given timetables as local banks do. Users can access their checking accounts and withdraw whenever it is convenient, day or night.
Remote Accessibility to Your Bank Account
Customers can use ATMs to view their accounts anywhere in the nation or worldwide. In all suitable locations across the country, automated teller machines are mounted. Customers can withdraw cash wherever they are traveling without having to bring some money with them.
Minimize Banks’ Workload
ATMs effectively help the banking sector’s burden by cutting back on transactions. Customers have been relieved because they may now access various financial services by utilizing an ATM instead of going to bank locations. You do not need to fill out numerous papers or wait in long lines for essential withdrawals and payment services. It also aids in easing workload pressure on bank employees and offers operational functionality.
When you install an ATM machine, you have to pay for it. Having an ATM machine also adds extra responsibilities, such as maintaining it and ensuring the ATM has sufficient funds. However, you can minimize the amount of responsibilities you take when you invest in an ATM machine by choosing an ATM provider that offers free maintenance and repairs and cash replenishment services.
Additionally, you need to look for an ATM provider that offers several different ways to obtain an ATM machine. For instance, you want to ask the ATM provider if they offer free ATM placement program or the option to lease an ATM machine instead of buying it.
At the end of the day, an ATM business is still, well, a business. So it is going to require some work. We said that it is simple, not that it is easy. So be prepared to invest a little bit of effort. In terms of responsibilities, though, you have very few when it comes to operating your ATM machine.
The initial work you have to do is find a location to place your ATM machine. Unless you already know some business and store owners personally who might be able to benefit from an ATM on their premises, you will have to approach local businesses and stores to try to convince them to share their space and join an ATM partnership.
You also have to think strategically about the best, most lucrative location for your ATM. You have to identify a gap in the market. Where is there a need for an ATM? Where is there a lot of foot traffic? Will you be able to offer a competitive surcharge and bring in users every day?
But once your machine is up and running, the only things left to do are refill the machine with bills and receipt paper and address any maintenance issues. If something breaks or if there is a technical error or if the machine requires routine cleaning, those are your responsibilities. Unless…
You do have the option of delegating your responsibilities. You are, after all, the business owner. So you could pay someone to vault the money for you or you can arrange to share responsibilities with the location owner. The only downfall to this arrangement is that you then have to share a larger amount of your profit. Less work equals less pay.
One thing that you may be overlooking is the extra work it will take to have an ATM in your store. Not only are there maintenance fees when things go wrong, but you will also have to learn the computer program that your ATM uses and oftentimes will be left to troubleshoot things on your own.
This can be frustrating and can also be a big time commitment. Before adding an ATM to your business, you should be prepared to commit to the extra time and work it will require.
Overall, adding an ATM can be a very smart decision. It’s up to you whether or not it is the right choice for your particular business model, but weighing the pros and cons can certainly help.
Again, like any other business, there will be startup costs. And while there is no guarantee you will earn it back, it’s pretty difficult to lose money with an ATM. Especially since you can move your ATM anywhere you want to try to find a winning location.
Although minimal, you will have to make an initial investment. Your costs will include the ATM equipment, insurance (if you choose), and rent. If you want to place your ATM at, say, a mall, you will probably have to pay a set, monthly fee to rent the space. If you work with a small business, you can probably get away with sharing a percentage of the ATM revenue.
Finally, to run an ATM business, you have to pass a background check. Unfortunately, you cannot legally operate an ATM if you have a felony charge or have been convicted of a financial crime. Since running an ATM machine involves money wire transactions for other people, you must pass a background check in order to prevent money laundering activities.
Customers that use ATMs are subject to a variety of service charges. For providing ATMs, banks impose recurring fees based on their standard rates. Customers who use the ATM to make online payments must also pay various charges.
Potential for Fraud
Customers utilizing ATMs to conduct online transactions are susceptible to a variety of frauds. While working online transactions, there is a danger that internet fraudsters might steal a range of bank details. These internet thieves could infiltrate your accounts and steal your money through a combination of dubious actions.
Cash Withdrawal Capacity Restriction
Banks limit the amount of cash that clients may withdraw from ATMs. There are restrictions on the number of free transactions and the maximum amount that could be withdrawn in a single transaction. Most banks only permit withdrawals of up to $25,000 at once.
Rural Regions Are Unreachable
Banking institutions in our nations have few computerized offices and rely primarily on humans for their various operations. There aren’t many ATMs in remote locations, and those there don’t work correctly. As a result, rural communities lack appropriate access to ATM services.
Absence of Personal Contact
Although many groups may view this as a benefit instead of a disadvantage, it still requires the customer to engage in self-service, which isn’t necessarily their preferred choice. No bank or human agent is also available if a query or problem occurs at the device. The ATM is quite effective for its intended use. However, as ATMs keep providing more incredible transaction categories and interactive features, the absence of contact capabilities may become a disadvantage.
Pros Of An ATM Business
|Flexibility||You can put as much time into the business as you’d like. If you like the work and have some initial experience, you can start small and manage all aspects of the business on your own.|
|Ability to start your business from home||It’s not necessary to have a physical storefront or office space to get your business started. You can do everything from the comfort of your own home, at least in the beginning!|
|Little startup costs required||The cost to start a ATM business costs significantly less money than most businesses, ranging anywhere from 12 to 27,209.|
|Rewarding work||Starting a ATM business can be really rewarding work. After all, you are solving an immediate issue for your customer and you’re working on something you truly care about.|
|Scalable||With businesses and processes changing daily, there will always be demand for new features, products and services for your business. Additionally, there are several different business models and pricing tiers you can implement that will allow you to reach all types of customers.|
|Traffic to your website||A ATM business gives people a reason to visit your website and to keep coming back to you!|
|High margins||The gross margins for your ATM business are typically around 40%, which is considerably high and allows you to grow your business and manage costs easily.|
|Quick build time||The average time it takes to build your product is quick – typically around 7 months. This will allow you to bring your product to market faster.|
|Easy to encourage “impulse buy”||In the ATM business, you have a much higher chance of encouraging your customers to buy on impulse – you can easily alter the price, placement, packaging, and promotional value to influence the decision of your buyer.|
|Unlimited income potential||With starting an ATM business there is no cap as to how much income you can make. The stronger your business skills and the more energy/time you put into your career, the more you’ll make.|
|Amazing perks and discounts||Working in the ATM business comes with its perks! As a seller for these products/services, you typically also get to enjoy industry perks and discounts.|
|You are your own boss!||With starting an ATM business, you are the one to make decisions for almost all of the operations. Calling the shots can be empowering and liberating!|
|Higher likelihood of getting referrals||This business is all about referrals, which can be a a very impactful way to attract and retain customers. It’s critical that you have a great referral program in place that incentivizes your customers to tell their friends about your product.|
|You can sell your product in various places!||There are various different markets to sell your product, which will help you reach different audiences and revenue streams.|
|Simple business model||A ATM business has the advantage of a simple business model, which makes launching and building the business more seamless.|
|Control your own destiny||Starting An Atm Business allows you to control every aspect of your life and make your own dreams come true every day.|
|You get to do something you truly love||With starting a ATM business, you get to put your energy into something you are truly passionate about! You’ll find yourself devoting as much time and energy as possible into the business to make it successful.|
|You can work from anywhere!||Not only can you start your ATM business from home, you can also run your business from anywhere in the world. This is the entrepreneur dream.|
|Ecommerce retail is growing fast||Ecommerce has been grown rapidly over the years and is expected to hit a total of 4.9 trillion dollars by 2021. With running an ecommerce business, you provide your customers with alternative and more convenient shopping experience, which will ultimately drive sales.|
|You can promote and sell your product on Amazon||Although there are some [disadvantages](https://www.repricerexpress.com/pros-cons-selling-amazon/) to consider when selling your product on Amazon, there are also a host of benefits. Mainly, Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer, so you’re bound to tap into new business and reach an entirely new audience.|
|Various different ways to make money||With starting a ATM business, there is not just one business model to choose from. This field is amazing in that there are various different ways to make money. Although this may complicate things, it’s great to have different options and sources of revenue.|
|Make money while you sleep||The advantage of starting a ATM business is that you have the ability to have passive income and make money while you sleep. This is the dream for many entrepreneurs.|
Cons Of An ATM Business
|Crowded Space||Competition is high when it comes to your ATM business, so it’s important that you spend a good amount of time analyzing the market and understanding where the demand lies.|
|Finding The Right Supplier||Most businesses in this space go the supplier/manufacturer route, which isn’t a bad thing! However, finding the right supplier can take a lot of time, energy and trial/error. If done properly, this process can save you months (if not years) of time and energy. More on this below in the “finding a supplier” section.|
|Security Issues||With any Saas business, data loss and security issues may arise throughout your process of building your product. It’s critical that you understand exactly what you’re responsible for and how to avoid potential issues down the road.|
|Lack of benefits||With a ATM business, you are typically self-employed and responsible for finding your own insurance, which can be quite costly and time-consuming.|
|Isolation||Often times, as a ATM business, you typically work alone and do not have much face-to-face interaction with other team members.|
|Taxes||As a ATM business, you typically pay self-employment taxes which can be quite high. It’s important to understand what you will be paying in taxes each year so you can determine if the work you’re taking on is worth it.|
|No safety net||Typically, as a ATM business, you do not receive a consistent pay-check and instead earn money based on your transactions each month. During the slow periods, you typically take away less since the job is based on commission. It’s important to budget accordingly for the slow times.|
|High overhead expenses||With starting an ATM business, there are overhead expenses that come with selling a physical product. You will want to make sure you strategically budget for these overhead costs. We discuss this more in the startup costs section below.|
|You may need to charge sales tax||If you are selling your products in various states, you may be required to charge sales tax. Although this may not impact your financials specifically, it can be a headache to create a process and procedure for this. To learn more about sales tax, check out [this article](https://www.thebalancesmb.com/do-i-need-to-collect-sales-taxes-in-my-state-398913)|
|Work can be repetitive||You may find creating the same product over and over repetitive and tiresome. One way of avoiding this is to diversify product lines and revenue streams – this will keep things interesting!|
|Difficult to build trust with your customer||With starting an ATM business, there can be minimal face-to-face interaction, which means it can be a lot more difficult to establish trust with your customers. You’ll need to go the extra mile with your customer to grab their attention and business.|
|Minimal physical activity||A big part of starting a ATM business is sitting at a desk for the majority of the day starting at your computer. Some may enjoy this, but others may struggle with sitting for the majority of your day without much physical activity.|
|Learning Curve||When you start your own business, you no longer have upper management to provide you with a playbook for your roles and responsibilities. You should know the ins and outs of every aspect of your business, as every decision will come down to you.|
Benefits Of Owning An ATM Versus The Cons
- Rewarding work: Starting an ATM business can be really rewarding work. After all, you are solving an immediate issue for your customer and you’re working on something you truly care about.
- High customer retention rates: Once a customer invests in your product, they’ve invested their time and energy to utilize your product/service. Typically, your product or service becomes indispensable to your customer.
- Pick & choose the clients you work with: In this business, you have the ability to choose the clients they work with. You have the freedom to work with only a few loyal clients or with hundreds of clients!
- Control of workload: With starting an ATM business, you have the unique ability to choose how little or how much you want to work. You also have the freedom to choose which projects you want to work on and can turn down the ones that do not interest you.
- Gain exposure and experience: This line of business allows you to gain experience working for multiple different businesses – which will benefit your resume and also keep things interesting for you!
- Unlimited income potential: Have it in mind there is no cap as to how much income you can make. The stronger your business skills and the more energy/time you put into your career, the more you’ll make.
- Daily physical activity: This business more or less involves a much greater degree of movement than other lines of work. Most days, you will spend your day walking, running errands for your business, and performing a multitude of tasks. This can have a positive impact on energy levels and your overall health.
- You are your own boss: When you start your own ATM business, you are the one to make decisions for almost all of the operations. Calling the shots can be empowering and liberating!
- Local Community: One of the best parts of starting an ATM business is that you can develop a local following by selling your products at craft shows, farmers’ markets, or even local storefront businesses! This gives you access to additional revenue streams and loyal customers.
- Predictable income stream: Your business’s income stream most times can be predictable based on the number of customers you have signed up. This makes financial planning and outlooks much more seamless!
- Simple business model: The owner of an ATM business has the advantage of a simple business model, which makes launching and building the business more seamless.
- Greater Income Potential: With this business, the sky is the limit in regards to your income potential.
- Strong Demand & Relatively Recession Proof: The demand for ATMs is increasing year over year and the business is known to be relatively recession proof.
- High Hourly Pay Rates: On average, the hourly pay rates are high for your independent ATM business operator’s business – which means the quality of clients is often superior to the quantity of clients.
- Can build a solid foundation of clients: It’s unlikely you will have one-off customers like an ATM business. Typically, you have a solid foundation of clients that use your product and services regularly.
The Cons Of An ATM Business
- Work can be inconsistent: As the owner of an ATM business, the amount of work and your schedule tend to be more inconsistent, which may make your income less stable. It’s important to set boundaries and budget accordingly based on the amount of work you plan to have.
- Lack of benefits: With an independent ATM business, you are more or less self-employed and responsible for finding your own insurance, which can be quite costly and time-consuming.
- Taxes: As a business owner, you more or less pay self-employment taxes which can be quite high. It is necessary to understand what you will be paying in taxes each year so you can determine if the work you are taking on is worth it.
- No safety net: Notably, you do not receive a consistent pay-check and instead earn money based on your transactions each month. During the slow periods, you typically take away less since the job is based on commission. It’s important to budget accordingly for the slow times.
- Stressful work: Have it in mind that this line of work can be stressful for both you and your clients. This type of transaction is a significant financial decision for your client, so expectations are very high for you. Although this career path can be very rewarding, it also comes with its challenges and stressful moments.
- Work can be repetitive: You may find that doing the same thing over and over gets tiring and boring. One way of avoiding this is to diversify product lines and revenue streams – this will keep things interesting!
- Time commitment: With starting this business, all responsibilities and decisions are in your hands. Although this is not necessarily a negative thing, work life can take over at times. This can place a strain on friends and family and add to the pressure of launching a new business.
- Be prepared to get out of your comfort zone: Although this is exciting for some entrepreneurs, it can be a big challenge for others! You may find yourself in uncomfortable social and business situations, jumping into tasks and responsibilities you aren’t familiar with, and pushing yourself as far as you can go!
- High liability: Running an ATM business involves a lot of liability, which means the cost for insurance premiums may also be high.
- Equipment Breakdowns: Over the years, your equipment can get damaged, break down, and may need repairs which can be expensive. It’s important you prepare for these expenses and try to avoid damages/wear and tear as much as possible.
- You’ll spend a lot of time in the car: Many independent ATM business owners offer their services outside of their office or home, which means you’ll be spending quite a bit of time behind the wheel. You will also need to consider traffic and delays, which can be time consuming and take each job longer than expected.
- The job can be dangerous: Your ATM business can have its dangerous moments due to the cash you carry, which puts you and your employees at risk. It’s important to consider all liability and put processes and procedures in place that will prepare you and your team.
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.