Starting ATM Business (Cost, Profit Margins & More)
Everyone is always looking for ways to make more money. Passive income is a great way for people to bolster their income without having to take on a second job. One excellent type of passive income is owning an ATM business.
You can get started in the ATM business for as little as $3090 which is the cost of one ATM machine plus $500 in cash. However, a more realistic budget would be $15000, which will include 3 machines with $500 cash in each machine.
There are a lot of things that factor into the cost of starting an ATM business. So today, we put together this comprehensive article on ATM business startup costs. We will talk about the costs of buying an ATM and leasing ATMs. We will also talk about factors that affect the costs of ATM startups.
Cost to Start an ATM Business
The very first thing you’ll need to start an ATM business is the equipment. Generally speaking, ATM machines can cost between $1,000 to $10,000, depending on their type, location, and traffic. Most ATM owners end up paying around $3,000 to get their business off the ground.
As you might expect, smaller ATMs with fewer features will cost less to buy. For instance, a simple ATM with an LCD screen and a single cash cassette could cost only $1,500, while an ATM with advanced features and multiple cash cassettes can cost upwards of $10,000.
Types of ATMs
The type of ATM you get will also affect costs. Here are some of the most popular types of ATMs and their estimated costs.
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 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 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 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 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.
Popular ATM Manufacturers and Costs
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.
|Triton||Argo FT ATM||$15,000|
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.
One option is to buy used ATMs. If you do buy a used ATM, make sure that you get all documentation about the machine and its repair history. The last thing you want is to buy an ATM and it have some problems.
Miscellaneous ATM Business Costs
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Factors That Affect the Costs of Starting an ATM Business
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Mysterious disappearance (i.e., someone removes the entire ATM)
Hacking (i.e., “jackpotting”)
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.
Leasing an ATM can be a great idea if you are just starting out and don’t have the capital upfront to outright buy. However, you will eventually want to switch to owning an ATM if you want to maximize your earnings. The main benefit of owning an ATM is that you keep 100% of the surcharge fees. Some lease providers may have options to buy when the lease terms are up.
How Much Can I Make With an ATM Business?
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.
How Much Can I Make With an ATM?
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.
Is Starting an ATM Business Worth It?
Starting an ATM business is absolutely worth it, especially if 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.
Passive income is a great way to improve your net worth and have a stream of income for a rainy day. Starting an ATM business is a great idea because it has relatively low operational costs and high-profit margins. Of course, like any business, you will have to make a significant investment upfront to reap these benefits.