How to Buy an ATM Cash Machine

About 5 percent of the people who visit your business will use your ATM.
About 5 percent of the people who visit your business will use your ATM. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Hosting an ATM is a relatively easy way to bring extra money into your business. In most cases, the owner of the ATM gets to keep the entire service fee. So if you have 300 people visiting your store a day, you could make about $10,000 a year. However, once you buy your ATM, you will be responsible for keeping it full of cash and repairing it when it breaks. Before you purchase an ATM, make sure you have enough foot traffic to make it a smart investment.

Choose a location for your machine. The machine should be located in an area with a lot of foot traffic. Ideal locations include restaurants, convenience stores, or bars. Look for a location that requires costumers to pay in cash. This will increase the number of people who use your machine. Also look for a location that has a nearby outlet and an available phone line.

Estimate how much money you will make from your ATM. ATM Experts estimate that 3 to 5 percent of people who see your ATM will use it. Calculate the number of people who come into the store each day and multiply this by $2.25, the average ATM fee. This will be your daily rate. Multiply this by 30 to figure out your average monthly earnings.

Buy or lease your ATM machine. Compare the cost of an ATM at the major ATM production companies, including Tranax ATM, Triton ATM, Hyosung ATM and WRG ATM. The average cost of an ATM varies widely based on your store type, location, and how quickly you need an ATM. But the cost starts at about $10,000. If you cannot afford the cost of an ATM, lease an ATM. This usually costs between $60 to $110 a month.

Fill out the necessary paperwork. Most ATM companies will ask you to sign a form that outlines your agreement with the company, including how much you'll charge each ATM user, how much of the surcharge you will keep, when and how you will get paid, and the ATM company's responsibilities if the machine breaks. Occasionally, companies will require a background check, but this is uncommon.

Have your ATM installed. Most ATM companies will deliver and install the machine for you free of charge, but you will need to provide a location close to an outlet, with a dedicated phone line.

Fill your ATM with money. Most ATM owners fill their machines with $2,000 to $5,000 in cash, depending on how much traffic you anticipate. The average user will take out $60 in cash at a time. You will have to cover the cost of filling your ATM with cash, and you will be reimbursed at least once a month. Call your bank in advance to request "vault cash," or a stack of crisp $20 bills. This will make loading and stocking your machine easier.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may want to insure your ATM cash machine. ATM insurance will protect against physical damage, loss of revenue, or thievery. Insurance costs about $1,500 a year.
  • Don't ever load your atm by yourself; have someone go with you.
  • Don't ever keep a routine when loading your machine. No one should be able to figure out your schedule.
  • Don't load the machines during busy hours for the store location.
  • If you ever get an uneasy feeling about a situation while going to load the machine...Listen to that feeling and do not fill the machine at that time. Come back at a different time.

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