How to Start an ATM Business : A Beginner Guide

ATM machine

There are various ways to become an owner of a business, one such is to start an ATM business. But how to start an ATM business? It may be easier than you think. There are many companies these days that can help you set up your own ATM business. You can choose to have this business as a side hustle or a full-time business, the choice is yours. Anybody can start an ATM business easily. 

Starting your own ATM business can bring in a lot of profit without putting in a lot of work. There is nothing better than working for yourself, isn’t it? You must be wondering why an ATM business? Because it is a lucrative business idea with very little capital that you need to start this business. An ATM business has no costs that are hidden which makes it a pure profit-generating business.  

The ATM business industry is expanding and growing steadily. Many people are getting into this business but don’t have all the knowledge required for it. The advancement in technology is encouraging technology in the ATM business as well where machinery is concerned. The ATM industry is expected to grow at 4% CAGR between the period 2021 to 2027

Thanks to the pandemic, the ATM industry had to suffer setbacks like other businesses but the pandemic also pushed the industry to adopt newer trends like Artificial Intelligence, biometrics, and IoT. This has made ATM’s a little more secure for transactions. The trends in the ATM business have changed over the years. 

If this excites you and you are thinking about how to start an ATM business, we provide you with a guide that will help you set up your own ATM business. 

 Is an ATM Business Profitable?

To answer this question, we first need to understand how an ATM can bring profits. 

When people use an ATM, they are charged a fee for using the ATM services which are called a ‘Surcharge’. This fee is around $2 to $3. Businesses earn money through this surcharge. But, business owners do not get to keep the whole amount of the surcharge fee. They usually have to give a part of it to the business that is responsible for the maintenance of the ATM-like repairing it or refilling it with cash and more. 

Business owners who wish to generate more profits from the ATM, use the ATM as a tool for advertisement. By adding various advertisements, business owners can make an added profit. 

The profit margin in this business is attractive. If you have many transactions in a day you can earn a lot of surcharges. For example, if you have at least 5 to 10 transactions per day, you can earn a profit of $15 to $25 in a day which translates into $450 to $750 per month. This is profitable provided you do not charge an incredibly low surcharge. You can have a higher surcharge in cities as opposed to a lower fee in the suburbs. So, it is essential to study the surcharge of a particular area before you set up your ATM. The average standard is $3. 

To make your business more profitable, your ATM should be open throughout the week and at all times to make maximum profits. It should also be strategically placed to earn more from it. 

Cost To Start an ATM Business 

There isn’t much capital required to start an ATM business. You do not require a store or employees for this business so all your money will go only into buying the machinery. The cost to start an ATM business is around $3,000 as it would include the machine cost that is around $2,099. You can load up cash in the ATM anywhere from $500 to $15,000 but usually, business owners add somewhere between $1,000 to $3,000 to their machines. 

The franchise fees are none for this business. You can pay off the cost of the ATM in the first six months itself, after that there is only profit awaiting you. 

Steps To Start ATM Business

ATM Business

Starting an ATM business may sound attractive and easy but it does involve some steps that are required for a successful ATM business. Here are the steps that you can follow to get started with your ATM business. 

Find Financing 

To set up an ATM business or any other business for that matter you require finance. This business is inexpensive to start with. You can fund your business on your own or ask a bank to loan you money to start the business. As mentioned earlier, the cost to start this business is around $3,000 which is not all that expensive as compared to other businesses. You can also ask your friends and family to loan you money or invest in your business. 

Finalize The Location 

Location plays an important role when it comes to earning profits through surcharges. The more people use your ATM, the more surcharge you earn. You need to find businesses that will be interested in having your ATMs. Many business owners like to have ATMs to decrease their credit card costs and encourage more cash transactions.

More than location, the number of people walking in and out of a business where your ATM is placed is important. Find a business that has 200 people visiting them so you will have around 10 transactions in a day which is 300 for a month. The profit for that month will be $798 if the surcharge is $2.66 which is great. 

Get The Necessary Licenses & Permits

To start your ATM business you do require licenses and permits according to the region you live in. If you fail to get the necessary licenses and permits you will be heavily fined and can also shut down your business. 

To find out about the licenses and permits, you can contact your city, town, or county clerk office. These licenses and permits show that you are legally doing a business and it also helps while paying your taxes for your lawful business. 

 ATM Connection Type at Business

To get an ATM working you need a processing server. These days the majority of businesses prefer the internet to connect their machines. For the internet, you require an Ethernet jack near the machine or a modem with an open port to plug in the machine. 

Another way is having a phone line. The jack has to be within 3 feet of the machine. Alternatively, you can also use a wireless router to connect wirelessly with the machine. These lines must be run before setting up the installation process. 

Buy ATM Machine & Other Tools 

It is time to buy your first ATM machine and other tools. There are varieties of ATMs but you should choose one that fits your needs. There are two types of ATMs, one is a stand-alone machine and another is through the wall. The wall is expensive as compared to the stand-alone machines. It is best, to begin with, a stand-alone machine. The wall is usually used in areas which are crowded. With the machine, you will also require other tools to maintain the machine. Make sure you invest in a good machine and tools. 

Get Your ATM Installed & Ready to Go

Now that you have purchased the machine, you need to install it as well. A service technician has to install your ATM, program it and also train you as to how it works. The technician will add all the banking details and other information for the display and the receipt as well. The surcharge amount is also set during the installation. It takes anywhere between 1 to 3 hours to complete the installation and the training. You will learn how to add cash and receipt paper to the machine. The cost of installation can be anywhere between $350 to $450. 

Maintain the Cash Flow & Monitor

A machine can hold anywhere between $16,000 to $20,000 but people do not add so much cash to the machines. People add around $1,000 to $3,000 cash to the ATM. The more you add the less you have to refill. As the cash is taken out of the ATM it is automatically wired back to your company’s bank account. If this happens post 3 pm it will be posted the following day. The cash is always recycled this way. 

Once your ATM is fully functional you only have to monitor the machine from the comfort of your home. You only have to keep a tab on the refilling of cash and set back and enjoy the profits. 

Summary

Starting an ATM business is profitable and requires small capital, unlike other businesses. You need to be mindful of a few steps before you start your business like finding the right location, having licenses and permits, buying a good ATM, and maintaining it well. Most importantly once you have set up your business look for ways to expand it and make it more successful. 

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.