By Charlie Brown

When you need access to some quick cash, there’s always an ATM close by operating at all hours. Now you’re thinking about the other end of the ATM transaction because you might have heard from one source or another that running an ATM is a great way of getting some supplemental income while you go about your regular business or day job. Once set up, the machines do the work for you. All you need to do is make sure they’re well- maintained so that your customers experience zero problems when accessing their cash.

Getting your ATM business started

Buying the right ATM equipment

Equipment is the largest investment you’ll make in your ATM business, with products ranging from $2,500 on the lower end to upwards of $10,000 on the higher end. You need to buy additional money clips to refill your machines and to hire trucks to ferry your machines. Security in the form of a security detail and an armored car service are another must-have.

With all these initial and recurring expenses in mind, it is vital that you secure good financing for your ATM business because putting up funds needed upfront is not an option.

Carry out careful research on the equipment available in the market because the options are numerous. For example, you can have a basic machine that chucks 20s or one that has a variety of options for bills. With the right research and guidance from a well-established ATM distributor, you can strike the balance between minimizing costs and delivering quality.

Ensuring your ATMs are profitable

You make money from your ATM through fees that may range anywhere from $2 to $4 for every withdrawal. The actual money that you load into your machine pays for itself since your customers withdraw the money and the profits come back to you in the form of fees.

Be strategic about the locations for your ATMs. Needless to say, you need to place them in areas that have high foot traffic, such as convenience stores, restaurants, sports venues, gas stations, meeting rooms, grocery stores and agency buildings. Another great location for ATMs is inside or near cash-only businesses such as marijuana dispensaries.

There are a number of ways of projecting the profitability of your ATM business. One effective way is assuming that 3-5% of the foot traffic will be customers at your ATM and then multiplying that number by the fees to make the appropriate daily, weekly or monthly projections. That is a simple way of getting a glimpse of your expected profit margins.


The ATM business is similar to most other businesses in many ways but is also unique in just as many ways. For this reason, it is imperative that you research carefully so that you’re well- prepared. Purchasing quality equipment while keeping an eye on the cost and locating your ATMs strategically are among the steps you need to take to ensure that your ATM business is profitable.

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