How to Start a Successful ATM Business

How to Start a Successful ATM Business

There are certain things in life that everyone will need at one time or another. An ATM is one of them. Sometimes cash is necessary to have on hand and when you don’t have any, the closest ATM is a lifesaver.

But while you may think that banks have a monopoly on the hundreds of thousands automatic teller machines that exist in this country, it turns out that a large number of them are owned by private individuals. That means you can get in on this potentially lucrative business.

In fact, more people are turning to ATM’s as a reliable and consistent stream of passive revenue. Passive in that it requires very little in terms of time and effort on your part and only a small initial investment to get started. You manage it all on your terms and there is no one to hire or pay to help out.

Not everyone knows what goes into starting a successful ATM business, so we’re going to review what you need to do if you want to start making money by dispensing it to others.

Create a Plan

Every business starts with a good business plan and this one is no different. Approach it as you would any prospectus that outlines the investment you intend to make and other important factors to start an ATM business.

That includes acquiring the machine itself. They can run you as much as $6000 on the high side and you may need to seek out financing to purchase the unit. You may also look into leasing one and some of those payments can run you as little as $50 to as much as $130 based on the terms of your lease and the type of machine you’re interested in.

You should also discuss where you plan to locate the business. In this case it’s where you expect to place the machine for maximum effect. Factor in all of the other associated aspects like startup expenses, maintenance costs, time and effort you plan to put towards the business, and a strategy for seeing a return on your money.

Once you have all these things worked out, you can proceed with securing the machine and working out where you plan to place it.

Select a Location

It’s probably one of the most vital decisions you will need to make as you start your ATM business. This is going to require some research on your part and while there may be no shortage of potential ideas, not all of them will be ideal for a number of reasons.

Some areas may already be too saturated with other machines from private individuals and banks alike, some areas might be a good choice for those folks who need cash in a pinch when local merchants don’t take credit cards. But you need to weigh that possibility against how often people are in this particular area. If you set your ATM in a park that has events on a semi-regular basis, how often will people be using your machine if they only need cash on those specific days?


ATM’s can be an easy target for criminals and thieves. They may not try to rob the machine itself but they might turn their attention to your customers and if your clientele feels uneasy about walking up to an ATM that is poorly lit, far removed from foot traffic, and an easy mark for criminals, they may think twice about using it. That means fewer transactions and less income from those transactions.

Therefore, you will need to be very cognizant of the surroundings where you place your ATM.

Another thing to take into account is insurance. You’re putting a machine filled with money out there in the world. Things can happen and criminals are getting craftier about theft. There are a number of insurance companies out there willing to write policies to cover the machine and the cash inside of it.

Filling the Machine

What happens when it runs out of cash? Running an ATM machine business means keeping a consistent inventory of available cash in the machine at all times. How you do that is up to you. You can choose to hire an armored guard service to transport and refill the money or you can do it yourself if you feel comfortable carrying large sums of cash around.

Either option works, it all just depends on your availability to monitor the machine and the level of comfort you have with doing the job regularly.