How to choose the right ATM Machine Processing

by braniac ; Updated September 26, 2017
Tranax 1700W ATM Machine

All ATM Machines need to connect to the ATM Networks via an ATM Processor. Learn the questions to ask and steps to take in order to get the right ATM Processing Deal.

Before jumping into purchasing an ATM machine be sure to do your home work and investigate the deal. An ATM Machine in your business or building can be set up a few different ways.

  1. You can own the ATM Machine and load it with cash yourself.
  2. You can own the ATM Machines and have someone else load it.
  3. You can have someone else own the ATM machine and you can load it.
  4. You can have someone else do everything.

Let's examine these options and decide what works best for you.

ATM Machines have come down dramatically in price over the last few years. We see many used Machines on ebay for example that are old and not 3DES (Triple DES) compliant.

3DES is an encryption process in the key pad and firmware that protects the consumers PIN number from being stolen when the ATM is dialing the ATM Processor and requesting a transaction.

3DES became a requirement several years ago and these machines need to be upgraded so they are being sold to unsuspecting individuals very cheap. These ATMs are just boat anchors or require expensive upgrades.

Do NOT purchase a used ATM unless it is from a reputable ATM Machine processing company and includes a warranty and processing services. We strongly recommend staying away from ATM Machines sold by private parties or individuals unless you are very familiar with the brand, model, condition and compliant status of that model.

You should expect a new ATM Machine to cost between $1,800 - $3,000 and a good used "refurbished" 3DES compliant ATM to go for $1,000 and up which should include a parts and labor warranty.

Once you purchase an ATM Machine you still need processing (similar to credit card processing). Look for a company that specializes in ATM Processing (you can search ATM Processing on eBay or you can Google the words "ATM Processing" to find some).

A reputable ATM Company would offer ATM Machines with or without processing or ATM processing if you already have an ATM. They would simply re-program your ATM onto their switch. To find out if an ATM machine you're considering purchasing is compliant we recommended using Google and calling an "ATM Processing" company.

Reputable ATM processing companies typically require an ATM processing agreement to protect you and them. Agreements are typically 3- 5 years but there are several companies that negotiate fewer years and some that offer just a 2 year agreement with no sign up fee.

Keep in mind that agreements protect you since ATM companies are moving your funds when one of your customers withdraws cash from your ATM.

They move the funds from your ATM customers bank account into your bank account. That should be done nightly except for weekends.

Agreements protect the ATM company because many of them don't charge set up fees but incur costs to set up your system so it takes them a few months to a year to recapture those costs.

Keep these things in mind as you proceed.

Retail ATM machines typically get loaded like a cash register (funds go in when you open and come out when you close).

The average ATM customer nationwide withdraws $60 (nightclubs it's higher, liquor stores and fast food it's lower).

The average retail ATM Machine does 8 - 10 transactions per day. That works out to about $600 per day being withdrawn so you would load 25 - 40 bills (Typically $20's) daily.

If you own your own retail business or a building, medical office, apartment complex, parking lot, etc and you are on site most of the time or have a manger on site that you trust, owning the ATM Machine and loading it with cash yourself is the most profitable way to go.

If you own the ATM and load it with cash yourself, your ATM Processing rebates can range from 85% of the surcharge plus $0.20 - $0.25 cents up to 100% of the surcharge plus $0.10 - $.20 cents depending on your ATM machine usage volume. Some ATM companies offer a Tiered rebate which is tied to ATM performance.

If your rebate is over $1.50 the latter arrangment is usually a better deal.

If you own the ATM Machines but choose to have someone else load it be prepared to give up at least $1.00 or more per transaction to pay for the use of someone elses cash, their time to come load it and the tracking of it. This is an expensive option since you can easily load cash yourself especailly if you own the ATM.

If you want someone else to own the ATM and you load it with Cash you can expect to split the transaction fee as the hardward owner will be responsible for service and upkeep. Again, it's a better revenue stream to own the ATM and load it yourself.

Lastly you can have someone do everything. They can purchase an ATM and put it in your business and load it with cash. This is popular if you just want hands off and have someone else run your ATM. Expect to receive approximately $0.50 per transaction maybe a little more if your ATM does realy well.

Things to consider:

If an ATM company is selling ATMs too cheap or offers a rebate that's too high, then something has to suffer. They can't give equipment away and give you a high rebate and give you proper service or stay in business. Remember, they are handling your money. You want them to make money so they stay in business to handle any issues that arise.

The thing that suffers the most when companies give away to much is usually service. Think about what it would cost you if your were getting $2.10 every time someone uses the ATM and 300 people per month used it. That's $630 per month. Now, if your ATM has a problem and you can't get help, or parts or service for a week or longer it's costing you $21 per day or over $150 a week.

Look for a company with 24 hour 7 day support with a toll free number. Then, if you're a business that counts on help late evenings or weekends call that number at 11pm or on a Sunday and see if they answer the phone. If it goes to voice mail, how long it takes to get a returned phone call.

If you get voice mail, leave a message. Tell them you're not a customer yet but you are testing to see how good or fast their 24/7 tech support really is.

If the phone is answered live or you get a call back quickly that's a pretty good indication of good service. If your call goes unanswered or takes hours to be returned, that's the sign of a deal to good to be true.


  • When shopping for an ATM Machine expect to pay $1800 - $3000 for a good free standing ATM machine. When shopping for ATM Processing look for a deal where you get at least 100% of the surcharge and if you have or expect high volume you can negotiate for a little of the "back end" of the deal (maybe an extra $0.10 - $.20). Try not to sign an agreement for longer than 2 - 3 years. Ask for references of other ATM customers and CALL them. Check their 24/7 tech support claims. Ask how ATM discrepancies or chargeback's are handled (a good ATM processor will handle them for you). Ask what if any fees are required to get started (sign up fee, application fee, rebates, etc.) Watch out for hidden fees, bait and switch, etc. Read agreements and make sure withdrawn funds are deposited daily (business days).

Photo Credits

  • ATMDepot
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