Back in 1939, New York City was home to the first automated teller machine. Surprisingly, it was removed six months later due to low customer demand. Today, ATMs are all over the place, from banks and public buildings to grocery stores. The average ATM processes over 300 transactions per month. About 40 percent of customers use one eight to 10 times monthly. As a business owner, you can leverage these trends and increase your revenue. If you operate a brick-and-mortar store, you can install an ATM and charge service fees.
How to Purchase an ATM
Increasing your revenue with an ATM is quite straightforward. Assuming that you already have a restaurant, store, gas station or another facility, you only need to lease or buy an ATM machine. First, make sure your store is a good fit. Ideally, it should be located in a high-traffic area and have a steady flow of customers. Otherwise, you might end up losing money. Remember that you need to earn enough to cover the cost of the machine and its maintenance fees.
Assess your budget and determine whether you want to buy new, used or refurbished ATM equipment. Look up ATM vendors and check their prices. Some popular options include ATM of America, ATM Link, ATM Experts and ATM Depot. Select a vendor that provides ATM installation and technical support. If you plan to purchase more than one machine, search for ATM wholesalers or try to negotiate a better deal with your vendor.
Next, decide what type of machine you wish to purchase and the features for which you're looking. Some are designed only for credit and debit card transactions, while others allow customers to pay their bills and add funds to their cards. Most machines are connected to interbank networks, enabling users to deposit and withdraw money from ATMs that don't belong to the bank they are using.
Consider the price too. If you search the internet for "ATM machine for sale," you'll see that prices vary from one brand to another and from one store to the next. Expect to pay $500 to $25,000 depending on the machine's features and security. You can opt for countertop ATMs, freestanding ATMs, wireless ATMs, built-in ATMs, dial-up ATMs and other models.
A built-in ATM, for example, costs $5,000 to $10,000. The price of a freestanding machine ranges between $3,500 and $7,000. If you're on a budget, you can opt for a used or refurbished ATM, which will most likely cost less than $1,200. Factor in the cost of a phone line, receipt paper and additional cash cassettes.
ATM Leasing and ATM Safety
While it may be tempting to purchase a used or cheap model, consider the risks involved. The machine may not be as safe as newer models, or it can break down and force you to pay for the repairs.
Don't overlook the risk of ATM attacks and fraud. These include but are not limited to cash-out or jackpotting, card skimming and shimming, card and cash trapping, transaction reversal fraud, eavesdropping and even physical attacks. For example, criminals can use eavesdropping to steal customers' card data with an unauthorized device. They may also install skimming devices on the ATM's card entry slots to capture customers' card information. These types of attacks are on the rise worldwide.
Prioritize customer safety. If you can't afford to buy an ATM machine that meets the highest safety standards, you can lease one for a lower cost. Hundreds of companies provide ATM machine rental services. In fact, most vendors give customers the option to either lease or buy an ATM machine. Goldstar ATM, Cash to Go and Maritech Solutions are just a few examples. By leasing an ATM, you'll be able to choose a more advanced model with cutting-edge security features, such as offline PIN validation and high-quality built-in cameras. Be aware that indoor ATMs are safer than those located outside of buildings.
Estimate Your Earning Potential
Currently, the average ATM surcharge is $3.02 and keeps going up. Every time a customer uses your ATM, you'll earn an average of $3.02 minus the transaction processing fee, which is around 40 cents. That's $2.62 per transaction. How much you'll earn monthly depends on the number of customers. It's important to note that ATM users spend up to 25 percent more in convenience stores. If your business has an ATM, you can expect to get more sales and revenue.
- CostOwl.com: How Much Does it Cost to Rent an ATM Machine
- Forbes: Starting A Passive ATM Business
- CostOwl.com: How Much Does an ATM Machine Cost?
- National Cash: ATM Statistics
- Cash To Go: Buy an ATM vs. Renting
- Merchant Enterprises: History of ATMs
- Bankrate: ATM Fees Hit a Record High for the 14th Year in a Row
- European Association for Secure Transactions: Terminal Fraud and Crime Definitions
- 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.
Andra Picincu is a digital marketing consultant with over 10 years of experience. She works closely with small businesses and large organizations alike to help them grow and increase brand awareness. She holds a BA in Marketing and International Business and a BA in Psychology. Over the past decade, she has turned her passion for marketing and writing into a successful business with an international audience. Current and former clients include The HOTH, Bisnode Sverige, Nutracelle, CLICK - The Coffee Lover's Protein Drink, InstaCuppa, Marketgoo, GoHarvey, Internet Brands, and more. In her daily life, Ms. Picincu provides digital marketing consulting and copywriting services. Her goal is to help businesses understand and reach their target audience in new, creative ways.