How to Buy an ATM To Boost Your Business

Income Generating Machines

According to the National ATM Council, there are total 425,000 ATMs in the US. Among them, 222,000 are independently owned.

Every time a customer withdraws money, he or she is charged a transaction fee averaging $2.77. The fee will be split into 3 ways to pay the processor, the machine owner, and the party who houses the machine. Should you add an onsite ATM to your business and how to pick the best model that brings the most profit for you?

Benefits Beyond Transaction Fee

If you run a cash-only business, you may consider an onsite ATM a necessity. Because many people do not carry cash these days, they may leave if they do not have enough cash at hand. It can also help reduce your credit card transaction fees as more customers opt for cash payment. You can gain new customers from those who come to use the machine and notice your other businesses. If you own the machine, you can display advertisements on the machine to earn extra money.

Buy or Rent?

You have the option of renting or buying an onsite machine, but which one is better for you? First, you need to decide if you have enough money to buy and set up the machine. Owning a machine also requires time and skill for maintenance. If you are short on money and time, you’d better rent and let the machine owner take care of everything else. You can still take about $0.5-$1.0 commission out of each cash withdrawal by allowing the machine to sit at your place.

If you can invest upfront and do not mind the extra work of maintenance, you can make more money by owning the machine. For each cash withdrawal, after sharing $0.1-$0.2 with the Processor, you keep all the rest of the transaction fee, which will be about $2.5. Besides, you can earn extra by displaying advertisements on the machine.

How much Does It Cost?

An old machine may cost as little as several hundred dollars. Since regulations change frequently, if you buy a used one, you should make sure it can be upgraded. Another concern for old machines is lacking warranty, which can lead to higher maintenance cost down the road.

A new machine costs $2000- $3000 for a basic model. It can cost up to $8,000 for one with loaded features like multiple cassettes and dispensers. New machines also come with warranties and better post-sale customer services and technical supports.

Operating Costs

Besides purchasing cost, the biggest investment you need before putting the machine to work is the cash filling the machine. Nationwide, the average withdrawal amount is $70, and the average number of withdrawals a month is 120. Assuming you replenish the cash weekly, you need to prepare about $2000 for each machine. If your machine locates in a high-traffic area or you plan to refill the cash less frequently, you will need more.

There are third-party vaulting services to fill the machine with cash. It can save you upfront investment money. On the other hand, if you use these services, you need to pay interest and insurance on an ongoing basis.

If you own a fleet of machines or your machines are located in not so secure areas, you may need armored courier services, which can cost up to $80 per trip.

The most reliable way of connecting the machine to the network is via ethernet cable. However, if you opt for a wireless connection, expect $10-$20 extra a month.

In the first couple of years after purchasing a new machine, the maintenance is usually covered by service agreements. After that, if you ever need to repair or replace parts, you may pay in the range of hundreds of dollars.

Must-Have Features For a New ATM

Following features are considered standard these days even though some basic models do not include them. You should check if you need to order upgrades when making a purchase.

1000 Note removable cassette -- this is the box holding the money. Old models have nonremovable cassettes. This prevents you from replenishing money in a more discrete location when needed. Safety first, so invest in a removable one.

Electronic lock- They are more secure and more convenient than standard dial locks. If you use armor courier services to add/remove money, you will need to upgrade to an audit lock, an extra $300 expense.

EMV (Europay, master card, Visa) ready– This is required by the current regulation. Without this, the machine is not allowed to operate. Be careful some old second-hand models may not even upgradable for this feature.

Major Manufacturers and Popular Models

There are four major manufacturers supplying the US ATM market. They all carry some popular retail models.

  • Hantle 1700 series
  • Genmega Basic model -- G2500; Full-service model -- G6000
  • Triton Basic model -- ARGO 7; Full-service model -- TRAVERSE
  • Hyosung Basic model -- MX4000W; Full-service model -- MX5300SE

Other Important Things to Consider

Besides investment, you want to ask some other questions before deciding on a specific model.

Where will you put the machine? If you are in an affluent area and want your machine to help draw traffic, consider a high-end full-service model. Otherwise, a basic model will do.

The exact space required by the model. The last thing you need is to find the fancy machine you bought won’t fit into the space you have.

How safe it is where you set up your machine. Maybe you need enhanced security features.

Does the vendor provide good post-sale customer services and technical support? This can be a determining factor when you buy high-end models. They may have complicated features that are not easy to self-service.

In short, you should consider upfront investment, the machine's features, operation costs, and the post-sale services before making the buy decision. Taking a holistic view will help you benefit the most from your ATM purchase.