How Much Work is Required to Own and Manage an ATM?

Author Justin Gilmore

For any business owner searching for an extra source of income, owning an ATM is an option worth exploring. Most of the costs associated with an ATM are upfront, and once the ATM is purchased, it can bring in a steady stream of income. At a certain point, the machine will pay for itself, and once you cover the cost of buying the ATM, almost all the money it brings in is pure profit. On top of that, having an ATM can provide your customers with an added convenience and may even lead to increased business.

Of course, it’s not always that simple. Owning an ATM is about more than collecting service fees from the people who use it. It’s a piece of equipment that requires upkeep and attention just like any other piece of equipment you need to make your business run. While it can bring in added income for you, there is some work required when owning an ATM. Here are a few of the most common issues that require your attention when managing an ATM.


This is obviously the first step in owning and maintaining an ATM. While it’s possible for someone without a technical background to install an ATM, it’s usually suggested that you leave it to a professional technician. Once you pick out a location for your ATM, the technician can usually handle the rest. However, you should keep in mind that an ATM needs to be near a power outlet and have a dedicated phone line in order to make transactions. It may also be necessary to have the machine bolted down upon installation so that it won’t be stolen when no one’s watching.

Routine Maintenance

Just like any other piece of equipment, it’s wise to keep up with routine maintenance on your ATM to avoid problems that will prevent your customers from using it and prevent you from making money on it. A professional technician can go through the basics to help prevent a problem before it happens. It’s also possible to do your own fault testing, although this can be time-consuming and may force you to become familiar with some technical jargon. You will also want to clean the exterior of the machine, as well as the cash dispenser, so the machine looks good for your customers.


Even if you keep up with regular maintenance on your ATM, errors are still possible. If you have a newer machine, serious problems will be rare, but there will be occasions in which you’ll have to do your own troubleshooting. For minor issues like paper jams or running low on receipt paper, you can usually handle it yourself with a little help from the instructions manual. Other issues can also be easily fixed on your own using error codes. Unless your ATM is old and run down, it’ll be rare that you have to call a technician to fix it. However, for minor problems, you’ll likely have to do your own troubleshooting, and you’ll want to get it done as soon as possible so you don’t lose money.


If you own an ATM, you might be responsible for refilling the machine when it’s running low on cash. How frequently you do this will depend on how much money you put into it and how much use the machine gets. You should also keep in mind that you will usually be putting up your own money into the ATM, which will require you having thousands of dollars handy every time you refill the machine.


One final aspect of owning an ATM that can’t be overlooked is security. You are responsible for making sure that your ATM is safe for people to use. This is particularly important if your ATM is available during non-business hours when security is more of an issue. You have to make sure no one can hack into the system or dismantle the machine. You may also consider installing a security system nearby to track activity around your ATM so that you can ensure the safety of the customers who use it.

Contact National ATM Wholesale today to learn about our turnkey ATM services, which make owning and managing an ATM a breeze.