Installing an automated teller machine at your place of business — or maintaining your own ATM business as a side hustle — can be an excellent source of passive income through surcharge revenue. But we commonly get the question, “How much money can I make owning an ATM machine?”
Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The cost of stocking and maintaining machines is fairly uniform, but beyond that, how much you make will depend on many different factors, such as location, foot traffic, demand, etc. However, knowing how to work these factors to your benefit can definitely increase your bottom line and make sure you get a solid return on investment. Let’s discuss some of the common factors that figure into your profit margin when you invest in your own ATM machine.
An ATM Business is All About Location, Location, Location
By far, the largest variable that determines how much passive income you’ll make with an ATM machine is where you place the machine itself. If you place your ATM in a dark corner with very little foot traffic, you’ll make considerably less than you would if the machine were placed in a highly visible area with lots of people. An ATM in a high-traffic area can make an average of 800 transactions per month, and in some cases even more.
Some tips for ATM placement to maximize your profits:
- Place the ATM in a visible location that is easy to access.
- Place colorful, visible signage around the machine to make it easy for customers to identify.
- Place ATMs along routes of high foot traffic (e.g., the main walkway of your store, a mall kiosk or near a food court).
How Accessible is Your ATM?
Another factor that can affect your profits is how many hours per day your ATM is accessible. If you have an ATM in your brick-and-mortar store and your hours are 9am-6pm, those are the only hours where you can expect transactions to occur. By contrast, a 24-hour convenience store in a high-traffic location can see 3000 or more ATM transactions per month.
Setting Surcharge Fees
As an ATM owner, you generate revenue from the service charge assigned per transaction, minus any fees you pay for your ATM processing. You get to pick the service charge, but you should be aware of your local area and what customers expect to pay. The average surcharge fee is between $2 and $3 per transaction depending on where you live. Theoretically, if you charge $3, you’re making 1/3 more per transaction than if you charged $2. However, if customers figure out the business across the street charges $2 while you’re charging $3, you’re apt to get fewer transactions per month. Pay attention to the average ATM surcharge fees for the market in your area and price accordingly for the best results.
Demand for Vault Cash
Another factor weighing into your revenues is to what extent a customer uses cash in a specific location. If your business is cash-only, or if you offer a discount for cash sales, you’ll likely see more ATM transactions. If the machine is in a place that sees lots of credit card or Apple Pay sales, you’ll see fewer transactions.
More Than Passive Income: Secondary Revenue Boosts for ATMs
It’s not all about surcharge revenue. Another consideration, and one that might be difficult to measure, is how much the presence of an ATM boosts your other sales. If you have an ATM machine in your bar, for example, 75 percent of your ATM customers will buy drinks with that money. Additionally, people spend about 20 percent more in a convenience store or gas station if they use the ATM first. These profit boosts may be difficult to attribute to your ATM machine directly, but they certainly add to your overall bottom line — especially for a small business.
When you utilize all these factors to your advantage, there’s really no upper limit to how much money you can make owning an ATM machine. AtmMachines.com, LLC offers a wide range of new ATM machines for sale — including Hyosung, Genmega, and Triton ATMs. We can offer excellent advice to business owners on how and where to place them for the best results. To learn more about our ATM processor services and ATM placement program, give us a call at 1-866-295-2329 to learn more.