Do you want to install an ATM in your retail store but don’t know how to get one? If YES, here is a 6-step guide on how to apply and get an ATM in a store.
Why Install an ATM in your Store?
The difference an ATM machine makes to your store is very amazing. Customers require express service and if a store offers them the ease-of-use that they are looking for, they will be much more attracted to it. Imagine a scenario where a customer is about to purchase a product at your store.
Upon opening their wallet however, the customer realizes they are low on cash and leaves your business to find an ATM. Many of these customers change their minds about the purchase and never return to your store. How do you prevent losses like this at your business?
Installing an ATM machine can help you retain customers and expand your business. You want to offer your customers the platform to be able to withdraw cash fast and make their purchase. That said, having an ATM machine at any store space can mean an instant growth in traffic and conversion.
6 Steps on How to Apply and Get an ATM in Your Store
- Consider your Location
If your store attracts a large number of people every month and there is a need for cash, then you probably have a good location for an ATM. Convenience stores, hotels, and drinking establishments are examples of good locations. If you have a lot of customers asking about an ATM, that is a good sign you might be a good location.
There are typically three Tiers of location classifications; Tier 1 locations are marquee locations like large crowd public venues, large hotels with more than 300 rooms, busy convenience stores, gas stations in metro areas, and similar.
Tier 2 locations are medium-sized hotels, large and busy drinking establishments, condo buildings, hospitals, and the like. Tier 3 locations are small hotels outside metro areas, bars and restaurants, and those places that will not do more than 50 transactions per month. If you get about a hundred people a day, on average it could be closer to $1,000 in revenue a month.
If it’s 50 people a day, that’s a few hundred bucks a month. That should give you a rough idea if it’s worth the several thousand dollar investment. None of this takes into account any additional foot traffic or purchases you’ll get from having an ATM business.
- Know your Options
If you have a good Tier 1 or Tier 2 location, then you have more options when it comes to getting an ATM. You have a few basic options when it comes to getting set up with an ATM. Some businesses qualify for what is called placement. This is when an ATM company sets up and maintains the machine in your store. This comes with little to no cost for your business.
However, you also don’t earn a portion of the fees collected from the machine. But this option is only open to businesses that have a ton of foot traffic and are able to maintain a lot of usage. You need to communicate with an ATM distributor in your area to determine what their specific qualifications are for this type of offering.
While on the other end, you have the option of buying a machine, setting it up in your location and maintaining it on your own. This comes with a pretty significant startup cost. But you do get to keep all the fees that the machine collects. This option is best for those businesses that don’t qualify for placement and want to increase revenue over the long term.
Some ATM companies also offer a leasing or partnership option. This is basically a split between the other two options. You have to pay a leasing or rental fee to get the machine set up in your business. But it’s not as expensive upfront as buying. And you get to keep a portion of the fees collected — but not all of them.
This may be a beneficial option for those that don’t qualify for placement and don’t have the capital to invest in a new machine. It can also work for you if you are thinking about buying but want to test the waters first.
- Locate the ATM company that handles your area
If you prefer the ATM placement or partnership program, then you need to find a vendor that handles your area. This type of service requires an ATM technician/loader within a reasonable driving distance or a nationwide ATM management company that subcontracts with national IT deployment technicians and armored carrier cash management companies (Note that this is only available for Tier 1 locations).
Outside of contacting them, you could also ask others that have an ATM which vendor they use, look in the yellow pages, or search on Google for “ATM Company in Your City”. Or you could look on the BBB website to see if there is an ATM company in your city listed.
When selecting an ATM vendor, be sure to do some due diligence and look at the vendor’s BBB rating, reviews, and ask for a list of references. Make sure the ATM vendor has insurance and offers a fair and simple contract.
- Estimate Your Potential Earnings
Reports have it that the average ATM is used about 300 times per month. And ATM users spend between 20 and 25 percent more at convenience stores and similar businesses than others. So having an ATM at your business can certainly generate returns. But it’s up to you to determine just how much extra you can earn — and whether the initial cost is worth it.
If you have a high traffic business and qualify for placement, this part of the equation should be fairly simple since you may be able to get an ATM at little to no upfront cost. But if you are looking to buy or lease a machine, the calculations become a little more complicated. It’s first important to understand how many people come into your store daily.
The more traffic you get, the more people are likely to use your ATM. However, if your business and the others around you also accept credit cards or other forms of payment, only a small percentage of people will actually use the machine on a daily basis.
- Organize Payment Processing and Cash Management
If you’re buying your machine, you’ll need to select a payment processing service. The major players are U.S. Bank, First Data, Switch Commerce, Columbus Data, WorldPay, and Lynk Systems. However, unless you’re a large ATM operator you’ll likely be working with a smaller processing middle-man.
You may also not want to handle cash directly depending on the volume of transactions.In that case you’ll need to hire a cash management firm like Loomis or Brinks. This is especially true if you plan on having multiple machines at different locations.
- Maintain it
Eventually your ATM is going to need maintenance or repair. You can try do this yourself or hire a local firm to do it for you. Have a system for keeping the vault stocked each day. And make sure you develop a relationship with an ATM service provider in your area so you know who to call if the machine experiences an error or breaks down.
You should also update your business listings online to make sure people know you have an ATM in your store. Customers often search for the nearest ATM online. So an accurate and up-to-date listing can potentially help you bring in some extra traffic.
The perks of having an ATM at your business location are endless. So, if you want to cash in on the benefits, invest in an ATM machine today. It’s easy to do some quick math to see if an ATM business makes sense for your small business. Roughly speaking, every 100 people per day gets you about $350 per month. It will cost you anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000 for an ATM machine, but most likely you’ll be in the $2,500 to $3,000 range.
You’ll need to decide on whether to buy, lease, or use a placement service for your ATM machine business. There are other stuff like payment processing, security, and maintenance you’ll need to consider. So, the bottom line is, if you have the traffic, starting an ATM business is pretty straightforward.