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Ongoing Operating Expenses of an ATM Business in 2023

What are the ongoing operating expenses of an ATM Machine business? How do you reduce your operating expenses? Here is everything you need to know. 

As the owner of an ATM business, you are buying ATM machines, finding locations, installing them in locations, filling them with cash, and making money every time a customer withdraws money from the machine. Once the money is taken out of your ATM it is re-deposited into a bank account of your choice on a daily basis along with the surcharge fees.

According to industry reports, a portion of the surcharge fee is paid to the merchant in the form of a commission or split.

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Additional revenue can be made on each ATM transaction in the form of interchange. All your machines can be monitored online through a portal where you can see real time information about how much cash is in each machine and how many transactions and fees have occurred.

Even when starting a smaller ATM business, the owner needs to ensure that they have enough disposable cash to keep the machines reliably stocked. Start-up costs will vary depending on the number and quality of the ATMs to be purchased.

According to Lieberman Companies, ATM prices can range from $2,000 to $8,000. Typical freestanding ATMs range from $2,300 to $3,000, while used ATMs average $1,200 to $1,800. Installation fees can range from $200 to $300 per machine.

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ATMs bring in an average of $6,000 to $8,000 in cash per month, requiring between $1,500 and $3,000 in cash per week.

Since the pathway to starting an ATM business is so accessible, the sum of costs involved in operating the machine(s) is sometimes overlooked. The exact cost of doing business in the ATM business industry will be largely dependent on which kind of machine(s) you choose and how many machines you decide to operate.

Have it in mind that the ATM business can be very profitable, but it is just like any other industry: you have to put in the work for it to be successful. Below are ongoing Operating expenses associated with operating ATM businesses so you can make a more informed decision.

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Ongoing Operating Expenses for an ATM Machine Business

  1. Commissions

The ATM business model is simple and works on a split between the ATM owner, the processor, and the vendor location. The processor or bank charges a fee for each transaction. The fee tends to vary significantly by an institution and a range of 20- to 50-cents is not uncommon. The vendor location also takes a cut in most cases.

Note that the fee is entirely dependent on your negotiation and the contractual agreement you put in place with the specific location. A 50 cent per transaction rate works as a common starting point, however, the amount can increase or decrease depending on foot traffic to the location and the machine’s overall revenue potential.

  1. Taxes

Just like any other business, ATM businesses pay taxes. In most cases, you will have to obtain a tax license and decal stickers for your machine(s). Depending on the area you operate in, you may be subject to additional state and/or county taxes on the revenue generated by the machine(s).

  1. Servicing

Most machines require a minimum of $2,000 cash per week. Cash should be loaded on a rotating basis. Many banks will charge your business a surcharge and merchants charge a monthly rental fee or commission, depending upon the contract both parties have agreed upon.

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New business owners are urged to conduct thorough research so that margins are correctly set from the beginning. This will help ensure higher profit margins for your ATM business.

  1. Maintenance

The amount of maintenance a machine requires is dependent on several factors, including where the machine is located and how much traffic it gets. Maintenance expenses include the cost of the parts that you have to purchase and the cost of repair. You will be fully responsible for these costs if the machine is not under warranty.

Most new ATMs come with a 1-2 year warranty on parts and most repairs on ATMs can be handled easily. Distributors and franchisors will offer at least a limited warranty to cover issues that arise from normal usage for a set number of years from the purchase date.

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Even if your machines are in good running condition, it is wise to have regular maintenance checks to hopefully prevent major problems in the future.

  1. Receipt Paper

Note that this is a highly variable cost depending on location, use, schedule, age of the machine, etc. A case of receipt paper with 8 rolls costs approximately $50. A medium to high volume location will be going through not more than one roll per month. Slower locations may go through one roll per quarter.

  1. Fuel

This is a highly variable cost dependent on your vehicle type, frequency of cash loads/service, and geography of route.

  1. Communication Costs

ATMs can be connected to regular dial-up phone connections. They can also be hardwired via Ethernet/CAT5 cable straight to the machine; this is the most effective and least expensive option. Also, many operators use a wireless option where a phone line or internet hardwire is not an option to connect ATM machines.

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However, this cost is not always a concern and if you take advantage of the merchants’ internet or phone line, there is no additional cost. If you have a wireless router in place, expect to pay around $10-$20 per month.

  1. Insurance

Just like other licenses and permits, an ATM business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your business’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for ATM businesses to protect from different risks. If you are unsure of the types of risks that your store may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that ATM businesses need, so it is a great place to start for your business.

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ATM machines offer low maintenance, semi-passive income for a business. The machines are ideal as a side business, and they also have the potential for full-time business opportunities.