ATM Insurance—Do You Need It?

ATM insurance is not legally required, but it is an inexpensive way to protect yourself against expensive accidents and other mishaps. Since your ATM machine is not owned by a bank, you are not subject to FDIC protection. While you can get ATM business-specific insurance, you don’t have to. A general liability policy might be enough, depending on your needs. 

Most location owners will expect you to at least have this coverage before they agree to work with you. So, getting a policy ahead of time will help you navigate this potential objection to a location agreement.

In this article, we’ll cover different types of insurance so that you know what you’re looking for!

General Liability Insurance

All businesses face risks. An ATM business is no different. Business insurance, then, is designed to protect your assets. The most common and most important policy business owners purchase is general liability. 

General liability insurance covers bodily injury, property damage, medical payments, and legal defense. For example, if you accidentally damage the location owner’s property while moving or installing your machine, insurance would cover the cost of repairs. Or, if a customer injures him or herself while using your machine, insurance would cover the cost of treating the injuries. And if a disgruntled customer takes legal action against you or your company, insurance would cover the costs of defending yourself.

You can expect to spend about $400-$700 a year for $1 million in general liability coverage. But you might have noticed that general liability insurance won’t cover your machine or the cash inside. So if you want more than general liability coverage, you will need to look for a more specialized insurance policy.

ATM Business Insurance

ATM insurance is designed to protect you against loss of your ATM machine and the cash inside. This is often referred to as Crime Coverage which protects you in the event of the following situations:

  • Employee Dishonesty – If you hire someone to vault your machine or perform any kind of service or maintenance, and that employee steals from your machine, crime coverage would protect you.
  • Robbery – If someone steals cash from you or an employee while, say, vaulting the machine, your loss would be covered.
  • Burglary – Burglary refers to theft of cash from the ATM machine itself.
  • Property – This applies to damage to or loss of the ATM machine (also referred to as mysterious disappearance).
  • Liability – Just like a general liability policy, liability coverage protects you against the cost of legal defense, bodily injury, and property damage incurred through the operation of your machine.

Now, not every policy will cover all scenarios. So you will want to talk to your agent about the specifics of your policy to make sure you know exactly what is covered and what isn’t. 

Just like any other type of insurance policy you might have, you purchase enough to cover each machine you own. Your premium is based on how much coverage you need. Whatever risks aren’t covered under the main policy you can sometimes add on. So you just have to decide what risks you specifically want to mitigate and see if your insurance company offers coverage for those scenarios. 

Other Types of Coverage

You can get commercial auto insurance to cover your or your employees’ vehicles while on the road to and from your ATM locations. Any vehicle that you use for business purposes can be covered under commercial auto insurance.

Commercial property insurance covers any tools you use to maintain your ATM machine. This coverage also applies to any facility where you store your ATM machine(s). In the event of a fire, for example, your tools, machine(s), and other affected property would be covered.

If you hire employees to help you operate your ATM business, you might be required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. It depends on your state. Workers’ compensation helps you pay for any medical bills employees incur while on the job. If an employee injures him or herself while servicing or operating your ATM machine, this insurance prevents you from having to pay out of pocket.

Like we mentioned before, crime insurance protects you against burglary and robbery whether by an unknown perpetrator or by someone who works for you. Either way, crime coverage protects you against theft of the machine and/or the cash inside.

Some ATM insurance companies will offer coverage for cash in transit. But if you hire an armored car service, these companies often carry their own insurance. This coverage is typically reserved for companies that need to insure fleets of armored vehicles. However, you can ask about contingency coverage that kicks in if the other company’s insurance fails to pay.

Another threat, although rare, is “jackpotting”. Jackpotting happens when a hacker creates a malfunction causing an ATM machine to dispense all of its cash. Typically logged as a valid transaction, this could create a loophole for insurance companies to not recognize it as a theft claim and deny coverage.

More Ways to Mitigate Risk

In addition to purchasing insurance, to help set your mind at ease, there are some other security tips you can implement to mitigate risk. First and foremost, you want to place your ATM machine strategically.

Make sure the machine is well-lit and within eyesight of on-site employees. Try to keep the machine away from glass doors or windows that are easy to breach. Bolt the machine down to prevent its removal, and limit access to the case. 

Make sure the machine is in the range of nearby security cameras, or purchase your own. Cameras not only deter vandalism and theft, but they can also help catch criminals. Some insurance companies will require you to have the machine bolted down and have cameras and possibly an alarm system if the location is not open 24/7 as a condition of coverage.

There are also business practices you can implement to mitigate certain risks. For example, use remote online monitoring to check on your machine when you’re off-site. Only provide keys to people you trust. Regularly update software to prevent logical attacks (attacks that involve breaching software and hardware). And consider keeping an irregular vaulting schedule to prevent robbery.

You definitely don’t have to set up an LLC or corporation for your business, but if you do, you could benefit from having protection for your personal assets. Then you can look into LLC insurance. Staying up-to-date with business licensing can help, too.

Finally, add any necessary clauses to your contracts and other documents. This can help you establish what risks you will assume and which you want the location owner to assume. 


So, do you need insurance for your ATM business? Not legally. But it is definitely a good idea to at least purchase general liability insurance. Most location owners will want you to be covered before they enter into a partnership with you anyway.

If you decide you’d like alternative or additional coverage, you can shop around and speak to an agent about the best policy for your needs. Your specific needs might depend on how many machines you have to insure, how many people (if any) you employ, and where your machine(s) are located. In the end, you know what’s best for your business. But if you’d like to speak to someone with years of industry experience about which scenarios are more common than others, contact us today!

9 Motivating Factors for ATM Business Entrepreneurs

Motivating factors are those reasons why we do, well, anything. Specifically, though, motivating factors are important to consider when it comes to motivating yourself (or your team) to keep working hard!

Remember when you eagerly quit your day job to pursue your career as an IAD? Now, if only you could operate your ATM business with the same drive and vigor you had that day you said Goodbye 9-5. Hello passive income!

If you’re feeling bored, bogged down, or bummed out, consider these 9 motivating factors to see if you can identify the root of the problem. We’ll also provide you with tips and next steps to help you get that motivation back!

What are Motivating Factors?

Motivating factors are important when it comes to running a business. Whether you operate your ATM business alone or employ a team, you must make sure that everyone involved in the business is motivated to work hard, reach goals, and achieve success. Otherwise, the business doesn’t reach its full potential—and neither do you. 

There are two main categories of motivating factors: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic factors are external. These are the physical, verbal, material things that motivate us. These are the rewards we receive from others. Extrinsic motivators can include praise and recognition from others, monetary rewards, and deals and discounts. 

For example, the owner of your ATM location says that you are the best IAD he or she has ever worked with. This praise feels good and encourages you to maintain that relationship. This praise motivates you to continue to work hard to please your location owner. Extrinsic motivation is based on conditioning: the rewards you receive from others motivates you to continue your behavior.

Intrinsic motivation is internal. Rather than receive rewards from someone else, intrinsic motivation involves you rewarding yourself. Pride, accomplishment, and enjoyment are examples of intrinsic rewards. If you are intrinsically motivated, you are motivated to behave a certain way because of how it makes you feel rather than because of what you get.

9 Motivating Factors

There are strategies and incentives we use every day to keep us motivated. The smell of coffee motivates us to wake up. Direct deposits motivate us to go to work. Buying a new pair of tennis shoes motivates us to walk more. It’s important to note that not everyone is motivated by the same elements. So what motivates you?

1. Financial Benefits

We’ll start with the obvious: money. Would any of us really do our jobs if we didn’t get paid? Maybe if we were intrinsically motivated to do so! But usually that isn’t the case. We work because it puts money in our pockets, food on the table, and gas in our vehicles. 

Yes, money pays the bills, but it also allows us to treat ourselves. Rather than think of money as a necessity, think of it as a reward. Save up for a new vehicle, vacation, or retirement. Once you see that travel fund start to grow, you’ll be motivated to put in the work it takes to purchase that plane ticket!

2. Job/Career Advancement

You might have your heart set on a career goal. Maybe you want to add more ATM machines to your route, manage other IADs, or change careers altogether when the time is right. You can’t get to any of these places without first giving your current position your all. Progressing toward the next stage of your career can motivate you to keep working hard. 

3. Work Schedule

Work schedule plays a large role in motivation. If you’ve been feeling unmotivated lately, re-evaluate your work schedule. One of the best perks of the ATM business is a flexible schedule. 

Is your cash pick-up time too early? If you have trouble motivating yourself to get out of bed in the mornings, adjust your schedule so that it isn’t such a burden. Are your vaulting hours too late? See if you can make an adjustment to better accommodate your other obligations (including sleep!). 

After getting a good feel for your ATM business, you can start to make adjustments. For example, maybe you decide that a greater revenue share is worth it to have the location owner load the machine for you. If you are unhappy with your work schedule, you aren’t going to be motivated to do the work. So make changes as necessary.

4. Peer Pressure

Contrary to popular opinion, we actually want you to compare yourself to others on social media! Join a community of other ATM business professionals and see what they’re doing. You might discover an opportunity you hadn’t considered, find a solution to a problem you’ve been having, and gain encouragement from others’ excitement and success.

Peer pressure can be a great motivating factor when used constructively. Sharing in the joy and success of others can motivate us to try to achieve our own goals. Sometimes, when we feel unmotivated, it helps to know that we aren’t alone, that others share our experiences, and that if our peers are making it happen, then so can we!

5. Recognition and Appreciation

It’s great to celebrate the success of others, but don’t forget to congratulate yourself! What have you accomplished lately? Reflecting on how far you’ve come, all of the hard work you’ve invested, and all of the goals you’ve reached can motivate you to keep going!

Receiving praise from others is a wonderful feeling, but you don’t have to rely on it. Remember to recognize and appreciate yourself even if no one else does. 

6. Fear

Fear is a legitimate motivating factor. Not only are we motivated by things we hope to achieve and receive, but we are also motivated by things we try to avoid. What are you afraid of? What are you working to avoid?

Fear has a way of protecting us. For example, if you’re afraid of losing money, then you make sure you are careful when handling business processes and procedures to minimize your risk. If you’re afraid of choosing a location that isn’t profitable, you will do more extensive research and testing. 

While fear can be a powerful motivator, don’t fixate on it. There are many positive motivating factors to consider.

7. Meaning and Purpose

Many of us are motivated by doing meaningful work and fulfilling our destined purpose. How is your ATM business meaningful and purposeful for you? As an IAD, you provide a service to your community. Your ATM machine provides your customers with convenient access to their bank accounts. 

In underbanked communities, this service is felt even deeper. For some people, your operational ATM machine is a valuable lifeline. This knowledge might motivate you to keep your machine up and running as much as possible in order to provide your community with this reliable service.

8. Pride

Pride extends into multiple areas of our work. We can be proud of our work in general (meaning and purpose), or we can be proud of specific goals and milestones we reach. We can also be proud of our ability to overcome obstacles. If you have ever failed and tried again, you should be proud of yourself. Let that pride and your passion for your business motivate you to keep trying!

9. Fun

Do you enjoy your work? If not, you need to make a change. When we enjoy our work, we are motivated to keep doing it! It’s not work any more if you genuinely have fun. If your business lacks this, and you’re motivated by fun, what are some ways you can make your work more enjoyable?

Ways to Stay Motivated

Now that you know what factors motivate you the most, you can take some steps to create more of these opportunities. 

Be honest with yourself.

Motivation ebbs and flows. You might not be motivated 100% of the time. But when you really start to struggle, just return to these lists to remind yourself why you do what you do and how you can get energized again.


Join a community of like-minded individuals and ATM business professionals. Make new friends who have been where you are. Exchange ideas, tell stories, ask questions, and offer your own expertise. 

Most importantly, share in others’ successes. Enthusiasm is contagious. When you’re feeling down, jump onto social media and read some success stories to motivate yourself to get back out there!

You might also seek professional development opportunities. Are you motivated by learning more about your industry? Becoming better and more knowledgeable?  

Focus on your goals.

Write them down. Display them. Share them with a close friend or family member, someone who can monitor your progress with you and hold you accountable. Your goal is your light at the end of the tunnel. A goal becomes your “why”, your reason. To increase your chance for success, turn your goal into a SMART goal so that you have a plan for achieving it.

Reflect on successes and failures.

Take some time to celebrate your successes. Display positive reviews. Reward yourself. Identify the things you are doing well, and keep doing them. And don’t let failure discourage you. Don’t be afraid to fail; learn from it. 

Take a break!

Don’t overwork yourself. It’s important to slow down, take a break, get some rest, and get some perspective. Make sure you take a break within your day most days. Schedule some time off throughout the year. Plan a vacation. Whatever your preference, don’t forget to refresh and restart. 

Stay focused on the customer.

Remember that you are providing a service to your community. People are counting on you. Knowing that you made someone’s day just a little bit easier can help get you through the day.


What motivates you? What motivates you today might not motivate you tomorrow. And some motivating factors might never apply to you. That’s okay. As long as you can identify motivating factors that work for you, you can keep building your business without the threat of getting bored, bogged down, or bummed out. 

If you’d like to join the ATM industry’s only business development membership, you could be one of many successful IADs, distributors, business people, and independent investors who enjoy special equipment pricing; first alerts to specials, sales, and timely discounts; a comprehensive array of ADA and network compliant ATM solutions; and special proprietary forms, sales tactics, and mentoring.

Join ATM Depot’s Member’s Area today and get the support you need to stay motivated!

3 Major Benefits of ATM Machines in Your Businesses

If you own a store or other business, you might wonder what benefits of ATM machines you could reap. If you haven’t wondered about this, you should. In this article, we cover 3 major benefits of ATM machines to store owners. However, you will find that each major benefit breaks down into so many different opportunities!

Not only do ATMs generate revenue, they are also convenient for your employees and customers. So an asset that serves all three parties is definitely something to consider! Keep reading to see if an ATM machine is a good idea for your business.

Increase Revenues

ATM machines increase revenue. Think of an ATM machine as a mini-business. There are thousands of independent ATM deployers (IADs) nationwide whose entire business is ATM machines. They wouldn’t do it if ATMs didn’t generate income! 

Of course, it’s not necessarily a mini-business to them because they might have upwards of 10 machines to operate. But for you to add just one ATM machine to your existing business is a small way to make big revenue.

Surcharge Revenue

How do IADs make a profit? The entire business model for an IAD is to charge a convenience fee—for ATM machines this is known as a surcharge—for users to have quick, convenient access to their cash without having to get to a bank. 

This surcharge is an IAD’s sole source of revenue, and whatever is left after making the return on investment (ROI) and subtracting small maintenance costs (receipt paper, transportation costs, cleaning supplies, etc.) is profit!

Now, most IAD’s have to find location owners who are willing to host the ATM machine. Otherwise, they’d have nowhere to put their machines! To make the deal worthwhile for the owner of the location, the IAD typically offers to share part of the surcharge revenue.

If this is an arrangement you’re interested in, you can be matched with an IAD who will take care of servicing the machine (and potentially share some of the surcharge revenue) while you reap some of the other benefits of having an ATM machine in your store. 

All you have to do is send in an ATM placement request, and will set you up with someone who will place and operate an ATM in your store at no cost to you!

Alternatively, you can purchase, own, and operate your own machine. You would be responsible, then, for loading cash, refilling receipt paper, cleaning the machine, addressing errors, etc. However, you would also get to keep the entire surcharge fee, rather than just a portion, to compensate you for your time. If you are interested in this route, check out our ATM startup kit!

Whether you operate your own ATM machine or work with an IAD, there are still plenty of other opportunities to increase your revenue.

Increase Average Spent

If you own a store, maybe a convenience store, gas station, boutique, etc., you want to increase the amount each visitor spends. An ATM is a great way to do this. Why? Cash. When people have cash in their hands, it’s convenient, it’s available, it’s quick, it’s ready. 

Having an ATM machine available to your visitors and existing customers increases the chances of them purchasing more items, especially those impulse purchases like snacks, gadgets, souvenirs, reusable totes…. All of this adds up in the course of a month to drive up your sales (and the surcharge revenue is the cherry on top!).

Increase Traffic

When you add an ATM machine to your store or business, you draw new customers who might only stop by specifically because of that ATM machine. Put a sign up to advertise that you offer ATM services, and you appeal to a whole new range of customers aside from those who might want and need the services of your actual store.

The more services you offer, the wider range of customers you appeal to, and the more business you create for yourself simply by bringing people into your business. Some of these people might not have ever stopped by otherwise, and others still might see something they never knew they needed from your store or business! Therefore, an ATM machine can be quite the lead magnet….

Increase Customer Loyalty

In addition to bringing new traffic to your store or business, an ATM also promotes repeat customers. Almost every consumer (82%) is happy that ATMs are available to suit their needs. This means that a majority of consumers have convenient access to ATMs. Yours could be one of them.

Once users know the ATM exists, they know where they can always quickly and easily access their money. In this way, you bring in more customers regularly.

You can also look for an ATM machine with the ability to print coupons on ATM transaction receipts. Offering coupons to ATM users provides an incentive for passersby to choose your ATM (as opposed to, say, the one across the street) and also encourages purchases of goods and services from your regular business!


Another upgrade you can make to an ATM machine to increase revenue is a graphics screen. With a large screen that has the ability to display graphics, you can promote your business with your logo, sales, promotions, etc. Or, you can add another revenue stream by selling ad space on your ATM to nearby businesses!

Save Money on Credit Card Fees

Not only can you make extra money with an ATM machine in your store by increasing revenue, but you can also save money. If you don’t (already) run a cash-only establishment, you likely have to pay a fee every time you process a customer’s credit card. And these fees add up.

If you offer access to cash in your store, you encourage more cash payments. More cash payments mean less credit card transactions, less fees, and more money in your pockets. Then, if it works for your business, you might be able to become a cash-only establishment and never pay another credit card transaction fee again!

Another option you have is Bitcoin. As cryptocurrency becomes more and more popular, you might find that you want to start accepting crypto payments. Depending on where your business is located and the needs of the consumers in the area, you might find that converting your ATM machine to a Bitcoin ATM machine (BTM) brings in customers who may have trouble finding this service. You might even decide to have both!

Improve Safety

Why will passersby use your ATM machine as opposed to the one across the street? People who need to use an ATM machine want to feel safe and comfortable doing so. Most ATM users feel safer using a machine that is located in or near a trusted store or business that has surveillance, lighting, and a good reputation. 

Even if your business is lacking one or more of these, just having an ATM inside your store or business will make users more comfortable than using one out in the open on the street. To ensure you place your ATM machine strategically in your store to enhance comfort and safety, check out our article about ATM security tips.

An ATM machine might also benefit your employees. Do your employees really want to make another stop before or after work to access their money? Probably not. Additionally, they should feel more comfortable using a machine in an environment they are familiar with. So the ability to bank where you work is a plus for your employees, too!

As far as you and the money generated by your store or business, an ATM machine keeps you safe as well. Using store money to load the ATM machine keeps those funds safe and secure. In this way, an ATM machine functions as an on-site safe as well as a money-maker. 

Is Your Business Right for an ATM?

While there are many benefits of ATM machines for store and business owners, it might not be a good fit for everyone. There are some costs associated with operating an ATM machine, including the cost of the machine itself, so you want to be sure you will make enough revenue in surcharge fees to justify the purchase of the machine.

So how do you know how well an ATM will do before you purchase the equipment? Here are a few factors to consider:


There are two rules of thumb you can use to predict the success of an ATM machine:

First, calculate 2-3% of the average number of customers your business sees in a day, then multiply that number by the surcharge amount (about $3). Multiply that by the number of days you are open in a year to get a rough estimate of your yearly ATM revenue.

Alternatively, you can take the number of adult patrons your business sees every day and multiply that number by the surcharge amount to get a rough estimate of your monthly ATM revenue. To create a range, take the number of daily adult patrons and add 10% to get a higher monthly estimate and subtract 10% to get a lower monthly estimate. Then look somewhere in the middle of those two numbers for a closer estimate of monthly revenue.

If your business doesn’t see enough daily traffic, these numbers might not be worth the effort of maintaining an ATM machine. So when evaluating the need for an ATM machine, you’re really looking at the demand for the service. Do enough people visit or pass by your store to make an ATM machine worthwhile?

Proximity of Nearest ATM

Furthermore, you want to consider whether or not the market for an ATM has already been cornered. If the store next to you, down the block, or across the street already offers this service, you might have to share customers. This can impact your ATM revenue. However, you can always offer a competitive surcharge fee and coupons to draw that business away from nearby ATMs. 

Number of Employees

If you own an office building as opposed to a retail store, you might want to add an ATM machine to the premises to benefit your employees more than customers or clients. In this case, you want to make sure there are at least 200 people in the building every day and that there is a need for the service. 

If there is a coffee shop, gift shop, cafeteria, or other nearby place for employees to spend money, then an ATM might be beneficial. You might also see an increase in transactions on Fridays before employees go out for the weekend and payday. This might also be extremely convenient for them. So just make sure you properly gauge the need for an ATM machine before committing.

Special Events

Mobile ATM machines are great for use at outdoor events. If you own a bar, restaurant, food truck, or any other business where events take place like carnivals, live music, fundraisers, pop-up markets, etc., then an ATM machine could be a great benefit to patrons.

Essentially, any place where patrons have the opportunity to make donations or purchase merchandise, food, and beverages is the perfect place for an ATM machine. 

Start Reaping the Benefits of ATM!

There are many benefits of ATM machines in retail stores and other businesses. It all comes down to demand. An ATM is a great opportunity for you to make some extra cash as well as satisfy the needs of your customers and employees.

To own and operate your own ATM machine and keep every cent of the ATM profit, request an ATM start-up kit, and we’ll get you started! If you’d rather partner with an IAD and simply reap the benefits of increased traffic and sales, just send in an ATM placement request! Once you evaluate the need for an ATM machine in your store or business, contact us to get started! Click here for more information about special offers for business owners.

3 Tips for Determining Your ATM Surcharge Fee

Your ATM surcharge fee is how you make money as an ATM owner. The service you provide is convenient access to bank accounts and cash. For users to take advantage of that convenience, they pay you a small surcharge fee per ATM withdrawal transaction. 

One of the most important steps involved in starting your ATM business is determining the surcharge fee you want to impose. You need to have this number at the time of completing the necessary paperwork with your ATM processor. But how do you know how much to charge before you’ve even been in business?

In this article, we’ll provide you with three tips you can use to help determine the right ATM surcharge fee.

Surcharge Fee Guidelines


It will be helpful to look at a range of ATM surcharge fees to start. Typically, surcharge fees range from about $1-$8. There are even surcharge-free ATMs, but these are usually operated by store owners themselves where the extra traffic the machine brings into the store makes enough revenue to support the machine and then some.

Low End

At the ATMs you visit day to day near restaurants, convenience stores, and retailers, you’re likely to see ATM surcharge fees range from about $2-$3. This is the average surcharge fee you can expect. It’s also on the low end. 

The more ATM machines there are in an area, the lower the surcharge will be in order to be competitive. The lower surcharge also corresponds to the average withdrawal amount. Patrons of restaurants, convenience stores, and retailers typically withdraw $60-$100 ($60 being the average withdrawal amount) where a surcharge over $3 starts to become an inconvenient, illogical, and unfair percentage of the actual transaction.

High End

Therefore, ATMs in and near establishments where patrons stay longer and spend more can charge a higher surcharge fee with success. Patrons of casinos, bars, and clubs need cash where they are; it isn’t convenient for them to travel off of the premises to search for an ATM with a lower surcharge.

Additionally, the withdrawal amounts are typically higher at these locations. It makes more sense to pay $5 to withdraw $300 than it does to withdraw $60. For these reasons, surcharge fees upwards of $5 are still convenient and not seen as outrageous at these locations.

Any location with a liquor license can get away with charging higher surcharge fees. When customers drink or are having a good time, the extra cost is worth it to continue the fun, not to mention the fact that our inhibitions are lowered when we are filled with dopamine.

These are the typical surcharge fees you can expect from various locations. To set your own surcharge fee, keep reading for more factors that will affect your success.

Tip #1: Set the Surcharge Fee with the Customer in Mind

You don’t make any money if customers don’t use your ATM machine. So you want to make sure that your surcharge fee is convenient for them while still compensating for your time and effort. 

Therefore, you need to know who your customers are and what they need. This will depend heavily on the location of your ATM machine. 

If your machine is in a low-income neighborhood where account balances might be low, withdrawal amounts will also be low, and users will expect to pay less per transaction. If money is tight, it might be worth it for users to plan a trip to the bank rather than use an ATM with a high surcharge.

Alternatively, ATM users in high-income areas and higher account balances will be able to conduct higher withdrawal transactions and aren’t likely to flinch at a surcharge of $3+.

You also want to consider the price of convenience for your customers. If there are a number of other ATM machines in the vicinity, you might be forced to charge a more competitive surcharge fee. On the other hand, of course, if yours is the only ATM machine around, customers will understand paying more for the convenience of using your particular machine.

Above all, be wary of setting too high of a surcharge fee. If customers don’t want to pay it, they won’t use your machine and you will lose out on revenue. You make more money charging $2 per 10 customers than $3 per 5.

Tip#2: Discuss the Surcharge Fee with the Location Owner

If you place your ATM in someone else’s store or business, you need to consider the location owner’s needs and wants as well. The location owner knows the clientele best, so consult with him or her to determine a fair surcharge that brings in more business rather than driving it away. 

The location owner wants to bring traffic to the location, and therefore might propose a lower surcharge than you. However, if you are sharing some of the ATM revenue with the location owner, you want to make sure that your share is enough to make a profit after expenses. Collaborate with the location owner to strike a fair deal when determining the surcharge fee for your ATM.

Tip #3: Use the Surcharge Fee to Speed Up ROI

When first setting your surcharge fee with your ATM processor, you might want to err on the high end. You can’t make a profit until you meet your return on investment (ROI), and you’re going to make that amount back quicker with a higher surcharge.

Your initial investment might include the cost of the machine, additional features like a topper or security camera, and upgrades like a removable cassette or e-lock. Everything that you spent in order to get your ATM business started you need to make back first. Then, whatever you make after that earns you profit.

Remember, too, that the revenue generated by your ATM machine needs to cover regular expenses as well. This includes receipt paper, insurance if you have it, and whatever costs are associated with cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. So keep these costs in mind when setting your surcharge.

Determining Your Surcharge Fee

Pick a dollar amount. Multiply that by about 5 transactions a day. Multiply that by 30 days. That should give you a rough estimate of how much revenue to expect in a month. Now, subtract the location owner’s share and any monthly expenses associated with operating the machine.

Once you have that number, you can determine two things: 

  1. How long it will take to meet your ROI
  2. How much profit you will make

If the answer to #1 is too long for your comfort, raise the surcharge. If the answer to #2 is too small, raise the surcharge. 

In our article, How Much Can My ATM Machine Make, we provide some formulas and calculators you can use to get more accurate estimates. Play around until you get a number you are satisfied with.

Remember that you can always adjust the surcharge fee to find a good balance of convenience and revenue. You aren’t stuck with the surcharge fee you set when filling out your paperwork. Start with a higher surcharge to meet your ROI quicker, then lower it. Experiment to find out which surcharge amount brings in the most users and results in the most revenue. It’s okay to use trial and error to find a surcharge fee that works for you, the location owner, and your customers. If you’d like more guidance or want to know more about what to expect from a particular location, contact us today!