How to Run an ATM Business Successfully

Want to know how to run an ATM business successfully? Running a successful ATM business is simple. As long as you are willing to do the work, there is money to be made. But when it comes to being successful in the ATM business, it’s important to remember that not all ATM businesses look the same.

Someone else’s success might not look like yours. What that means is that you have a lot of decisions to make that no one can make for you. You have to decide which processor to work with, which machine to purchase, where to place your ATM, and how much to set the surcharge.

The answers to all of these questions will depend on your specific lifestyle and goals. The most successful ATM business is the one that works for you. All you need is a little strategy and patience to run an ATM business that brings in the revenue you aim for.

Here we share 5 tips that show you how to run an ATM business successfully. Follow these tips to make sure you have all of the pieces in place to run a successful ATM business.

1. Find an ATM Processor That Meets Your Business Needs

The first thing you need to do is find an ATM processor you want to work with. There are many things you will want to consider in terms of overall cost, support, and perks. If you aren’t sure how to run an ATM business, you want to find an ATM processor that acts as a good business partner, not just a service provider.

ATM Sales

One important factor is whether or not the ATM processor sells ATM machines as well. If you purchase your machine from an ATM processor, your machine is guaranteed to be compatible with their service. 

An ATM processor that sells machines might even have used and refurbished options that are compatible. This saves you time purchasing the machine first and then having to find a processor that will support it.

Automated Payments

You are earning passive income with your ATM business. That means you sit back, relax, and let the business work for you. But if you have to initiate transfers yourself, that’s time and energy you’re spending unnecessarily. Especially if you need to split the payment.

You might have a business partner with a separate account or you might have multiple accounts yourself that you use for different reasons. An ATM processor that offers automated ATM payments and payment splitting can save you the hassle of online banking to manage this yourself.

ATM Vaulting

It’s important to keep your ATMs stocked with cash. You have three different options when it comes to vaulting:

You can vault the ATM yourself which will save you money but cost you in time. If you vault yourself, you’ll want to work with an ATM processor that provides monitoring services to alert you when your machine is low on funds.

You can have the location owner vault the ATM. This is convenient since the location owner should be near the ATM regularly anyway. The location owner may or may not negotiate compensation for providing this service.

Or, you can have your ATM processor vault for you. There will be a charge for this, of course, but working with an ATM processor that at least offers the service can provide you with more options as you add more ATMs to your business and need to reduce your workload while also keeping your machines stocked.

Installation and Setup

You will want to work with an ATM processor that provides instructions for setting up and programming your ATM. The best ATM processors will offer to send a technician out to install an ATM in a new location for you. This might be convenient for you if you’re a first-time ATM owner who isn’t familiar with the technical side of owning an ATM machine.

Service Agreement Templates

A good service agreement leaves no room for error. You don’t want to have to hire a lawyer to settle a discrepancy in your service agreement if there is an issue between you and the location owner. 

You also don’t want to hire a lawyer to draft a service agreement for you. So if you aren’t qualified to draft a fool-proof service agreement, and you don’t want to spend money on a lawyer, you want to be working with an ATM processor that has templates for you.

By using a template, you ensure that all of your bases are covered while still saving yourself money by not hiring out and by avoiding long-term losses in the case of an incomplete service agreement.

Low Fees and Short Contracts

Some ATM processors charge more than others. Those that offer low prices on the sale of their ATM machines make up for the difference by locking you into a long-term contract and charging fees throughout the duration of the contract. 

There are ATM processors that do not do this. Try to find a good balance between fees and contracts when comparing ATM processors.

Support

Your relationship with your ATM processor doesn’t begin with ATM setup and installation and end with payment. Anything can go wrong at any time and you will need a resource to turn to for help. Make sure you have an ATM processor that will be available for you when you need technical support. There are ATM processors that offer 24/7 support should you need it.

When it comes to choosing an ATM processor, look at the options the processors provide. Which do you need at the current stage of your business?

Are you a new ATM owner who will need a lot of support? Do you plan on adding more ATM machines to your business? Are you an experienced ATM owner dissatisfied with your current ATM processor? What do you need that you don’t currently have?

In the end, you want to work with an ATM processor that will help you build the ATM business that helps you meet your goals.

2. Choose an Appropriate Machine

There are three factors you need to consider when purchasing an ATM machine: type, manufacturer, new vs. refurbished.

ATM Type

The type of machine you purchase is going to depend on the space you have available. A free-standing ATM generally has a small footprint. It can be placed anywhere there is a power supply. 

Through-the-wall (TTW) ATMs are typically quite bulky and you will need to invest in a little bit of construction if you don’t already have the space available. This is because the bulk of the machine, the interface, sits inside of the wall and extends into an adjacent room.

You might want a TTW ATM if you want more controlled access to the vault. If the interface extends into a room you can lock or where there is little foot traffic, you make the machine more secure. It isn’t accessible to the public and makes it safer for you when loading the machine.

TTW ATMs also work well when you have a space where the front (the chassis) can face outside. This makes the machine available 24/7 to all passers by, not just in-store customers during hours of operation.

Finally you have the option of a wall mount ATM. This is going to be the smallest option which is optimal if you don’t have a lot of space to work with. It can be placed on a countertop or hung on the wall. It’s going to hold less bills, so this is a good option for a low-traffic location. 

ATM Manufacturer

Some of the biggest names in the ATM industry are Hyosung, Genmega, Triton, and Hantle/Tranax. They all produce sturdy, reliable machines; that’s how they put themselves on the map. So you can’t go wrong with any of them.

Hyosung and Genmega are the best of the best. However, they still vary in size and features. So the decision still comes down to what you are looking for in terms of price versus features.

New vs. Refurbished

Next you want to consider purchasing a new vs. refurbished ATM machine. This decision might depend on your budget, experience, and concern for the environment. 

Purchasing a refurbished machine could save you money up front. You want to make sure that you purchase a certified refurbished machine, though. “Blow and go” refurbishments only clean up the surface of the machine. So you might end up spending more money down the line on repairs than you would have if you’d just purchased a new machine to begin with. 

You also might not get your ideal machine if you purchase refurbished since they are based on availability. You do, however, save on the 63 million tons of electronic waste when you purchase refurbished.

New machines are going to be easier to use. Usability constantly improves with each new model. Manufacturers want their machines to be user friendly, so if you are new to the ATM business, you might want to try a new machine first.

3. Place Your ATM Machine in a Profitable Location

The more people who use your machine, the more profit you will make. So you want your machine to be where people will pass by it, where they need the convenience, and where you aren’t competing with a bunch of other machines.

The most profitable locations tend to be those that are cash only, have liquor licenses, get a lot of foot traffic, and have good reviews. You want your machine where people are and where they need cash. 

You also want your machine in an area where there isn’t any competition. Or, if you see an area that already has ATMs but they are outdated, ask around and see if the location owners would be interested in updating.

Consider the convenience of the location for you, too. You want the machine close to where you live or work. The more time you spend getting to and from the machine, the less profit you make. And you need to be aware if your machine isn’t working properly, so you will need to check on it often. 

4. Determine a Fair Surcharge

You are completely in control when it comes to setting the surcharge. You want a surcharge fee that entices customers to use your machine but that also earns you a profit.

If your ATM is close to one across the street, you might want to set a competitive surcharge to bring more customers to your machine. If your ATM is the only one for a number of blocks, you might be able to set a higher surcharge. People will pay for the convenience.

You also need to account for profit sharing. If you place your machine in a location someone else owns, he or she might negotiate for a share of the surcharge profit. 

ATM surcharge fees range from $0-$8. You can offer a surcharge-free ATM service if the ATM itself brings more customers into a business that you own and encourages cash sales. More cash sales save on credit card fees. 

However, if your ATM is in a location owned by someone else, the surcharge is the only way you will make revenue. The average surcharge fee is $2.50. At an average of 6 transactions per day, that equals 180 transactions per month for a total of $450 a month. 

If that number sounds good to you, try starting with $2.50. If you’d like to try to make more, increase the surcharge. You can use trial and error to get the perfect number that satisfies both you and your customers.

5. Stay Compliant

If you purchase your ATM machine new, it’s going to be fully compliant automatically. This means that it meets ADA and EMV requirements. If you purchase a refurbished machine, depending on its age, it might not be fully compliant.

Often you can make upgrades to make an older machine compliant, but you have to weigh this cost against just purchasing a new machine. In any case, your machines need to meet these compliance regulations:

  • The top working button should not be higher than 48” off the ground.
  • The area in front of the machine needs to equal 48″ x 48″ (16 square feet).
  • There must be one unobstructed side of the clear floor space that adjoins an accessible route or another clear floor space leading up to the ATM and connecting to the clear floor space in front of the ATM.
  • All ATMs must be speech enabled. This may require that a 3.5mm female jack be accessible for headphones.
  • The display screen must be visible from 40″ above the center of the floor in front of the ATM. Characters on the screen must be in Sans Serif font, a minimum of 3/16″ in size, and must contrast with their background.
  • Braille instructions must also be provided.
  • Function keys must be designed to contrast visually from their background surfaces.
  • Input device control key surfaces must be raised above the surrounding surfaces.
  • Keypads must be arranged in an ascending or descending layout. The “enter” key should be marked with a raised circle, the “clear” key with a raised left arrow, and the “cancel” key should be marked with a raised X. The “add value” key should be marked with a raised plus sign and the “decrease value” key should be marked with a raised minus sign.

Upgrade kits are sometimes available for machines that do not meet these requirements, but not always. Make sure any machine you purchase meets these requirements or can be made compliant with an upgrade kit. If you already have a machine or two, check them for compliance to avoid hefty civil penalty fines.

How to Run an ATM Business Successfully

We’ve shown you how to run an ATM business successfully. There really are only 5 things you need to focus on to make the most amount of profit from your ATM business. There is some strategy involved, some trial and error, and you might have to make changes from one machine to the next. 

Considering these 5 tips before you jump into business can significantly increase your chances of running a successful ATM business that brings in the kind of revenue you expect.

But even if you’re already in the ATM game, it’s important not to forget these tips. It’s never too late to go another direction, especially if you plan on adding more machines to your business! ATM Depot specializes in ATM processing, sales, service, and independent ATM deployer (IAD) support. Give us a call and we’ll let you know if we think you have a good location. We can also help you figure out what you can expect to make from ATM processing with your machine. Contact us today!

How to Start an ATM Business in 5 Steps

If you’d like to make a little extra money on the side or want to transition out of your 9-5 job, you might want to know how to start an ATM business. In just 5 steps, you can own and operate an ATM machine that brings in passive income almost immediately.

You don’t need a business license or any specific entrepreneurial training or experience to start an ATM business. Just complete the required documentation, select your ATM machine type, find a location, set a surcharge, and start making a profit. Here, we’ll tell you how to start an ATM business today!

Step 1: Get Compliant with Paperwork

When starting an ATM business, you have to complete the required documentation. The following forms and documentation are necessary in order to even get your machine. This proves that you are qualified to operate an ATM machine and helps set you up for success. This process is designed to make purchasing and operating an ATM machine seamless.

Required Documentation

Your ATM processor will require an equipment order form. This is where you choose the equipment you want and indicate whether you or someone else will handle installation. You will also need to document what your surcharge will be (see below) and what denominations your ATM will dispense.

Next is the ACH form so that your revenue can be deposited into your bank account! Your driver’s license is required to prove your identity and pass a background check. You cannot run an ATM business if you have been found guilty of a felony or financial crime.

A voided business check verifies the legitimacy of your linked bank account. For the purposes of running an ATM business, the account must be a checking account, not a savings account.

The ATM Operator Agreement and application tells banking partners who they are working with and ensures all federal regulations are met. You will need to complete and submit a W-9 form as well. Since you will be making money from your ATM machine, you’ll need to document your earnings for tax purposes.

Finally is the ATM processing agreement. This document lists your rights and obligations as the ATM owner as well as the rights and obligations of the ATM processor. It’s the legal contract between you and the ATM processor that runs your ATM machine program. This agreement also ensures you receive your payment as agreed upon.

Other Applicable Documentation

You may or may not need to complete these forms. They don’t apply in all situations. For example, a business license and permit might only be necessary if your local government requires it. Otherwise, you can register as a sole proprietor under a “doing business as” business name.

A placement agreement, or site location agreement (SLA), would only be necessary if you are planning to install your ATM machine in a location that was owned by someone else. This document serves as a contract between you and that third party and outlines each party’s responsibilities and share of the revenue.

Like all insurance, ATM insurance is completely optional. You can opt to purchase it and account for the cost when calculating your potential profit after operation costs. Or you can test your luck without it. Kind of a gamble here, but if you work with an insurance company that is associated with the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA), they can guide you toward a policy that meets your specific needs.

Last is the wireless agreement. This allows the ATM processor to send you a wireless modem which converts your signal from Internet to cellular and speeds up your connection. Again, this is optional and can be done on your own timeline.

Step 2: Select ATM Type

When choosing ATM equipment, there are three necessary decisions you have to make: ATM type, manufacturer and model, and new or refurbished. 

ATM Type

You have a lot of options when it comes to choosing ATM equipment. First you must decide the ATM type. There are free-standing, through-the-wall (TTW), and wall mount ATM machines.

Free-standing ATMs offer the most flexibility when it comes to placement. They can be installed anywhere there is a power source. They have a small footprint which is helpful when planning around available floor space in a store.

TTW ATMs are bulkier but more secure because the interface, the back of the machine, is secured within the wall extending into the next room. This can make accessing the machine to replace currency a little safer.

Wall mount ATMs can be mounted to a wall, table, or countertop. This can be convenient if your location doesn’t have a lot of extra space available. This is also a more practical choice for small businesses and low-traffic locations.

Manufacturers and Equipment Options

Two of the most popular ATM manufacturers are Hyosung and Genmega. Both produce high-quality, reliable equipment. ATM Depot also offers the full lines of Triton and Hantle (Tranax) machines.

Each of these market-leading manufacturers produces sturdy ATM equipment that lasts upwards of ten years. Just remember that pricing will vary based on the manufacturing company, machine type, and features. You can get more information about manufacturer and equipment options in our ATM Buyers Guide.

New vs. Refurbished

You also have the option of purchasing your ATM machine new or refurbished. New machines are recommended for first-time independent ATM deployers (IADs) who are just starting an ATM business. The new technology informed by feedback from IADs and users makes new ATM machines easier to use.

However, purchasing a refurbished machine could save you some money and therefore speed up your ROI and increase your profit. It’s also better for the environment to reuse electronic equipment rather than having it sent to the landfill.

Step 3: Find a Location

Choosing the right location is very important when it comes to making a profit from your ATM business. You have to find a location where there’s a great need for an ATM machine. Where do people go where they need cash to pay for goods and services? Where is there a large gap between one ATM machine and the next? What are the areas of your city with the most foot traffic? And who might you have to partner with in order to place your machine in a strategic spot?

Who Will Own the Space?

Before you should even think about ordering an ATM machine, you need to know where you’re going to put it. Choosing the perfect ATM location is a very strategic process. You have to consider factors such as visibility, ease of access, and competition. 

The first decision you have to make when choosing a location is whether you want to rent your own space, supply a space you already own, or coordinate with a site location owner. If you rent or purchase your own space, you have to factor that into your operating costs and adjust your business model accordingly to still make enough of a profit for it to be worth it.

The same is true of partnering with a site location owner. Depending on the agreement you set up, you could end up splitting your profits with the owner of the location where you choose to install your ATM. Keep this in mind when calculating your potential profit.

What Are the Best ATM Locations?

When it comes to choosing the right location for your ATM machine, you really have to consider what’s best for you and your business specifically. And you have to work with the locations available to you. Generally speaking, the best ATM locations typically share the same characteristics: cash only, high traffic, good reviews, liquor license, distance from other machines, and convenience for you.

Locations that are cash only or that encourage cash transactions create the demand that your ATM supplies. If people need cash, they need an ATM. This is good for business. So is high traffic. 

The more people who pass by and see your ATM on a regular basis, the more business you’re likely to get. High traffic areas also provide a certain level of security and comfort among users. Isolated machines away from security cameras or the public eye present an increased risk of vandalism and theft.

If you partner with a store owner, you want your ATM to be placed in a store or business that has good reviews. The more customers that store gets, the more business your ATM is likely to get. 

Locations with liquor licenses are good options, too. They are open late, so that extends the hours of operation of your ATM machine and offers more opportunities for transactions. Plus, it’s reasonable to have an increased surcharge at these locations, too (more on surcharge later).Finally, you have to consider the proximity of your machine to you as well as to other machines. The closer your ATM is to other machines, the more competition you have to get customers. But you also want the machine to be convenient for you to access. The more time and money you spend getting to your machine for maintenance and surveillance, the less profit you make.

What Are the Most Profitable ATM Locations?

There are some specific business types that tend to be more profitable due to increased surcharges, high demand, and large volume of patrons. These include casinos, gentlemen’s clubs, hotels, nightclubs and bars, convenience stores and gas stations, restaurants, barbershops and salons, microbreweries, and parking lots.

Keep in mind that profits will vary based on each individual business’s success. When looking for an optimal location for your ATM, choose a business that is busy, regularly brings in customers, and has good potential for staying in business for a while.

Step 4: Set Your Surcharge

The surcharge is the fee customers or users pay for the service your ATM machine offers. For each transaction made on your ATM machine, you make the surcharge amount in return. Setting your surcharge is a very strategic process. You want to offer a competitive surcharge while also setting yourself up to make as much profit as possible. 

The average ATM surcharge fee is about $2.50. Depending on the competition in your area, you can raise or lower that fee amount. And you can change it at any time. 

You might want to start with a low surcharge to encourage people to use your machine as you are just getting started. Or, alternatively, you might want to set a higher surcharge to meet your ROI quicker and start profiting sooner. The choice is up to you.

You also want to consider whether or not you’ll be sharing any portion of the revenue with a third party like a site location owner. If you are, you might opt to set a higher surcharge so that you make more after the site location owner’s share.

Step 5: Start Making Money

It is possible to make a good amount of money from an ATM business. When you’re just starting out, you will want to undergo a modicum of trial and error to get your business model just right. But with an ATM business, you have a low overhead and many opportunities for growth.

As long as people use your machine, you will make money. Getting people to use your machine is the hard work that you have to do once everything is set up. But once you do, you should expect to be making at least $450 monthly gross revenue. That’s 180 transactions a month at $2.50 each.

You can expect 40%-70% annual ROI from any location that warrants 80-100 transactions monthly. To make $1,500-$2,000 monthly in profit, you would need to own and operate 5-10 ATM machines. This is certainly possible if you can establish an efficient routine with your first machine and find optimal locations for subsequent machines. 

How to Start an ATM Business

If you want to know how to start an ATM business, it’s actually very easy. In just a few steps you can start making money. It will require a little bit of work to develop a routine with your machine and test different surcharge amounts and marketing strategies. But there are very few steps involved between completing the required paperwork and beginning to make money.

The best part about running an ATM business is that most of the factors that determine your success are in your control. You decide how much to invest in equipment, where you want your machine, who to work with, and how much you’d like to make per transaction. If you still have questions regarding how to start an ATM business, you can speak with an ATM Depot representative. Contact us today!

How to Start an ATM Business

ATM Buyers Guide: How to Choose the ATM Equipment That’s Best for Your Business

We’ve created an ATM buyers guide to help you determine which ATM equipment options best suit you. We’ll discuss each brand, each type, and even prices to help get you started.

The selection process can be broken down into three steps:

Step 1: Choose ATM Type

Step 2: Choose a Manufacturer

Step 3: Choose New or Refurbished

When it comes to choosing an ATM, you want to know which one is the best. However, what the decision really comes down to is which one is the best for you

Keep size in mind too. Do you need a through-the-wall ATM or a smaller version? There’s a lot to consider. Our ATM Buyers Guide can help get you started. Check out the following options and see which machine best meets your needs and space.

ATM Buyers Guide Step 1: ATM Type

Before we cover a few main ATM brands, let’s discuss type. There are three popular options: free standing, through-the-wall, and wall mount.

Free standing ATMs vary in size, but are generally smaller than through-the-wall. The advantage of free standing ATMs is that they can be placed anywhere there’s a power supply. This gives you more freedom with your organization and planning.

Through-the-wall (TTW) ATMs are heavier. The bulky part (the interface) extending from the front of the ATM (the chassis) fits into or through the wall protruding into the next room. 

It might take some construction work to get this area developed if it doesn’t already exist in your space, but through-the-wall ATMs are typically more secure because they are often placed in rooms with controlled access.

Keep in mind that TTW ATM machines are also better when facing outdoors as they allow a secure way to offer 24-hour convenient cash access to passers-by and not just in-store customers. That often translates into higher usage.

The smallest option is a wall mount ATM. These ATMs can be mounted to a wall using sturdy steel brackets (included with the ATM) or optionally mounted on a table or counter-top depending on how much space you have to work with.

Because of their space-saving size, wall mount ATMs hold less notes but can be the perfect ATM for small businesses and lower-traffic locations.

ATM Buyers Guide Step 2: ATM Manufacturers and Equipment Options

ATM Depot offers full lines of Hyosung, Genmega, Triton, and Hantle/Tranax machines. Plus, we can get just about any machine you may be interested in. In addition to a brief overview of each brand, we’ll share our recommendations and most popular machines.

Hyosung ATM Machines

Hyosung Halo 2

The Hyosung Halo II has a ‘Halo’ around the keypad which is great for dimly lit locations

Hyosung is a Korean-based company that first introduced its Nautilus Hyosung ATMs to the United States in 1998. Their US office is located in Irving, Texas. They’ve deployed thousands of ATMs worldwide since 1997.

Hyosung is considered to be the leading provider of ATM hardware, software, and service. They have a reputation for having the most reliable, durable, and flexible ATMs.

If you have limited location or floor space, the Hyosung 4000w is a space-saving option that can be mounted to a counter-top or vertical surface. Don’t worry. It has all of the same features and options as the new and very popular free standing Hyosung Halo II (Hyosung Halo 2) model.

The “Halo” is appropriately named. The LED lighting surrounding the keypad draws more users and therefore more revenue for your bottom line. The Halo is perfect for dimly lit areas like bars and clubs due to its LED lighting. 

The 10.1 high-resolution color screen is larger than most ATM screens which makes it perfect for customization. The vibrant 10” color LCD screen adds to this machine’s user-friendliness. 

Genmega ATM Machines

Genmega headquarters are in Fremont, California. One of the newest ATM companies, they introduced their first ATMs in 2006. However, since that time, they’ve already deployed over 50,000 units worldwide.

One of Genmega’s greatest advantages is its staff of engineers, developers, and technicians. With decades of combined ATM experience, there’s no shortage of help. Genmega is noted for its cutting-edge engineering and integration.

Specifically, we recommend the new through-the-wall Genmega GT3000. The terminal is small, compact, and weather-resistant. It’s a great option for outdoor space or where space is limited. Although new, the Genmega GT3000 is proof of Genmega’s goal to manufacture high-quality, reliable equipment.

As far as free-standing options, we’d recommend the G2500. It’s comparable to the Halo II mentioned above with an 8″ TFT high-resolution 32-bit color LCD screen. The Genmega G2500 is the latest option for a brand-new Genmega ATM machine. A little bit lower in cost, it’s our second most popular machine after the Halo II.  

Hantle (Tranax) ATM Machines

Tranax began as a business partner of Korea’s Hyosung Computer Company. They first introduced their ATMs to the US in 1998. In 2010, Tranax changed its name to Hantle, the name of its Korea-based parent.

From 650 their first year to 6,000 the next, half of the machines deployed were the ever-popular Mini-Bank 1000 ATM. Additionally, Tranax/Hantle ATMs experience almost zero service issues for their 1700 Series according to our field technicians. For the hundreds of these ATMs we’ve deployed, our technicians rarely make service calls to them.

Triton ATM Machines

Triton had its start in the early 1990s and has been a market leader ever since. The company produces reliable ATMs that last upwards of ten years. Triton has been a privately owned company since 2010 and produced its 200,000th ATM in 2011.

As a matter of fact, ATM Depot’s founder, and author of The Amazing Money Machine, Noah Weider was part of Triton Systems’ original Triton Advisory Committee in 1992. One of the oldest ATM companies, Triton continues to produce quality machines.

While the popular Triton 9600 has been discontinued, a close second is the Triton 9100 which you can purchase used and refurbished (more on this later). 

ATM Buyers Guide Step 3: New vs. Refurbished

Triton 9100 ATM Machine

The Triton 9100 is a great refurbished machine for a location with lower-traffic

You can purchase brand new ATMs of most models from ATM Depot, or you can purchase a refurbished version. It just depends on your needs and what you’re looking for.

Of course new is nice, but don’t turn up your nose at a refurbished machine right away. First of all, you should know that refurbished machines are supplied with the newest upgrades, thoroughly cleaned, and furnished with replacement decals before being sold. 

Used ATMs aren’t always advertised as refurbished so if you’re shopping around for used ATM equipment and find a deal, be sure to ask if it’s been refurbished. Much like buying a used car from a reputable dealer. A reputable dealer will often inspect and then fix or replace any used parts that could cause a problem making it nicer.

Second, by purchasing a refurbished piece of equipment, you can rest assured that someone has gone through it already to ensure it’s durable. One downfall, however, is that refurbished ATM equipment is sold based on availability. So if you’ve got your eye on a particular brand or style, you might have to purchase it new or wait until a good used one comes around.

It’s important to note also that if you’re just starting out, technology improves with the newer machines making them easier to use. Technology on the older machines can be complicated, but brand new machines come with updated graphics, input functionalities, and simpler operator menus.

So it might be easier to input data like the ATM address, update cash amounts, add graphics, troubleshoot, etc. with a newer model. If you have minimal experience, keep the technology in mind.

New ATM Machine Pricing vs. Refurbished ATM Machine Pricing

Last, let’s do a brief price comparison to give you an idea of what to expect:

Take the discontinued Triton 9600 for example. Recommended replacements are a refurbished Triton 9100 for between $1,199 and $1,495 or a brand new Genmega 2500 for around $2,195. You could be looking at around a thousand dollar difference, but you also have to check availability. 

While the Triton is a great buy, the screen is smaller and the Genmega offers more options. However, if you’re just starting out in the ATM business and have limited funds, or if you have a location that might not be that busy but want to install an ATM anyway, refurbished ATM equipment is the ideal solution.

Discontinued ATMs

New, Used, & Certified Refurbished ATM Equipment

If you’re looking into a refurbished machine from another seller, keep in mind that some heavily discounted machines might be outdated and no longer meet requirements or process transactions.

As regulations change, so must ATM features. ATMs that don’t meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and other upgrades are accordingly unable to continue processing transactions on ATM networks. Be wary of Triton 9600, Triton 9700, WRG Apollo, and WRG Genesis models for this reason.

You might see these discontinued ATMs for sale for extremely discounted prices. But keep in mind that they won’t work for you as is. They can, however, be used for parts. Additionally, if you see one that interests you, we can provide recommendations for comparable replacements.

How to Pay for Your ATM

All the new and certified refurbished ATM equipment listed on ATMDepot.com are offered at already discounted cash prices. You can purchase the machine outright for the price listed. You can even pay with a credit card for a small additional charge.

The typical return on investment (ROI) on an outright purchase is about 3 to 18 months depending on your location, surcharge, and hours of operation. So if you use a credit card to purchase your ATM equipment and make payments, the ROI will be a little longer since you’ll pay some interest on your credit card. 

However, you can find credit cards that offer no interest for 12 months. ATM Depot even has a financial partner that can help you get small business loans to buy ATMs.

When you purchase an ATM from ATM Depot, and want us to help you run the ATM processing, there are no monthly fees, statement fees, or processing fees. Shipping is also free within the continental United States. The only additional cost is the installation fee and other upgrades which are completely optional. 

ATM Depot also offers special sales, upgrades, flexible payment options, and in-house financing. You can always contact us for more information.

Before Making a Decision

Finally, before making a definitive decision, you need to make sure you’re ready to operate your ATM. Here are the two things you will need:

  • A space / Location
  • Power supply

As long as you have these covered, we can take care of the rest. Compare the different machine options listed in this ATM buyers guide, and match them to your needs.

Contact us with your decision or with questions you have to help you make a decision. It’s easy to get set up with nationwide ATM processing. Get started today! 

ATM Security and Fraud Prevention: How to Secure Your ATM

There was a time when ATM machines were targeted by criminals only for the cash inside. However, modern ATMs house something else that’s just as valuable as the cash: consumer data.

An ATM doesn’t store any customer information. But, it does collect it and transmit consumer data. This presents a challenge for ATM owners, because they now must secure their machines against multiple types of attacks.

The good news is that ATM machine manufacturers have developed technology to protect against modern ATM attacks and fraud. And, it’s relatively simple to secure your ATM machines, if you know what to do.

Solid ATM security protects you, your ATM customers, and the banks.

Obviously, protecting your equipment and cash is a big deal. But, a secure ATM machine also protects your customer credit or debit card information. And, it helps shield the bank against fraudulent charges and reputation damage, since many consumers will blame their bank for security breaches, rather than the independent ATM owner.

There are a lot of benefits to properly securing your ATMs. So, here’s what you need to know to keep your ATMs safe.

ATM attacks

ATM attacks are separated into two broad categories: physical attacks and logical attacks.

Physical attacks are a simple attempt to smash the ATM machine and break open the cash vault. The term “simple” is accurate here, since most criminals try something like ramming a truck into the ATM or the wall that the ATM machine sits against inside a building.

Logical attacks are more sophisticated and rely on electronic devices to breach the software or hardware of the machine. Logical attacks extract cash by taking control of the machine or causing it to malfunction.

Even though they extract money differently, most logical attacks still require some physical breach of the case to gain access to the circuitry. So, defending against logical attacks is still mostly a matter of physically securing your machine.

Let’s talk about how you do that.

ATM security: How to protect your ATM machines

The best way to keep your ATM machines safe is to use a layered approach. If one security measure fails, a second security measure should be there to back it up.

Here’s how to layer your ATM security.

Security Cameras for Your ATM Machine

ATM location

The first security measure should be the ATM location. Often, just the placement of your ATM is enough to deter an attacker.

Clearly, you need to avoid isolated or poorly lit areas. But, also consider other aspects of your ATM location.

  • Gas stations, convenience stores, and pawn shops are great for getting lots of transactions. But, these locations also experience higher crime rates than many establishments. 

    If you put an ATM in one of these businesses, work with the owner to get your ATM placed inside, away from large windows, and against a wall with limited exposed surface area on the outside. Also, make sure that your ATM is covered by security cameras.

  • Place your ATM machines so that physical access to the case is limited. 

    Logical attacks require a breach through a seam in the case or the cash dispenser. If your ATM is in a corner or alcove that limits access to the sides of your machine, it’s much more difficult to establish the necessary breach for a logical attack.

  • Place your ATM where users can be easily observed. 

    It takes much longer to breach an ATM machine than it does to make a standard transaction. So, it’s best if the business staff can see people using the ATM. That way they can intervene if someone seems to be tinkering with your machine.

  • Scout the area before you install your ATM.

    It’s not that you can’t place an ATM in areas with a higher crime risk. But, you need to know what the area is like, so you can take appropriate security measures. Take some time to check out the surrounding neighborhoods before you get your ATM up and running.

Choosing a location might be the easiest part of securing your ATM. It’s not difficult. You just need to consider all the security risks.

Bolt your ATM down

Bolt ATM in Floor

This one is super obvious. And, bolting your machine down is easy.

However, business owners may have some concerns about you drilling into their floor. Getting permission to bolt your ATM machine down can be much trickier than the process of installing the bolts.

The key is to help the business owner understand that bolting the ATM machine down benefits them, too. They certainly don’t want people committing crimes in their establishment. That’s bad publicity. The establishment could lose business from customers who need to get cash for their purchase while the ATM is being replaced or is out of service.

Also explain that the bolts do very little damage to their floor. Typically, you’ll secure your machine with four half-inch bolts. And, you can hammer the bolts into the floor and cover them with epoxy once the ATM is removed. If the floor is tile, you can replace the tile that you drilled through to completely cover the marks.

Bolting down your ATM is all upside for both you and the business owner. You just need to help the business owner understand that.

ATM Enclosure via TPI TexasHarden your ATM case

Logical attacks require access to the mainboard or other internal electronics. Most criminals will breach the top of the case to access the mainboard, or a seam on the side of the case to access cabling between the mainboard and the dispenser.

So, fill the seams if they’re not reinforced already. Or, place an internal barrier between the case and the critical electrical components. That way, even if they’re able to open a small crack in the case, a secondary barrier will help prevent the criminal from accessing anything vital.

Finally, if you use an ATM vaulting service or have an employee who restocks your machines, limit the number of people who have keys, and change the keys periodically, if you can. 

Digital security

Many logical attacks rely on outdated software. There are plenty of technologies that didn’t exist when some older ATM machines were manufactured. Older software often has no safeguards against modern logical attacks. So, criminals will target machines with software security holes.

The simplest way to digitally secure your ATM machines is to keep the software updated. The upcoming Windows 10 update will force an update of many older ATM machines. But, establish a schedule to keep your software current.

ATM insurance

ATM insurance must be your last resort. Even though it will help you recoup any losses from an ATM theft, losing your ATM machine or the cash inside is not ideal.

However, carrying insurance to protect your investment is smart. It’s difficult to make your ATMs impervious to attacks. Your ATM insurance protects you in the unlikely event that all your other security layers fail.

But, if you take the proper steps to secure your ATM machines, you’ll greatly reduce your risk of an ATM attack or ATM fraud. And, your ATMs will safely rake in money without any issues.

How to Choose an ATM Processor

Learn How to Choose an ATM Processor

Whether you’re just starting your ATM business or you’ve got machines already, your ATM processor has a big impact on the long term profitability and success of your business. So, knowing how to choose an ATM processor is vital information for new ATM owners and owners looking to switch ATM processors.

It’s not enough that your ATM processor just transfers money to the right account on time. You want an ATM processor that’s going to provide ongoing support and assistance beyond simply processing transactions.

If you call your ATM processor for help with ATM programming and setup, and your ATM processor says, “Hey, we just send the money where it needs to go. You’re on your own,” that’s not helpful. Your ATM processor should behave like a good business partner, not just a service provider.

So, what services should your ATM processor offer? Here’s what to look for as you evaluate ATM processors.

What Your ATM Processor Should Do for You

There are some obvious things that an ATM processor should do. But, there are nuances, even with the essentials.

ATM Sales

How to Choose an ATM Processor - ATM Sales

A company can certainly function solely as an ATM processor. However, there’s an upside to working with a processor that also sells ATM machines: you know the machines you get from your ATM processor can process using their service.

It wouldn’t make sense for an ATM processor to sell you an ATM that’s incompatible with their service. A processor that also sells machines is especially handy if they sell used or refurbished ATM machines. You get machines at a better price, without the headache of potential compatibility issues with your ATM processor.

Automated Payments

How to Choose an ATM Processor - Automated Payments

Obviously, your ATM processor needs to send your money to your bank account. But, it should actually be much easier than transferring money from your checking account to your savings account on your bank’s website.

Automated Payments

First, your ATM payments should be automated. Or, you should at least have the option to automated payments. The ATM business is all about building passive income. If you have to initiate transfers yourself, it makes your income less passive.

Automated payments might seem like small potatoes. But, it’s actually important in terms of choosing an ATM processor that provides service that aligns with your business goals.

Payment Splitting

If you need payments sent to multiple accounts for any reason—because you have a business partner with a separate account, because you have multiple accounts to deal with different expenses, or anything else—it’s easiest if your ATM processor can split your payments for you.

Yes, you can split those payments yourself using online banking. But, again, this makes your income system less passive.

So, look at the options for payment processing that your ATM processor offers, and make sure you’re working with a processor that’s going to help you build an ATM business that meets your goals.

ATM Vaulting

How to Choose an ATM Processor - ATM Vaulting

As you know, keeping your ATMs stocked with cash is vital to keeping your business humming.

Now, there are a few options for ATM vaulting:

  1. You can do it yourself. Just get the cash, and take it to your ATMs to restock all your machines. This is the most profitable way to vault your ATMs since it doesn’t add any overhead to your business.

    If you vault your ATMs yourself, it’s most convenient if your ATM processor provides monitoring services that alert you when one of your machines is low on funds.
  2. You can get the location owner to do it. This is a good option, since the business owner is there frequently, maybe every day. And, they have a vested interest in the security of the ATM because they’re stocking it with cash from their register. Additionally, this minimizes your workload.

Clearly, the business owner will want to be compensated for their efforts. But, it’s often a worthwhile expense.

  1. You can have your ATM processor vault your ATMs for you. This takes the responsibility of vaulting your ATMs off your plate completely.

Whether or not you use this service from your ATM processor, it’s a good option to have. You may have ATMs that are in locations which are difficult to refill yourself, or if you want an armored truck service to protect your cash, having your ATM processor vault your ATMs may be the best option.

Now, your ATM processor will charge you for this service. This is the crux of choosing whether or not to have your ATM processor vault your ATMs. The service shouldn’t be so expensive that it kills all your profit. Around $1.00 per transaction is reasonable and manageable. In any case, make sure that the cost works for your ATM business model.

In the end, you don’t need to use your ATM processor’s vaulting services. However, working with an ATM processor that offers ATM vaulting can help expand the potential locations for your ATMs and reduce the workload of keeping them full of cash.

ATM Installation and Setup Support

How to Choose an ATM Processor - ATM Installation

Getting ATM locations is largely a sales process. But, ATM setup and programming is a more technical process. It’s also the part where many ATM owners get hung up.

So, it’s important that you work with an ATM processor that provides instructions for setting up and programming your ATMs. And, it’s important that you can call your ATM processor for free if you get stuck and need help.

You lose money for every day that your ATM isn’t functioning. So, it’s important that your ATM processor is there to help you overcome challenges in the setup process and get your ATMs up and running.

Alternatively, a quality ATM processor will offer to send a technician to install an ATM in a new location for you. This isn’t free. But, it will save you a lot of time and headaches, especially when you’re new to the ATM business.

Just like the ATM vaulting service, you shouldn’t be required to use your ATM processor’s setup service. But, it can be a good way to get some ATMs going while you’re still learning the ropes of ATM setup and programming.

Service Agreement Templates

How to Choose an ATM Processor - Service Agreement Templates

Creating your own service agreement from scratch is a bad idea. You’ll most likely end up leaving something out. Then your service agreement won’t properly protect you if something goes wrong between you and the location owner. Obviously, this can be very bad.

A good way to avoid this problem, without hiring a lawyer, is to use templates. This way, you can create a service agreement that’s customized to the situation, without leaving anything out.

Service agreement templates will save you a lot of money in legal consulting fees and long-term losses from botched service agreements. So, an ATM processor that offers service agreement templates makes it easier and less expensive to get the paperwork done and get your ATM machines up and running.

Low Fees and Shorter Contracts

There are ATM processors that sell new ATMs at an impressively low price. It seems like a great deal at first.

However, most companies that discount their ATM machines wrap up a lot of fees in their service. You might save a few hundred upfront. But, the ATM processor gets that money back through fees over time.

Often, companies that make money on slightly higher fees will require 3 to 5-year contracts. Longer contract requirements ensure that the fees cover the cost of the discounted ATM machine. If you sign a 5-year contract, the fees could end up being more than the initial discount you got on the ATM machine.

ATM processors that charge slightly higher prices for their ATM machines usually have a lower fee structure. And, these ATM processors usually offer shorter contracts, in the range of 1 to 3 years. They can offer shorter contracts because they don’t need to make up for discounted ATM machines.

So, look at potential ATM processor fee structures and contract requirements, and consider how much those fees are going to cost you over the life of the contract.

Flexibility

How to Choose an ATM Processor - Support Flexibility

The last thing is flexibility and support. Your ATM processor should be responsive and easy to work with. If you can’t get the help you need, when you need it, your ATM processor isn’t helping you much.

It’s best if your ATM processor offers some sort of 24/7 support. You never know when you’ll need help with your machines. So, your ATM processor should offer anytime support for their services.

As we mentioned earlier, your ATM processor should be more like a business partner than a service provider. Availability and responsiveness are key to getting this sort of partnership from your ATM processor.

Last step: Choose an ATM Processor

Ultimately, the ATM processor you choose is one of the first major decisions in your ATM business. You’re already on the right track by reading about how to choose an ATM Processor. You’ll be working with that processor for a year or more. So, you want to work with an ATM processor that’s going to support you and your business, in addition to processing transactions.

If you’re ready to compare ATM processors, start by checking out ATM Depot. ATM Depot offers complete support and education for everything from ATM purchase to installation and everything in between.