Pros and Cons of ATM Business

Curious about the pros and cons of ATM business before you jump right in? While there are many benefits to starting an ATM business, it does involve a certain amount of work and risk—just like any other business. However, the ATM business is one of the simplest to start and operate.

After reading the pros and cons of ATM business here, decide whether the rewards outweigh the work. What might be a deal breaker for one person might not be a deal breaker for another. So consider your options carefully and make a decision that works for you! 


Passive Income

The whole point of starting a business is to make money, right? The money you make from your ATM machine is considered passive income because the machine does most of the work for you. You essentially make money while you sleep, while you take a vacation, while you work your day job….

Speaking of day jobs, you might decide you want to quit your day job. If the money you make from operating your ATM machine supports the lifestyle you desire, then quit your 9-5 and enjoy the flexibility and freedom of running an ATM business.

Otherwise, the money you make from your ATM machine supplements your existing salary. You now have extra money to put towards the things your salary doesn’t currently cover. And the best part is, it’s a simple business model! 

Simple Business Model

The ATM business is not complicated. In only five steps you can have a machine delivered to your front door (not that you would want to run your ATM from your home…). Complete and submit your documentation, select your equipment, choose a location, set your surcharge, and once the machine is installed you can start to make money!

One of the greatest benefits an ATM business offers that other business models don’t is that you can start making money immediately. An ATM business is a service-based business rather than a sales-based business, so you don’t have to pursue clients and customers. If you strategically choose an optimal location for your machine, the customers will come to you. The quicker you make your return on investment (ROI), the quicker you start to profit. 

And most of your revenue will be profit. Your only business expenses will be receipt paper, insurance (if you have it), and whatever you set aside for maintenance. Plus, an ATM business is scalable. Once you get the hang of owning and operating one machine, purchase and place another! You could be making thousands of dollars a year with five to ten machines.

Even with ten machines, you still get to enjoy a fairly flexible schedule. An ATM business requires minimal work from you. Again, that’s why it’s called passive income! 


As long as people use cash, there will be a need for ATMs. So you don’t need to worry about them becoming obsolete any time soon. Although society is moving in the direction of digital currency, it has yet to take over completely. 

Even still, if you decide you’d like to get into the Bitcoin ATM business, that’s an option as well. And it won’t require very much effort to make the switch. Either purchase a Bitcoin ATM or convert a traditional ATM machine if it has the capability. 

The point is, you have a lot of time to make a lot of money with ATM machines.



At the end of the day, an ATM business is still, well, a business. So it is going to require some work. We said that it is simple, not that it is easy. So be prepared to invest a little bit of effort. In terms of responsibilities, though, you have very few when it comes to operating your ATM machine.

The initial work you have to do is find a location to place your ATM machine. Unless you already know some business and store owners personally who might be able to benefit from an ATM on their premises, you will have to approach local businesses and stores to try to convince them to share their space and join an ATM partnership.

You also have to think strategically about the best, most lucrative location for your ATM. You have to identify a gap in the market. Where is there a need for an ATM? Where is there a lot of foot traffic? Will you be able to offer a competitive surcharge and bring in users every day?

But once your machine is up and running, the only things left to do are refill the machine with bills and receipt paper and address any maintenance issues. If something breaks or if there is a technical error or if the machine requires routine cleaning, those are your responsibilities. Unless…

You do have the option of delegating your responsibilities. You are, after all, the business owner. So you could pay someone to vault the money for you or you can arrange to share responsibilities with the location owner. The only downfall to this arrangement is that you then have to share a larger amount of your profit. Less work equals less pay.

Financial Risk

Again, like any other business, there will be startup costs. And while there is no guarantee you will earn it back, it’s pretty difficult to lose money with an ATM. Especially since you can move your ATM anywhere you want to try to find a winning location.

Although minimal, you will have to make an initial investment. Your costs will include the ATM equipment, insurance (if you choose), and rent. If you want to place your ATM at, say, a mall, you will probably have to pay a set, monthly fee to rent the space. If you work with a small business, you can probably get away with sharing a percentage of the ATM revenue.

Background Check

Finally, to run an ATM business, you have to pass a background check. Unfortunately, you cannot legally operate an ATM if you have a felony charge or have been convicted of a financial crime. Since running an ATM machine involves money wire transactions for other people, you must pass a background check in order to prevent money laundering activities.

What Are the Pros and Cons of ATM Business?

If you are wondering if an ATM business is right for you, think about the pros and cons of ATM business. Consider how much work you are willing to put into it, how much you want to make from it, and what goals you will have for your business.

If you want to get rich, then you may want to look at different options. However, if you are looking for something flexible that requires little involvement so that you can pursue other ventures simultaneously, then the ATM biz is perfect.

Most of the cons associated with starting an ATM business you’re going to find in any business venture; they aren’t specific to an ATM business. Things like effort, networking, startup costs, etc. are standard necessities when starting a business. Use this list of pros and cons to help make your decision. When you’re ready, contact us and we will get you started with documentation!

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