How to Start an ATM Business: A Step-by-Step Guide


Are you looking for a business opportunity that is easy to set up, low maintenance, and profitable? Starting an ATM business might be the perfect fit for you!

In this step-by-step guide, we will cover everything you need to know about starting your own atm business  From researching the market and choosing your location to obtaining licenses & permits and purchasing equipment, including tools for routine maintenance. VH-info has done all the hard work for you.

We will also provide useful tips on finding suppliers & vendors, setting up your business structure, creating a business plan, securing financing, marketing your business, training employees & installing equipment, and monitoring performance & adjusting as needed.

Additionally, we will answer FAQs such as how much it costs to start an ATM business, how much money you can make owning an ATM machine, which type of ATMs you should invest in, and where you should place them.

So, if you’re wondering whether it’s worth it to get an ATM in your business, how to get an ATM business license, or any other questions that ATM business owners may have – read on!

How to Start an ATM Business?


Getting into the ATM business can be a good way to earn money and help people. But, it’s essential to know the steps to make it work.

Here are 14 steps to start your ATM business:

Step 1: Market research

Before launching your ATM business, it’s crucial to explore the market and assess your competition. Check out what other ATM businesses are providing in terms of services, charges, and locations. This research will enable you to gauge the demand in your area and identify your target market and any distinctive offerings that can make your business stand out from the rest in the ATM industry. Additionally, analyzing foot traffic in potential locations, understanding banking and processing fees, and being aware of ATM regulations will all contribute to shaping your business plan.

Step 2: Location Selection

Picking the perfect spot for your ATM business is a key ingredient for success. Think about things like how many people pass by, how easy it is to see your ATM, and how safe and accessible the location, specifically the ATM location, is. Be mindful of any local rules that might affect your business. It’s wise to go for busy, accessible places like gas stations, convenience stores, malls, and restaurants. Don’t forget to work out agreements with the owners of these places to set up your ATMs there.

Step 3: Acquire the necessary licenses and permits

To start an ATM business, register your business name and legal structure with the Secretary of State in each state of operation. The process varies by state but can be found on the secretary of state’s website. Pay the necessary fees and file the required paperwork. Choose the appropriate legal structure from five common options for your ATM business.

Before launching your ATM business, it’s crucial to get all the necessary licenses and permits from local authorities. This could mean getting a business license, a sales tax permit, or other permits required by your area’s laws. Make sure you secure these permits from federal, state, and local authorities. Depending on your setup, you might even need additional licenses like liquor licenses if you plan to install ATMs in bars.

Step 4: Buying Equipment

When buying ATM machines for your business, it’s important to do some research. Look into different models and check prices from various sellers to find the best deal. You can choose between new or refurbished machines and decide on features like cash dispensing, deposit-taking, or card reading. Don’t forget to buy supplies like paper for receipts, signs, and cleaning stuff. 

VH-info would also recommend to make sure to carefully consider your options when it comes to atm equipment, including the type, manufacturer, and model.

Step 5: Finding Suppliers & Vendors

To run your ATM business smoothly, it’s important to find trustworthy suppliers and vendors who can give you the cash you need for your ATMs and other supplies like receipt paper. It’s a good idea to research different suppliers to get the best prices. You might also need to partner with ATM processors, who handle ATM processing, to link your ATMs to an electronic funds transfer network and collaborate with cash providers, armored car services, and maintenance technicians.

Step 6: Structuring the Business

Before you start your ATM business, it’s crucial to establish a legal structure like an LLC (limited liability company), corporation, or sole proprietor. This helps protect you from personal liability if any legal problems or disputes with customers or vendors arise. It’s a good idea to consult with a lawyer or an accountant who specializes in setting up businesses to help you with this process. Additionally, get a tax ID, open business bank accounts, and consider obtaining insurance. If needed, hire staff like technicians or cash handlers to assist in your operations.

Step 7: Business Plan Creation

Starting an ATM business can be a great opportunity for small business owners to generate additional income. To start, small business owners should research the ATM business and understand the legal requirements. They should also determine their target market and identify potential locations for their ATMs. Once they have identified their target market and location, small business owners can purchase or lease ATMs and install them in their desired locations.

Additionally, small business owners should consider creating a website to promote their business and attract potential customers. You can contact VH-info if you want high quality backlinks for your ATM business.

Having a solid business plan is a must for a successful ATM business. Your plan should cover details like who your customers are (for example: retail stores, office spaces), how you’ll set your prices, and how you’ll get the word out about your ATMs. It should also include financial predictions and more, including a well-planned business strategy. This plan will be like a guide for your business and should be updated as things change. Make sure to outline your strengths compared to your competitors and set goals for things like making a profit.

Step 8: Secure Financing

Getting the right financing is a big deal when you’re starting an ATM business because it affects how much money you have to cover things like buying equipment or promoting your business. You can look into loans from banks, get investors, use business credit cards for separating personal and business expenses, or use your savings. Make sure to figure out how much money you’ll need to start and run your business, including expenses for handling cash.

Step 9: Market Your Business

Promote your ATM business with a comprehensive marketing plan. Utilize online and offline methods to inform people about your services and locations. Advertise through online ads, printed materials, and partnerships. Make your ATMs easily accessible and appealing, highlighting convenience and low fees. Connect with customers and industry professionals through social media accounts.

Starting an ATM business can be profitable. On average, independently owned ATMs in the US have 222,000 deployments with an average fee of $2.77. Keep in mind that the average ATM holds up to $200K, but typically keeps less than $10K at any time. Depending on the manufacturer and bills in the machine, you will have one to four dispensing cassettes holding 1,000 to 4,000 bills each. It’s recommended to offer a competitive surcharge fee, around $2.50 on average, which can be adjusted based on local competition.

Step 10: Train Employees & Install Equipment

After you’ve handled all the paperwork and secured your financing, it’s important to train your employees in how to use the equipment correctly so they can provide great service to customers using ATMs. Also, ensure that all the equipment is set up properly following the manufacturer’s instructions before you open for business. Make sure your ATMs are loaded with cash and have all the necessary supplies ready for operation, including managing cash withdrawals and deposits.

Step 11: Open For Business!

Before opening your ATM business, ensure everything is in order. Clean and fill your ATMs, and make sure they are functioning well. Be prepared to handle any initial issues for a positive customer experience.

To maximize profits, choose high-traffic locations with limited access to other ATMs. Consider providing $2000-$3000 per location, per week for vault cash. Select an ATM machine that fits the location and business needs. Thru the wall machines are more expensive and should only be considered for high-volume locations with high foot traffic and higher cash payments needed.

Step 12: Monitor Performance & Adjust As Needed

After setting everything up, it’s vital to keep an eye on how things are going to make sure everything is working well. Also, be ready to make changes based on what your customers say or how the market is doing, so you can stay competitive. Keep an eye on how much your ATMs are being used and how much cash they’re making.

If necessary, adjust where you place them, the fees you charge, and your marketing efforts. If some locations are not doing well, consider removing the ATMs or expanding in busy spots. This way, you can keep your ATM business on track and successful.

Step 13: Expand Services & Locations As Needed

When you see that more people want your services, think about growing your business. You can do this by adding more machines in new places, exploring new markets, or providing extra services like check cashing or bill payments in specific locations. This way, you can make even more money and meet the growing demand for your services.

Step 14: Stay Up To Date On Regulations & Trends In The Industry

To stay competitive in the ATM business, it’s important to keep yourself informed about the rules and trends in the industry. This means knowing the latest regulations, security standards, and best practices for ATMs. Make sure your machines meet all the requirements for compliance and functionality. You can also consider going to industry-related conferences to stay ahead of the competition and be in the know about the latest developments in the ATM world.

Is It Worth It To Get An ATM in Your Business?

When deciding to get an ATM for your business, consider these key factors. An ATM provides convenient access to cash, encouraging customers to spend more in your establishment. However, the costs of purchasing, maintaining, and operating an ATM can be high. Location is crucial as high-traffic areas yield more usage. Analyze customer base, foot traffic, and costs before deciding if the convenience of an ATM outweighs the expenses. With research and planning, an ATM can be a wise investment for many businesses.

How to get an ATM License?


Here are the key steps to getting an ATM license:

  1. Research regulations – ATM licensing requirements vary by state, so research the specific rules in your area. Some states require licenses, while others don’t.
  2. Choose a business structure – Most operators create an LLC or corporation to run their ATM business. You’ll need a registered business entity to apply for a license.
  3. Apply for tax IDs – Get a federal EIN and state tax ID number for your ATM business so you can pay taxes properly.
  4. Complete license application – Fill out the required ATM license application for your state. This usually involves submitting business documents, personal info, fees, etc.
  5. Pass background checks – Operators typically have to pass criminal background checks as part of the licensing process.
  6. Acquire bonds – Some states require ATM companies to obtain bonds to cover potential losses or damages.
  7. Get insurance – You’ll need proper business insurance to protect your ATM investment and operations.
  8. Open a bank account – Set up a business checking account to manage ATM cash flow separately.
  9. Pay licensing fees – Most states charge annual licensing fees in the $200-$500 range. Stay current on renewals.
  10. Display license – Make sure to visibly post your ATM license to show customers you are properly licensed.

Following state requirements and submitting the necessary documentation can help ensure you get approved for an ATM license. The process takes some time but it’s important for legal compliance.

What are the legal and regulatory requirements for operating ATMs?


Here are some of the key legal and regulatory requirements for operating ATMs in the United States:

  1. State licensing – Many states require a specific license or registration to own and operate ATMs. Requirements vary but often include application forms, fees, bonds, background checks, etc.
  2. Banking regulations – ATM operators must comply with federal banking laws and regulations like the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, Bank Secrecy Act, USA PATRIOT Act, etc. These cover security, fraud prevention, customer fee disclosure, and more.
  3. ADA compliance – The Americans with Disabilities Act requires ATMs to be accessible to those with disabilities. This includes specifications like braille keypads, headset jacks, voice guidance, etc.
  4. PCI compliance – ATM owners must adhere to Payment Card Industry standards for protecting cardholder data. This includes encryption, physical security, network security, and data access controls.
  5. Cash reporting – Federal law requires reporting cash transactions over $10,000 deposited into ATMs to prevent money laundering. Suspicious activity must also be reported.
  6. Local zoning laws – Placement of ATMs may be subject to municipal zoning regulations, noise ordinances, signage rules, etc.
  7. Ongoing maintenance – Proper servicing, cash management, and updates to meet evolving standards are critical for regulatory compliance.

Staying current on all federal, state, and local legal requirements is essential for ATM operators. Non-compliance can result in significant penalties and business disruptions. Working closely with legal counsel and regulators is advised.

What Are the Pros and Cons of An ATM Business?


Here are some of the main pros and cons of owning an ATM business:


  1. Steady demand – People always need access to cash, creating a reliable customer base.
  2. Passive income potential – ATMs can operate 24/7 with minimal supervision.
  3. Low overhead – Operational costs are relatively low after the initial machine purchase.
  4. High ROI potential – Well-placed machines can deliver excellent returns on investment.
  5. Scalable model – The business can grow gradually by adding more machines.
  6. Flexible locations – ATMs can be placed in diverse settings like stores, malls, gas stations, etc.


  1. High start-up costs – Purchasing or leasing ATMs requires significant upfront capital.
  2. Security risks – Machines can attract theft and vandalism if not properly secured.
  3. Liability concerns – Business owners must manage risks and obtain adequate insurance.
  4. Processing fees – Transaction fees charged by banks impact net profits.
  5. Regulation – Licensing, legal compliance, and reporting requirements.
  6. Site commissions – Revenue may be shared with businesses hosting the ATMs.
  7. Technical issues – Mechanical or network problems can disrupt operations.


How much does it cost to start an ATM business?

The cost of starting an ATM business can vary depending on several factors.

Typically, a new indoor ATM machine costs around $2,000 to $3,000, while outdoor machines are pricier at approximately $10,000 due to the need for weather-proofing and security. You may also incur monthly expenses, including space rental for the machine ($100), an internet line  and phone line for connectivity ($30), receipt paper replacement ($50), and possibly around $500 for armored cash delivery. However, with the rise of new atms and advancements in technology, the cost of starting an ATM business may vary.

Maintenance costs, especially for outdoor machines, can also add to the expenses. Keep in mind that the exact cost can vary based on factors like the type of machine and whether it’s new or refurbished. Having a well-defined budget and financial plan is essential for starting your ATM business.

How To Start An ATM Business With No Money?

Starting an ATM business without upfront capital requires creativity and smart partnerships. You can work with banks or large ATM providers who supply the machines in exchange for a share of the profits. Another option is crowdfunding loans through online platforms. Exploring grants from government or private organizations is also a possibility.

To keep costs low, begin with just a couple of machines in high-traffic areas and focus on providing excellent service to build your customer base. It’s possible to slowly grow your ATM business without much initial money by starting with your first machine and scaling up as your earnings increase. The key is to begin with a solid business plan and expand as your profits allow by adding new locations and minimizing operating costs.

How much Money can you make owning an ATM Machine?

The amount of money you can make owning an ATM varies quite a bit based on the location, fees charged, and how often it gets used. But generally, after expenses, profits can range from $1,000 to $5,000 per year per machine.

High-traffic areas like convenience stores, malls, and tourist spots bring in more transactions and surcharge revenue, with an average surcharge fee of $3.00 per transaction. Less busy locations earn much less, making it important to consider startup costs and monthly fees when starting an ATM business.

The key is placing your ATM in an optimal spot where it gets plenty of customers needing quick cash. With enough volume, owning just 1-2 machines can produce a stable, worthwhile income. But profits ultimately depend on smart placement and promoting your ATM to drive more usage.

Which type of ATMs should I invest in, and where should I place them?

When starting an ATM business, it’s best to invest in new and modern machines with user-friendly interfaces and security features. Top brands like Hyosung and Genmega are reliable options. Place them in high-traffic spots like gas stations, convenience stores, malls, public events, and busy retail shops.

The most profitable locations will have consistent customer demand for cash transactions. Aim for well-lit indoor spots close to entrances and checkouts for convenience and security. Also consider installing in entertainment areas like bars, restaurants, and casinos where people tend to spend cash. With strategic placement in busy consumer areas, newer ATMs can deliver solid returns on investment.

Is An ATM Business Profitable?

Yes, owning an ATM machine business can be profitable. There is a consistent demand for ATMs, both for personal transactions and for businesses. What makes it lucrative is that the cost of maintaining an ATM is relatively low, which allows for higher profits.

With each transaction, where people withdraw money or check their balance, you can earn a transaction fee, usually around $3 per transaction, and an interchange fee of about $0.10 to $0.20.

You can charge a surcharge fee, averaging around $3.08 per withdrawal.

On average, one ATM can see around 180 transactions per month, which can amount to an income potential of about $540 per month. If you have multiple ATMs or they are located in high-traffic areas, your profits can be even higher. So, the ATM business can indeed be profitable.

Is The ATM Business Dying?

No, the ATM business is not dying. Despite the rise of digital payments, ATM transactions are on the upswing, and mobile banking is growing. This industry continues to offer opportunities for both businesses and customers.

While there is a trend towards digital payments, cash is still widely used, especially in areas with limited internet access or for those who prefer its simplicity and accessibility.

ATMs are evolving to meet the demands of the digital world, and recent events have increased their usefulness, with banks limiting in-person interactions and ATMs serving as platforms for advertising and driving foot traffic to businesses. So, the ATM business is far from dying and continues to adapt to changing needs.


Starting an ATM business can be a lucrative venture if done right. It requires thorough research, planning, and understanding of the market and industry. With our guide & the right mindset, you can set up and operate a successful ATM business.

But is it worth it to get an ATM in your business? The answer depends on several factors such as foot traffic, location, and potential revenue. Assessing these factors will help you determine if having an ATM is a viable option for your business.

Additionally, it’s important to understand the legal and regulatory requirements for operating ATMs. Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, as well as staying up to date on regulations and trends in the industry, ensures that your business operates within the legal framework.

Like any business, there are pros and cons to consider. While the potential for profit is high, there are also costs involved in purchasing equipment, securing financing, and marketing your business. Conducting a cost-benefit analysis will help you make an informed decision.

To further address any questions or concerns you may have, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions. Whether it’s about the initial cost, profitability, or the types of ATMs to invest in, we’ve got you covered.

Starting an ATM business requires careful planning and execution, but with the right strategy and dedication, it can be a rewarding and profitable venture.

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