How to Start an ATM Business in 5 Steps: Beginner’s Guide

How to Start an ATM Business in 5 Steps: Beginner’s Guide

Have you ever wondered how to start an ATM business? If you have, then this step-by-step guide is for you. According to statistics, the global ATM market size reached USD 20.18 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9% within the next few years. Undeniably, now is the best time to capitalize on this money-making opportunity.

Starting an ATM business is a big undertaking, and it's important to understand all of the steps before you begin. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know on how to start an ATM business.

Advantages of starting an ATM Business

Before getting into the nitty-gritty, let's discuss why you should consider starting an ATM business. Here are some of the advantages:

Predictable Income Stream

You know what's better than having an income stream? Having a predictable income stream. Your customers will always need cash, meaning you'll have a steady stream of revenue from ATM transactions.

Low Maintenance

Once an ATM is installed, there's not much maintenance required or ongoing costs that you need to worry about. This also means you don't have to keep up with the latest technology trends since your machines won't need frequent updates.

Potential For Growth 

As stated before, the ATM market is growing, and you can capitalize on this trend by adding more machines to your network. This means that as your business grows, so does your potential for income growth.

Flexible Work Hours

With an ATM business, you're in charge of your own hours. This means you can take a holiday when needed or work fewer hours if that works better for your lifestyle.

Importance Of A Well-planned Strategy 

Now that you know some of the advantages of starting an ATM business, it's time to discuss the importance of having a well-thought-out strategy. A well-thought-out strategy can help you be successful in your ATM business. It can help you mitigate risks such as cash flow issues or customer complaints, giving you more time to focus on expanding your business

It can also help you identify areas of improvement and prioritize tasks so everything runs more smoothly. Having a well-planned strategy is key to ensuring the success of your business. Aside from the points mentioned above, it helps you stay organized so that you can track your progress and make sure everything is going according to plan.

5 Steps to Start an ATM Business

In this section, we'll discuss how to start an ATM business in detail:

conduct market research

1. Conduct Market Research

Market research is an essential part of starting any business, and it's no different when it comes to ATMs. This subsection provides a guide for conducting market research for an ATM business.

Determine The Start-Up Costs And Profitability

Starting an ATM business has a high start-up cost, so it's important that you understand how much money you need to invest. To do this, you'll need to research the cost of buying or leasing ATM machines, as well as other associated costs such as installation fees and maintenance fees. It's also important to take into account the potential profits and ROI (return on investment).

Identify The Target Market

When starting an ATM business, it's important to identify your target market. Think about who you want to provide services for and where they would be located. This will help determine the type of ATMs you need to buy and where you should install them. A good way to go about this is to research the local market and determine what types of ATMs would be most suitable for that specific area.

Evaluate Competition 

Your competition plays a major role in how successful your ATM business will be. It's important to understand who else is operating ATMs nearby and what services they are offering. This will help you determine where to position your ATMs and how to differentiate your services from their offerings. 

Find The Right Location

Ideally, you should find an area with a high number of potential customers and low competition. This could include locations such as:

Convenience stores: For lots of convenience store customers, smaller payments are commonplace compared to other larger stores. These miniature purchases can take a toll on credit card processing fees, which is why many stores set an established minimum for credit cards. With this in mind, it's no surprise that ATMs remain close at hand whenever feasible.

  • Gas Stations: Gas stations are popular locations for ATMs. Customers typically need to purchase gas before leaving a gas station, so it makes sense that they'd want access to cash while they're there.
  • Casinos: For a casino to thrive, it is essential for customers to be able to easily exchange their cash for poker chips and use those same funds at slot machines. As such, ATMs are an integral component of any successful gambling establishment.
  • Bars and Restaurants: Cash-only establishments require customers to bring in the amount of money they plan on spending. This can be inconvenient for many people, so ATMs are often placed nearby for their convenience.
  • Retail Stores: For larger retail stores, it's not uncommon to see ATMs situated near checkout lanes. This gives customers the opportunity to withdraw cash for larger purchases if needed. Another example could be gifting shops like Hidden Gym, The Garden, Top Level, or No Kids Allowed.

Once you've identified an ideal location, it's important to negotiate a good deal with your vendor or landlord. This will help ensure that you get the best price and terms for your business.

complete legal and financial requirements

2. Complete Legal and Financial Requirements

This subsection discusses how to own an ATM legally and the requirements you must fulfill to become properly licensed:

Register The business

Registering your business is an imperative and essential step; it's the first step to paying taxes, raising funds, establishing a bank account, and other fundamental elements of starting a successful company. But before you register your business, you must first think of a business structure that fits your needs. Here are the main options:

  • Sole Proprietorship is the most typical setup for small businesses. It has no legal separation between the company and its owner. All revenue is received by the proprietor, who also bears complete responsibility for any business-related debts, losses, or liabilities. Subsequently, taxes on all income earned through their enterprise are reported on a personal tax return form.
  • General Partnership is a general partnership involves two or more individuals joining forces to create a business. They share the profits and losses of their enterprise, and each partner is responsible for any debts incurred by the partnership.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business structure that brings together the traits of corporations and sole proprietorships or partnerships while providing assurance that owners are not held personally responsible for any debts.

Obtain An ATM Business License And Other Necessary Permits

In order to launch your own ATM business, you will need an atm business license and permits from local, state, and federal governments. You must register a "Doing Business As" (DBA) name with the government as well as obtain health-related permits through OSHA in addition to trademarks, copyrights, and patents for all intellectual properties associated with the new venture. There may also be industry-specific requirements that necessitate additional licenses or permits before beginning operations.

Depending on your location, you may need to obtain state-level and regional licenses or permits. The individual requirements for obtaining these vary significantly across different areas of the country, so make sure to check with both your state government and any local city or county websites for specific details. Alternatively, reach out directly to an appropriate contact in those jurisdictions who can help provide more information about getting authorized.

Set Up A Business Bank Account

You will need to open an exclusive business bank account in order to start your new ATM venture. This is necessary for separating personal funds from the money generated by your enterprise and also helps draw a clear financial line between the two entities.

Having a dedicated bank account also allows you to easily track all of the income and expenses associated with your business. Moreover, it can be used for setting aside money for taxes and other payments like rent or utilities. It is recommended that you look around to find out which banks offer the best interest rates, fees, and features before signing up with one of them.

Finally, don't forget to set up a secure payment processor account to make it easier for customers to transact using their ATM cards.

Protect Your Business With Insurance

Business insurance is an important step in launching an ATM business, as it helps protect you from potential liabilities and other unforeseen risks associated with operating a company. Some of the typical components of an ATM business insurance policy include the following:

General Liability Insurance: This coverage protects your business from claims involving bodily injury, property damage, and other losses that may arise out of the ordinary course of business operations.

  • Property Insurance: This type of insurance covers any damage to and theft of physical property, such as ATMs or their components.
  • Product Liability: This coverage helps protect your business from claims related to product defects or malfunctions that could lead to customer injuries or other losses.
  • You should speak with a qualified insurance representative who can help you understand the exact coverage needed for your particular enterprise. This will ensure that your business is adequately protected from any potential risks or liability claims in the future.

choose the right atm machine

3. Choose the Right ATM Machine

Now that you have the basics covered, you can start looking into the types of ATMs available and decide which ones will best fit your needs. This section covers the different types of ATMs that are available and how to choose the right one for your business.

Determine The Type Of ATM Machine You Need 

The first step in choosing an ATM machine is to determine what type of machine you need. You can find ATMs that accept cash, debit/credit cards or both. You will also want to consider the features offered by each machine, such as whether it offers cash advances and the types of receipts that are printed out. Most ATMs these days come with a range of advanced features, so you should research them carefully to make sure they meet your needs before making a purchase decision.

Compare ATM Machines And Suppliers 

If you're considering incorporating an ATM into your business, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the different models available and how they can help bolster your small business. Here are three of the best-known types of ATMs:

  1. Genmega Onyx: The Genmega Onyx ATM Machine is a noteworthy upgrade from the rudimentary G2500 base model. With its modernized aesthetic, larger display, and responsive touch keys, the Onyx provides an ideal solution for any retail space. Not only does it look great, but it works flawlessly too! The Onyx ATM is an attractive, cutting-edge machine that offers unparalleled features such as EMV, ADA, and PCI compliance. Whether installed in a hotel or gas station, this remarkable ATM will encourage customer transactions with its modern design that looks professional yet stands out from other locations. The Onyx costs around $2,445.00. 
  2. Hyosung Halo II: The HALO II is the most popular ATM available, providing an unbeatable value compared to other cash dispensers. Not only does it offer a UL 291 business hours safe and EMV card reader for added security - but with its PCI 3.0 compliant keypad and TLS (Transport Layer Security) transmission encryption, you can rest assured your personal information will remain secure and private while using this device! Starting at just $2,295.00, the HALO II is an affordable, reliable solution with a sleek design and plenty of features to ensure your customers enjoy the experience.
  3. Genmega GT3000: If you are seeking a secure and efficient way to offer ATM services, consider an in-wall option such as this "through-the-wall" Automatic Teller Machine. Perfect for businesses wanting to provide outdoor access without having the bother of a separate unit, it provides convenience with unparalleled safety measures. One thing to note about in-built ATMs is that they require a minimum wall thickness of at least 6.3 inches to be built around them, providing extra protection and insulation against theft. The Genmega GT3000 is the most expensive ATM on this list, coming in at $3,445.00.
install and operate the atm machines

4. Install and Operate the ATM Machines

In this subsection, you will learn how to install and operate ATMs.

Install the ATMs 

Installing an ATM is a process that involves several steps to ensure the successful operation of the machine. The first step involves choosing the right spot for your ATM. Selecting the proper spot for your ATM is essential. For safety reasons, it should be situated away from any back door, wide window, or external entrance to guarantee maximum security. To maximize coverage of its location, position the machine near a rear wall as much as possible; yet if you need more visibility and convenience for customers, put it closer to the front area so that visitors can locate it easily.

Once you have selected a site, you must securely attach the ATM to the wall or floor. To do this, start by marking holes in the wall or floor where your ATM will be installed. Then, drill out a hole in each of the marked areas to allow for the securing of brackets that will hold the machine. Attach these brackets to the outer walls and inner walls to securely mount your ATM.

After mounting your ATM, connect it to an electrical outlet to provide power. Depending on the type of ATM you have, the connection method may vary. For example, some machines are powered by a 110-volt AC outlet while others require 12-volt DC wiring for power supply. Additionally, use electrical tape or wire nuts to cover any exposed wires and ensure safety from electric shock or fire hazards.

Set Up And Manage The Software

Once the ATM is securely installed, you will need to configure its settings. Start by adding or updating information such as customer accounts, transaction fees, and service options. You can do this through the ATM's software panel. Once done, select which services will be available on your machine and set up a system for managing cash withdrawals/deposits and other transactions.

If you have any problems when installing an ATM, like if it can't connect to the internet or doesn't have power, check if all the wires are connected correctly. Make sure that they are plugged into the right outlets and that there is no exposed wiring. If all of these things look okay, but it still isn't working, ask someone who knows about machines for help.

Maintain The ATMs 

Finally, it is important to maintain your ATM machines on a regular basis. This includes checking for any visible signs of wear and tear or damage, such as cracks in the external casing, faulty buttons or keyboards, and other issues that could affect customer experience. Additionally, keep up with software updates and security patches to ensure optimal performance of the machine. You should also set up a schedule to clean the ATMs, such as once every week or two weeks, in order to remove any dirt, dust, and debris.

Hustle Inspire Hustle

5. Market and Promote the ATM Business

Now that you have successfully installed and set up your ATMs, it is time to start marketing and promoting your business. So how do you go about this? Below, we have outlined some key strategies that you can use to market your ATM business and increase its visibility among customers.

Develop a Marketing Strategy 

Developing a comprehensive marketing strategy is essential for any business, and this includes ATM businesses. Start by defining your target audience and customer profiles, then develop clear objectives and plans for how you will reach them. This could include things like creating a website, developing content such as blogs or videos to promote the business, advertising in local newspapers or on social media platforms, attending trade shows, or even setting up booths in public areas.

Offer Additional Services 

If you want to offer extra services like mobile banking, bill payment, and money transfers with your ATM, first think about if it is a good idea. Ask yourself if it will help make your business better. If yes, then figure out how to make it happen. For example, you may need to get more machines or change the software in them. Then, market these additional services to your customers.

Create A Customer Loyalty Program

One of the best ways to increase customer engagement and loyalty is through a rewards-based customer loyalty program. This could involve offering discounts or cashback when customers use your ATMs, as well as creating promotional offers or special events for them.

Challenges Faced In The ATM business

One of the biggest challenges faced by the ATM business is staying ahead of the competition. With technological advancements constantly occurring and new players entering the market, it can be difficult to keep up with customer demands. Additionally, as more innovative solutions become available, such as mobile payments and online banking, ATMs may become obsolete in some areas. To stay ahead of the competition, you must continually adapt and innovate to remain relevant.

Another challenge is dealing with security threats. ATMs are vulnerable to cyberattacks and skimmers due to their digital connections and access to customers' financial data. It is essential for ATM businesses to take measures to protect their machines from such threats, as this can affect customer experience and loyalty.

Finally, ATM businesses also face the challenge of complying with regulations from different countries or regions. Regulations vary from place to place, so it is important for ATM businesses to be aware of all applicable rules and regulations in order to remain compliant.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much is An ATM?

The cost of an ATM will vary depending on the features and capabilities it offers. Generally, basic machines can range from $2,500 to $6,000, while more advanced machines can cost up to $10,000.

Is The ATM Business Dying?

With statistics showing that ATM transactions are steadily rising and mobile banking solutions continuing to gain traction, the ATM business is far from dying. In fact, it is a growing industry with many opportunities for businesses and customers alike.

Is An ATM Business Profitable?

By processing 5-12 transactions a day, you can bring in $15-$25 of gross profit each day. So if your retail business has just one ATM, it could yield an income potential of approximately $450 to $750 per month!

How Much to Start an ATM Business?

The cost of starting an ATM business will vary depending on the size and scope of your operations. Generally, you'll need to budget for the cost of the machines, installation, and licensing fees. Additionally, you'll need to factor in costs for setup, marketing, maintenance, and customer support. All in all, you can expect to invest anywhere from $10,000-$50,000, depending on the extent of your operations.

What Are the Pros and Cons of An ATM Business?

The pros of an ATM business include the potential for high returns, convenience for customers, and the ability to build customer loyalty. The cons of running an ATM business include hefty upfront costs and ongoing maintenance costs, threats from cyberattacks or skimmers, and having to comply with regulations.

How To Start An Atm Business With No Money?

Starting an ATM business with no money is possible, but it can be difficult. Depending on the regulations of your area, you may be able to partner with a bank or financial institution that will provide the machines for free in exchange for a percentage of profits. You could also try raising capital through investments or crowdfunding platforms. Your family is another potential source of funds, as well as grants from the government or private foundations.


In conclusion, the key to successfully launching an ATM business is preparation and research. Make sure you know what kind of machines you need, how to properly install them, where they should be located, and how to set up and manage the software. Additionally, it is important to keep up with regular maintenance and to promote your business through a well-developed marketing strategy. With the right preparation, you can successfully launch an ATM business that provides customers with convenient access to cash.

Elevate your entrepreneurial game with actionable advice and inspiring interviews from high-level entrepreneurs, business owners, and overall badasses in the game. Get more insight and inspiration on our blog posts, podcast episodes, or invite-only community

how to start an atm business infographic

Alex Quin

Entrepreneur. Podcaster. Go-Getter.

Alex Quin is a full-stack marketing expert and global keynote speaker. Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of UADV Marketing - a member of the Forbes Agency Council.

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