passive income ATM business

ATM machines are often necessary in places that require cash and can be a good way for machine owners to earn money passively. Just think about it, ATM’s are all over the place and people need to use them to take out money. If you have used one in the past you may have probably been charged high transaction fees. But have you considered that you could be the one making passive income from that ATM machine one day?

Is it possible to make passive income from ATM machines? It is possible to make money passively from ATM machines. The ATM business has been growing since 2008 and the average fee was $4.35 in 2014. Customers withdraw $60 on average per transaction, and with 8-10 transactions per month, that could mean about $600 for the machine owner.

How Does ATM Passive Income Work?

Location is (almost) everything when it comes to ATM machines. So the income you make will highly depend on location, foot or car traffic, and the need to take out money in that location. ATM’s can be placed in a variety of locations including restaurants, bars and lounges. Most often you will pay the venue owner a cut of the transaction fees to cover their costs for hosting your ATM in their location. You will also pay a cut to the payment processor.

How Much Could You Make From an ATM?

Customers withdraw $60 (on average) per transaction (source). If your ATM machine has 8-10 transactions every day, this could mean up to $600 is withdrawn daily. Assuming you collect $3 per transaction, and then pay the payment processor $.20 per transaction, and venue owner $0.50 per transaction, your total fees would come to $.70 per transaction. Assuming these numbers, your total fees for a month come to about $189 making your gross profit about $20/day. You generate about $600 monthly and $7,200 annually. However, you also need to consider ongoing fees (repairs, maintenance, stocking etc).

How to Make Passive Income from an ATM

This guide talks more about what the ATM machine business is all about and how you can make money passively as an ATM machine owner.

1. Make A List of Top Locations

Generally, the best places to set up an ATM are retail locations such as clubs, malls, gas stations, convenience stores, restaurants, bars and so forth. That is because these places get high amounts of traffic, which means you can get more customers. It is expected that about 3% to 5% of passersby use an ATM. So, determining the amount of traffic that will walk by the ATM in your chosen location can help you make projections as to the kinds of revenue you can bring in once the business is up and running.

Make a list of the top locations in your area to get started. If you know a couple retail merchants who would need, or would be interested in having an ATM in their shop, find out more about their limitations, requirements and expectations. You will be able to better calculate your margins and reply to their needs knowing what they want.

2. Make a Deal With a Venue & ATM Owner

Start researching a venue owner, an ATM processor, and the charges related to installation and setup. Usually, the ATM surcharge fees are shared among the three parties — you, the ATM processor, and the venue owner. The venue owner gets about $0.5 per transaction. But in high-traffic areas that are desirable, you could negotiate half of the ATM surcharges, and it would be worth it. The ATM processor might get about $0.20 per transaction while you get to keep the rest of your fee (usually around $3 per transaction).

And you should not be afraid to approach businesses asking them to let you install an ATM on their premises. They have a lot more to gain beyond getting a share of the ATM fees your customers pay. For instance, studies have shown that customers spend up to 25% more at convenience stores that have ATM’s on-site (source). Besides, having this machine will also increase traffic to the business. This is never a bad thing as some people initially going there for the ATM services may end up buying something else from the venue.

3. Decide on Surcharges & Installing Your ATM

ATM surcharge fees are usually around $2 to $4. However, maximum limits might be set by state laws. You should ensure that your fees are not too high, as that might chase customers away or be against local laws. Additionally, you have to consider the banking regulations that will apply to you as an ATM owner. Make sure to talk to a qualified professional in your area about these questions before getting started.

Once you have worked out a contract on how the machine will operate, you can purchase or rent one. An ATM can cost between $500 for a used machine to $25,000 for a premium brand new machine. You can also lease a machine and pay about $40 to $100 a month (source). You may also need to plan for an installation fee.

Make sure you get your ATM from a company that offers related support services. The machine should also be durable and dependable. Make sure to read the warranty if there is one, and that regular maintenance services are offered as well. Having these services bundled into the purchase fee can lower your costs considerably and help you make more using your ATM business.

The ATM will also need to have access to a phone line or the internet to effectively process the transactions. You also need to plan to know who will stock the machine with cash, yourself (more time demanding) or the company you bought or are renting it from.

4. Load Your ATM With Cash

On average, every user withdraws about $60 from an ATM. Also, the average ATM handles about 8-10 transactions a day (source). But you will also need to take into consideration where you want to set up your ATM. For instance, if your machine will be placed in a high-end estate, you may need to expect higher average withdrawals.

If you are fortunate enough to set up your machine in a very busy location where you can get hundreds of withdrawals every day, then you will have to load the machine with a lot more cash, and a lot more often. You should ensure that your machine is loaded with cash at all times so it can dispense money all day long. Every time the machine has no cash, you will lose money and business.

5. Boost Your Revenue: Advertise on Your ATM

You can also make some extra money by using your ATM as an advertising medium. These adverts can be in the form of stickers on the actual machine, or ads displayed on the screen before the customer starts using the machine. You can also have the adverts printed onto the customer’s receipt. This can further boost your ATM income.

How Passive Is Income from ATM’s?

The ATM business is quite passive. All you need is to load the machine with cash and printer paper. You can outsource this job, and sometimes the company that sold the machine offers the service. If you have enough cash to put into the machine, you may not even have to do this daily.


The ATM business is fairly scalable. Once you have set up one machine, you can set up several others to boost your income. Some ATM owners have many machines spread out over a certain area so they can build a brand and earn customer loyalty.

Startup Costs

This is expensive business. To get into the ATM business, you have to spend quite a bit of money. For instance, you have to buy or lease the machine and pay for its installation. Then you need the cash to load into the machine so it can start serving your customers. That means you need a few thousand dollars to get into this business.


Other than the time it will take to find a location, make a deal and have the machine installed, running an ATM business does not require a lot of time long term. Most times, ATM’s are loaded with cash once every day, and that is usually a task that takes a few minutes and can be outsourced.


Since running an ATM can be passive passive. Once you have set up your ATM’s, all you have to do is load them with cash. You will also need to do maintenance from time to time, but there are professionals you can call in whenever that is necessary. So operating an ATM is fairly easy.


ATM machines face many, many risks. Theft is a big risk, just have a look at this article to learn more. That could mean having to invest in a surveillance system or security software to keep your customers from card skimming or stealing the machines. This is another reason why location is very important. Make sure to keep these security risks in mind. Other risks include not getting enough traffic or transactions and not making any money. This is a high-risk business.


Fortunately, the ATM business is not seasonal. People need access to money all the time, especially during the holidays when their spending is higher. Therefore, if you have an ATM at a prime location, you can expect a steady flow of income throughout the year.

Return On Investment

Although it’s not exactly cheap buying and installing an ATM, the returns on your investment will be pretty good after a couple months or years depending on your ongoing fees (installation, repairs, maintenance, stocking etc). However, if you set up your ATM at a high-traffic area with hundreds of daily transactions, you can break-even within a few months.

Related Questions

How Much Money Do You Make Owning an ATM? Assuming you collect $3/t (per transaction), and then pay the payment processor $.20/t, and venue owner $0.50/t, your total fees would come to $.70/t. Assuming these numbers, your total fees for a month come to about $189 making your gross profit about $20/day. You generate about $600/mo. Also consider maintenance, stocking, security etc.

Do you need permits and licenses to run an ATM business? Permits and licences may be required in your area and it is absolutely necessary to comply to avoid issues with authorities. Make sure to consult a qualified professional in your area before getting started. Without these important documents, your business could very well get shut down. At the very least, you would have to pay substantial fines.

Do you have to promote your business? Usually, you can get by doing no marketing to drum up business to your ATM. Your customers will usually not need much persuasion to use your machine as long as it is convenient for them.