Types of ATMs
There are multiple types of ATMs (automated teller machines) available. The one that works best for you is primarily determined by the type of business you run and the amount of customers you deal with. ATM types include:
- Built-in ATMs: Also referred to as through-the-wall ATMs, these machines are most commonly found in banks. Installed directly in the wall of your business, they come with a higher cost due to the need for construction work. An outdoor built-in ATM is a great choice for businesses that have high foot traffic after hours, but remember that outdoor units are more vulnerable to thieves and weather.
- Countertop ATMs: Designed for businesses that don’t have enough space for a freestanding machine, these ATMs sit on top of a counter, typically near the register. This placement makes it easier for customers to access cash directly at the point of sale.
- Freestanding ATMs: Perhaps the most popular of all ATM types, freestanding ATMs are commonly found in convenience stores, restaurants, and retail locations. It is important to note that your business needs enough space to properly house a freestanding unit and still have room for customers to use it.
Pros and Cons of Buying an ATM
Just as with any other type of purchase, there are advantages and disadvantages to buying an ATM.
One of the biggest advantages to purchasing an ATM is the increase in revenue. Not only are people more likely to make a high-dollar cash purchase when they have access to an ATM, but you make money on the convenience fee charged to the customer’s bank card. An ATM also increases your exposure, as people may come into your store just to use the ATM, which still adds to your profits. But once someone has used the ATM in your business, they will remember they can always return to you whenever they need to pull out some cash.
Perhaps the biggest con of buying an ATM is the upfront cost, which can be a significant investment. You also need to ensure that the machine is properly maintained and stocked with enough funds. This is incredibly important, because a faulty unit or one that never has enough cash hurts your business more than it helps it.
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How Much Does an ATM Cost?
The cost of an ATM is dependent on the type of unit you choose, the provider you purchase through, and whether the unit is new or refurbished. What follows is a general pricing guide to provide an idea of what you can expect to pay for your ATM.
- A heavy-duty, built-in ATM designed for outdoor use has an average cost of $10,000 to $15,000 but the complexity of construction may increase pricing.
- Countertop ATMs have an average cost of $1,500 to $2,500.
- A new freestanding ATM has an average cost between $3,000 and $5,000 with refurbished units averaging around $1,000 to $1,500.
Additional costs include:
- ATMs require a phone line to operate, which has an average cost between $20 and $40 per month.
- You need to hire either an armored truck service, which has an average cost between $100 and $500 per month, or a cash loading service, which has an average cost of $50 to $100 per trip.
- Replacing receipt paper comes at an average cost of $30 to $50 per month.
- Buying an extended warranty covers any necessary repairs or servicing.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing an ATM
TWhile cost and type are important factors to think about when purchasing an ATM, they are far from the only considerations you need to make. Additional considerations include:
- Cash supply: While most ATM owners use an armored truck service or a professional cash loading service, stocking the cash yourself is an also option. It gives you the chance to earn higher profits from the machine, only owing providers on per-transaction fees.
- Return on investment: When you outright buy an ATM, there is no worry of financing costs down the line. But when you buy it outright, you need it to be used by enough customers to make the purchase worth it. Be sure to analyze your business’s foot traffic to ensure your investment is worth the cost. Otherwise, you’ve spent money that you might not make back.
- Skimming devices: A skimming device copies the information of cards used at an ATM. It is important for any owner to know how to spot these devices to prevent theft and protect customers. Keep an eye out for any suspicious behavior around the ATM and monitor the machine itself.