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How to make money with an ATM

How to make money with an ATM

When people use an ATM, they typically pay a fee between $2 and $3, which is how businesses make most of their money through these machines.

“When a business allows an ATM to be placed at their location, they have the opportunity to earn a commission,” said Paul Carriere, an attorney at Favret Carriere Cronvich. “The simplest way to conceptualize earning a commission is when a person uses an ATM, there is a ‘surcharge,’ a fee for using the ATM.”

However, business owners typically don’t receive the whole fee. If you rent the ATM, the business that maintains the machine (fills it with cash, repairs it, etc.) receives some of the money.

“There are a number of variations on the split, but the business earns money based on the surcharge transactions,” Carriere added.

While businesses can make money through the fees, some business owners look for other ways to use ATMs to make money. One of the most common methods is by placing advertisements on the ATM.

“Companies are placing screens on top of ATMs and selling ads to run on those machines,” Carriere said. “This can increase revenue for ATM operators and locations.”

What types of businesses should provide ATMs?

The following types of businesses frequently keep ATMs on-site:

  • Cash-only restaurants: Because 4 in 5 customers prefer paying with a credit card to paying with cash, you need to make payment easy if you only accept cash. That’s why most cash-only restaurants include ATMs on-site. And just as ATMs eliminate credit card processing fees, they can add to your profits.

  • Bars: Both cash-only and non-cash-only bars are known to keep ATMs on-site. At non-cash bars, the cash that customers withdraw can go toward a jukebox or a pinball machine, for example. In every case, that money winds up back in your pocket.

  • Gas stations: Most gas stations charge more to pay with a credit card than with cash. Keeping an ATM on-site gives customers the choice of whether to pay more for credit cards’ convenience or withdraw cash instead.

  • Convenience stores: Many convenience store customers make smaller payments than they would at larger stores. Smaller purchases can make credit card processing fees a larger burden, which is why many stores set a credit card minimum. It’s also why convenience stores often keep ATMs on-site.

  • Grocery stores: A cash transaction may be faster for grocery shoppers who need just a few items. These customers may benefit from an on-site ATM.

  • Casinos: Most casinos require customers to convert cash to poker chips and use cash at slot machines. This makes ATMs key to a casino’s success.

Benefits of an ATM machine

If you’re considering installing an ATM at your place of business, there are several benefits you can expect. Chiefly, if you are a cash-only business, having an ATM on-site allows your customers to withdraw cash so they can pay you for goods or services. Additionally, you reap the benefit of an extra commission.

Here are the main benefits:

  • Increased revenue: Revenue could increase because of the commission you earn on each transaction, as well as from new customers who enter your establishment to use the ATM.

  • Convenience: Offering your customers an easy cash option inside your business means you’re providing them with convenience.

  • Flexible plans: ATM companies often help with marketing and allow you to buy or lease your machine, depending on what works best for your business. There are short-term-contract and cancel-anytime options, and some companies help you market the ATM.

  • Reduced credit card processing fees: Businesses with ATMs inside their shop receive more cash payments compared with businesses that do not. By putting an ATM inside your store, you can drive down credit card processing fees.


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