Want to Start a Passive ATM Business? Think Again

Everyone is looking for a way to generate passive income. Unfortunately, this is just a myth that will lead you to avert dark and cold entrepreneurial places. The pursuit of the mythical passive business is like capturing a unicorn or the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – it is impossible. The quest has led many people to a lot of jaded businesses. The first thing you need to remember is that passive business is not real.

An entrepreneur is another word for janitor because you are going to sweep all the worst jobs that most people do not want to do. Automated Teller Machines or ATMs are seen in almost every corner of big cities, but have you thought about the organizations or the companies that operate these machines? There’s an entire business structured around the Automated Teller Machine.

Usually, the fee for an ATM ranges $1 to $8. The national average for Automated Teller Machine fees in 2008 and 2014 are $1.97 and $4.35 respectively. It increased significantly over the past decade. The big question is, “How much can you earn from an Automated Teller Machine?”

How much can you earn from ATM fees?

Automated Teller Machine fees are split three ways. The three parties are the ATM owner, the location owner and the ATM processor. The ATM owner is the one who bought the ATMs; the location owner is the owner of the place where the machine will be placed.

And lastly, the ATM processor like Gold Star ATM is the organization or the company that is handling the paperwork or the processing of the documents and allow the machines to function properly, in short, they are the one responsible for the maintenance of the machine. These three are the parties that will share the fee that the people using the machine pay.

Automated Teller Machine processor contracts will provide terms and condition in the form of surcharge rebates with X% and ATM fees ranges from $0.10 to $0.50 per successful transaction. Do you know what this means? Surcharges are the ATM fee that the machine charges the users every time someone withdraws cash.

The rebate in surcharge is how much of the cost is returned to the customer. People should expect a 100% rebate in a surcharge or a full refund of the ATM fees that are charged to your account. The ATM processor can attempt to eat up your profits by providing less than 100% of the percentage or by adding a network accessing fee.

The owner of the location where the ATM will be placed can receive $0.50 every successful transaction. The amount is subject to negotiation between the owner of the ATM and the venue owner. The cost for every transaction can vary depending on the result of the negotiation. If the location is a busy place and highly desirable, ATM owners can offer as high as 50% of the surcharge or ATM fee since it can generate a lot of amount of fees.

But usually, the fee share is $0.50 every successful transaction. And lastly, the ATM owner can receive the remaining balance of the fees after paying the location owner and the ATM processor. The first one that needs to be paid is the ATM processor than the location owner. The remaining share is for the owner of the Automated Teller Machine. The owner of the ATM is always the last one that to gets paid and they will receive what is left after the processor and the location owner are paid.

How much does it cost to start an ATM business?

An ATM machine cost at around $1,800 to $3,000. You can but a second-hand Automated Teller Machine but you need to make sure the ATM is a Triple DES or “3DES” compliant. Older ATM versions are not Triple DES compliant and these ATMs are not fit and are illegal to use, according to updated legal requirements to protect all the users and their ATM PINs.

What are Triple DES? Visit to know more.

Purchasing an older version Automated Teller Machines to comply with Triple DES is cost prohibitive. That is why buying a machine that is compliant is the best way to go. Compliance for second-hand or refurbished Automated Teller Machine will cost at least $1,000. The ATM can be purchased cash or with the help of a financing company.

In theory, the cost of the Automated Teller Machine can be recovered within 6 to 12 months. But you need to assume that it will take at least two years before you can get the return on your investments. An ATM processor setup fee is rarely billed or charged. A lot of the processors will not charge the startup fee, but they will recoup the cost through a series of contracts. It is very common for processors to have a multi-year contract that ranges from two to five years to make sure that they can get back the cost of setting up the ATM business.

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