Have you noticed that ATM machines seem to be popping up everywhere? Not too long ago, you only saw them in bank lobbies. But now it's not unusual to spot them in convenience stores, service stations and supermarkets -- nearly everywhere. ATMIA, the industry association for the automated teller machine business, reports that at the end of 2010 about 2.25 million ATMs were installed at locations worldwide. The association expects that number to grow to approximately 3.2 million by the end of 2016.

Business Locations

Store owners are buying and leasing ATM units for their locations and are earning money from the transaction fees -- the average is about $2.00 for each use -- and from increased sales.
ATM.jpgCredit: Stock.xchng
Studies have shown that customers usually spend part of their cash withdrawals right in the store where the ATM is located. In fact, researchers studying convenience store ATM patterns report that ATM-using patrons usually spend 25% more than customers who haven't withdrawn cash from the stores' ATMs.

ATM Networks

Entrepreneurs operate private ATM networks and assume all the responsibility for keeping the machines operating properly and stocked with cash. Such networks range in size from a single machine to dozens. They find prime locations and work out fee-sharing deals with store owners, strip mall landlords and other property owners. Networks can be profitable, but how much depends on the quality of the locations. Foot traffic is all-important.             

                                                                                                      Photo: Stock.xchng

ATM owners -- either location owners or ATM network operators -- can be hands-on and take care of the cash needs and machine maintenance themselves or they can let others do it. Search online for ATM management companies.

Purchase or Lease

ATMs -- new or used -- can be purchased or leased. The price of a new ATM is about $2,500. Sales and leasing companies offer comprehensive customer support covering all facets of the business. This includes the cash-management services of an armored car company. Franchise opportunities typically include one or two machines at first, training, internet capability and software for monitoring the status of each ATM. Some franchise packages include service and maintenance contracts.

Machine owners need insurance for the ATMs and the cash. ATMIA, the industry association, offers an insurance program for members.

Take a Look

If you think this might be a good business opportunity for you, take the time to look at the websites of companies representing the various ways to go in the ATM business. Whether you want to own or lease machines, there are several ways to enter this potentially profitable business. You can maximize your income by taking care of all the aspects of the business yourself. You can hire others to take care of some duties. You can join a franchise program. Investigate the various options before you act.