Cannabis Crypto: An Alternative Business Model for IADs

What do cannabis, crypto, and ATM businesses have in common? They are high-risk industries unsupported by the federal government. All three of these industries are prone to unlawful business practices. 

Not fully supported by the federal government, these businesses find it difficult to bank safely and affordably. Often, business owners have to find a work-around, pay ridiculous fees and taxes, and/or face extreme scrutiny and audits. 

Could cannabis crypto be an alternative business model for IADs that serves as a solution? Find out how the three industries overlap and can work together.

ATM Businesses as High-Risk Accounts

It’s no secret that many banks are hesitant to take on ATM business accounts. The cash-heavy nature of ATM businesses make them high-risk due to the potential for money laundering activity. Banks have to be especially wary of such liabilities. They are held responsible for servicing companies that conduct unlawful business practices. 

In 2021, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) finalized its rule to ensure fair access to banking services by various financial institutions. This means that banks cannot make blanket decisions for whole categories of customers when provisioning certain services. Instead, they must conduct individual risk assessments for each customer.

However, many ATM owners still report difficulty finding ATM business-friendly banks. That’s probably because of the difficulty in making a good impression during the risk assessment….

Not only are ATM business accounts risky for banks to service, they are also expensive. The potential for audits, compliance reviews, investigations, and regulation changes are heightened for banks that do take on ATM business accounts. 

They also face federal penalties for servicing a company that engages in money-laundering activity or fraud. Banks that service ATM businesses have to meet their cash needs as well. It can be costly to order the cash necessary and make drop-off arrangements. 

These costs might be manageable for larger banks, but they are notoriously less likely to take on ATM business accounts due to the scrutiny they already face. And smaller banks are less likely to take on the extra costs. Therefore, there are few banks that IADs consider ATM-business friendly. And the ones that are can still close accounts at any time with little to no warning.

This uncertainty is a costly threat to ATM business owners. They cannot consistently provide their service if their access to cash is disrupted abruptly.

Cannabis Illegal Under Federal Law

Similar to ATM businesses, legal cannabis businesses also struggle to find access to safe, affordable banking. Although legal in many states, whether medicinal or recreational, cannabis is still illegal under federal law. This means that banks, federal institutions, are bound by certain regulations when it comes to providing services to businesses in the cannabis industry. 

Dispensaries cannot accept debit and credit transactions for cannabis-related goods and services. Since cannabis is illegal at the federal level, banks and credit card companies won’t allow these transactions to take place over their networks. And banks have to tread lightly to avoid breaking money laundering laws or servicing businesses that engage in illegal business practices.

That leaves dispensaries no option but to accept cash exclusively. You can imagine the risks this poses to these businesses. Not to mention the costs. 

Barred from the traditional banking system, dispensaries are forced to pay excessive fees to bank at state-chartered institutions or hoard cash on-site. And keeping cash on-site is not a cheap alternative. This makes dispensaries targets for robberies and increases the level of internal theft.

Add to that the costs of increased security such as safes, cash-counting equipment, cameras, weapon detectors, and other physical reinforcements. And to combat internal theft, there are the costs of background checks and training.

Nor is cash a hassle-free alternative. Cash transactions in the cannabis industry are especially subject to meticulously scrutinized payment and tax speculation. This causes dispensary owners to fear federal-level accusations of illegal or suspicious business practices.

The stigma surrounding the cannabis industry for the potential of criminal activity hurts dispensaries’ ability to provide legal goods and services to their customers.

Crypto Not Accepted as Legal Tender

Although a popular payment solution for many reasons, cryptocurrency is not accepted as a legal tender. It is a high-risk investment because of its volatility. Furthermore, since it’s a decentralized currency, it is difficult to regulate and, more importantly, to tax. 

“[Crypto-savvy retailers] will accept cryptocurrency payments and be exposed to either capital-gains risk or the risk that these currencies will lose their value suddenly and without warning when tax payments and rent are due,” says Khurshid Khoja. The unpredictable nature of crypto makes it impossible to rely on 100%. This means that businesses still must depend on banks for operations such as payroll, taxes, and other expenses like utilities.

Anyone can use cryptocurrency to purchase goods and services. But because it lacks the qualities of traditional currency, it isn’t considered a legal tender. Therefore, although it may be a convenient form of exchange for consumers, merchants run into complications when accepting it. Add this to the number of complications cannabis businesses that want to accept crypto payments already face.

SAFE Banking Act

The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act is intended to give companies access to banking services that are currently unavailable. The SAFE Act would eliminate penalties for financial institutions that provide services to cannabis businesses. Therefore, it would prevent cannabis businesses from experiencing unexpected account closures.

It has passed multiple times in the House but has yet to be approved by the Senate. Without it, the cannabis industry lacks access to loans, capital, and basic bank accounts. 

The SAFE Banking Act would also allow dispensaries to minimize the amount of cash they store on-site. This would in turn minimize the amount of robberies they experience. This contributes to the overall safety of dispensary workers and the surrounding communities.

Cannabis Crypto: A Possible Solution

The Problem

Cannabis locations are already prime locations for ATM placement due to their reliance on cash transactions. Additionally, because of the nature of the business, cannabis dispensaries are not authorized to own or operate ATM machines. 

They’ve even run into problems with cashless ATM machines. Visa prohibits their use because oftentimes point-of-sale (POS) purchases get miscoded as ATM cash disbursements but do not actually disburse cash which affects the interchange.

So dispensaries cannot accept debit or credit transactions, and cash transactions are a liability. But what about crypto payments? According to Cheyenne Ligon and Sage D. Young, crypto isn’t a fool proof solution, but it’s a start. 

Benefits for Dispensaries

First of all, the blockchain associated with cryptocurrency allows dispensaries to process payments affordably and prevents them having to go through third-party processors. Furthermore, crypto wallets offer a level of security not provided by the traditional banking system. 

While the federal government is concerned about the use of crypto in illegal activities such as money laundering and tax evasion, the crypto wallets actually ensure accurate reporting by using the blockchain as an audit trail. It can indicate how businesses receive payment and from which wallets.

Cannabis crypto also benefits customers by offering them a safe and convenient alternative to cash or card payments. “Crypto transactions make paying for cannabis goods and services more accessible, as anyone with a smartphone can make a low-cost transaction,” says Casia Lanier.

Although the number of crypto users is relatively low, it is increasing steadily. The more businesses that accept and promote crypto payments, the more public perception crypto will receive, and the more widely accepted it will become.

For those in the business of cannabis, crypto-to-cash payment platforms have encouraged the crypto-curious to take the leap. Benefits include less volatility and guaranteed compliance.

More and more dispensaries will be moving to cannabis crypto payments, if for no other reason, for an alternative to traditional banking services that aren’t available for them today.

The rise of instant crypto-to-cash payment platforms has helped some crypto-curious cannabis companies feel more comfortable about accepting crypto payments, both in terms of avoiding volatility and ensuring compliance with regulations. 

According to Lanier, “the potential for crypto transactions becoming accepted forms of payment is high, and the barriers to entry are almost non-existent for businesses across every industry…For businesses thinking of integrating crypto payment solutions, there is no better time to do it than now.”

Cannabis Crypto an Alternative Business Model for IADs

This is good news for IADs. Cannabis crypto provides ATM owners with a new and relatively untapped market for machine placements and uses. 

Bitcoin ATM machines (BTMs) function very much in the same way as regular ATM machines. This makes them approachable and user-friendly for business owners, consumers, and IADs. 

By offering BTM services to cannabis businesses, IADs can bring cannabis, crypto, and ATM industries together to bypass traditional federal banking regulations that so often shut these businesses out.

Want to convert your ATM machine into a BTM? Interested in getting into the cryptocurrency game? Contact us today to discuss your options!

Do ATMs Have GPS?

Do ATMs have GPS? Should yours?

Thieves go where the money is. Unfortunately, that puts a target on your ATM machines. However, there are many ways to mitigate your vulnerability and loss. As criminals get more creative and more bold, more precautions are taken and security measures implemented. So which are right for you?

No ATM business looks the same. Some independent ATM deployers (IADs) operate one machine, others have entire fleets. Some machines are busier and more profitable than others. And machines are in a variety of locations with a variety of potential threats.

So when deciding which security measures are right for you, there are a number of factors to consider. Location, placement, ATM type, and budget are a few. 

If you want to know do ATMs have GPS, the answer is yes. Do all ATMs? No. GPS tracking is an added feature that ATM operators can spring for just like any other security feature or add-on. 

In this article, we’ll explain what GPS tracking looks like and list some other security options you might want to consider. 

How Does GPS Tracking Work?

GPS tracking works just like you’d expect. The tracking device is mounted to the machine and location data allows the machine to be recovered in the event of a theft. However, there are a few other ways this can work:

In addition to informing ATM owners and law enforcement of a machine’s location, some GPS systems will also trigger a silent alarm if the machine is jostled or tilted. They can also send emails and other real-time notifications. This allows ATM owners to act quicker, retrieve their property sooner, and prevent further damage or theft.

Geofencing is another security feature that creates an electrical “fence” around a specified perimeter. Then, the owner is notified if an ATM machine breaches this electrical barrier without authorization.

Cassette trackers are also an option. Thieves might be able to break into an ATM machine and access the cash cassettes without removing the machine itself. Then, an ATM tracker would be useless, but the cassette tracker can help locate the criminals who take off with them.

Do I Need a GPS Tracker?

GPS tracking helps deter crime, recuperate property and cash, and apprehend offenders. The longer property goes unrecovered, the less likely it is to be discovered. That’s why it’s important to act fast. Knowing when a crime is taking place gives you a head start. 

Thieves who take off with entire ATM machines could be tracked and arrested before they are even able to break into the vault. This quick action could prevent you from losing hundreds of dollars of cash.

The benefits of GPS tracking are clear. But there are many other factors you should consider.


GPS tracking systems can be expensive. In many cases, ATM owners not only purchase the GPS tracking gadgets, but the companies that sell them also provide human support in the event of a theft, and that service costs money as well. 

For this reason, it’s more common for bank ATMs to have GPS trackers. They have more money to spend on security systems, and they can justify the cost a little easier than an IAD. 

Bank ATMs are bigger targets because the higher cash levels equal a bigger reward for thieves, and they are always stocked. Independently owned ATM machines have lower cash stores and are emptied at closing (or at least should be) to prevent after hours ATM robbery.


If you are still wondering if you should invest in GPS tracking, consider the location of your ATMs. Are they in high-crime, large, metropolitan areas? These are the areas where ATM crimes are the highest. If your ATMs aren’t in a large city, you might not need such advanced security.


Are your ATM machines indoors or outdoors? Outdoor and other 24/7 ATM machines have a greater risk of theft because they are vulnerable during high-risk hours—between midnight and 4am. Indoor ATM machines also have other safeguards and obstacles like doors, walls, furniture, and alarms. 

Consider what security measures are already in place where your machine is located and in surrounding areas. GPS tracking only helps you during or after a crime. So your first line of defense is precautions to deter criminals and prevent crime.

Other Security Measures

There are many security measures you can take to protect your ATM machine and prevent the need for GPS tracking. You want to make sure you have eyes on your machine as often as possible. Make good decisions about who has access to the machine. And make it difficult for criminals to access; you don’t want your machine to be an easy target….

Strategic Placement

First of all, place your machine strategically. Try to place it away from doors and windows that could be points of ingress after hours. If that’s not possible, make sure it’s in view of security cameras at your location or of cameras nearby. 

Barriers and Obstacles

Create physical barriers and obstacles for criminals (while leaving a clear path for customers). Keep the front free for customers, but try to protect the sides with walls or other furniture. This will make the machine more difficult to get to, especially for hackers who might try to launch a logical attack via the electronics. We also recommend bolting your machine into the floor. 

Updated Software

Keeping your software updated also helps protect you from logical attacks. Outdated software is easier to hack and manipulate. If a criminal has to be with your machine for more than a couple of minutes, he or she will likely just move on.

Strategic Vaulting Procedures

Be strategic with your vaulting procedures, too. Keep an irregular schedule that makes robberies hard to predict and plan. Limit the number of people who have access to the machine (theft can come from within your business as well). And empty the vault after hours, like a cash register, and keep the door open to deter money-grabbers.

Pre Existing Security

The building where your machine is located might already have a number of security features in place, too. If the building itself is protected, your machine is less vulnerable. Consider security cameras, alarm systems, barred windows, etc.

Remote Online Monitoring

If you work with an ATM company like ATM Depot, you have access to remote online ATM monitoring. This allows you to have “eyes” on your machine at all times. Once you are familiar with what a regular day looks like for your ATM machine, you will be able to spot suspicious activity (too many withdrawals in proximity, too large of withdrawals).

You might even have a camera on your machine so that you can literally monitor your ATM activity remotely. Advertise that the machine is under surveillance (Smile! You’re on camera!) to deter criminals as well. 

ATM Insurance

And of course, for peace of mind, consider investing in ATM insurance. That way, in the worst case scenario, you are covered. 

Why Do ATMs Have GPS?

Some ATM machines now have GPS trackers installed. This allows the owner to alert authorities immediately in the event of a theft. And subsequently, it allows the authorities to recover the property and make an arrest. 

Therefore, ATM machines that have a higher chance of being stolen or broken into benefit from being able to locate the property and cash. In some cases, property may be recovered even before the criminals break into the vault. 

GPS tracking systems can protect your ATM machines. But so can bolts, cameras, alarms, and physical obstacles. Choose the security features that make sense for your business and fit your budget. Coordinate with the location owner to create strategies that protect the entire store. And most importantly, don’t be an easy target!

ATM Robbery: How Common Is It?

Although ATM robbery has drastically increased in recent years, it’s still relatively rare when you consider the large number of ATM machines in operation. However, there are many precautions you can take to protect yourself and your business from theft, vandalism, and loss.

How Common is ATM Robbery?

ATM robbery used to be a lot less common. However, it’s no surprise that in light of Covid-19 and other instances of civil and economic unrest, crime in general has increased. More people are becoming more desperate and criminals are becoming more bold. 

While the number of ATM thefts reported by the FBI between 2016 and 2019 were under 50, they climbed to 254 in 2021. However, the skyrocketing ATM thefts are linked to major metropolitan areas, and you have to consider that bank ATMs are included in these numbers. 

Bank ATMs can hold as little as $40,000 and as much as $250,000. So they are more worth the effort and the risk involved. On the other hand, bank ATMs are also well-monitored. This could push criminals to try their luck at independent ATM machines that might have less security. 

Therefore, it’s important that you take necessary steps to prevent ATM robbery and other ATM crimes that could arise. Fortunately, there are actions you can take that deter criminals altogether. Keep in mind, though, that certain locations and situations require different security measures. So think about your specific location and needs while making security decisions.

ATM Crimes

ATM crimes can present themselves in a number of ways. First of all, there is a slight distinction between ATM robbery and ATM theft. ATM robbery implies that cash is stolen while ATM theft suggests removal of the entire machine.

ATM Theft 

Some pretty drastic tactics can be involved in ATM theft. You might have heard of criminals using 

  • crowbars to pry off ATM covers (also known as “smash and grabs” and also known to look a lot less neat and organized than a simple crowbar pry….).
  • hook, chain, and high-powered trucks to yank ATM machines out of walls.
  • explosives to breach or dislodge ATM machines.

The bright side in all of this is that these situations typically don’t directly threaten human victims. Theft is between the criminal and the machine. Robberies, however, get a little more personal.

ATM Robberies

ATM robbery is scary because it could happen to anyone. You or your vaulter could be robbed while loading or unloading the machine. Or your customers could be robbed while making withdrawals. The employees of the business where your ATM is located could be pressured to access the ATM machine. 

While there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself and your employees or partners from ATM robbery, there are some tips for ATM customers as well.

For example, most ATM robberies occur at night (between the hours of 12am and 4am). Therefore, try to make your withdrawals from a well-lit location in plain view of the public if you need to make a withdrawal in the dark. Most ATM robberies also involve one offender and one victim. So, there is safety in numbers, even at the ATM. 

Additionally, don’t count or carry your withdrawal out in the open. Quickly stash it and retrieve it in a secure location. Finally, don’t risk your life for a few hundred dollars. You might be strapped, but trust us, your life is worth more, so don’t try to fight or apprehend a robber to get your cash back!

Vandalism and Fraud

In addition to stealing ATM machines and vaulted or withdrawn cash, criminals can also launch electronic attacks. This is why it’s important to regularly check your machine for vandalism. 

While “shoulder surfers” can glean a customers’ PIN numbers by standing a little too close to them, hackers typically mess with the machine itself to access this sensitive information. For example, pinhole cameras, fake fronts, skimmers and shimmers, counterfeit PIN pads, and Lebanese Loops can be installed on ATM machines and be almost undetectable to the untrained (or unaware) eye.

Fortunately, if you know what to look for, you can see a pinhole camera, feel a fake front, and see signs of skimmers. On the other hand, you might not notice a logical attack.

A logical attack involves access to the mainboard or other electronics of an ATM machine to gain control or cause it to malfunction. This could allow a criminal to gain access to ATM cash via seemingly legitimate withdrawal processes.

Keep reading to find out what you can do to combat both physical and local attacks.

How To Prevent ATM Crime

To minimize the risk of crime involving your ATM machine, you’ll want to predict vulnerabilities and set up barriers. Make things difficult for criminals. Successful attacks can take only three minutes. Attackers aren’t going to want to spend a lot of time at your machine, so if they run into obstacles, they are more likely to move on or target a more vulnerable location.

Keep Eyes on Your Machine as Much as Possible

The first thing you want to do is be strategic with your placement. This is sometimes easier to do with indoor locations as you have four walls to work within. If your machine is outdoors, your options might be limited. However, make sure the area is well-lit and in plain view of witnesses such as cameras, high-traffic streets, or locations that are open late or 24 hours.

Don’t Keep the Machine Loaded After Hours

Second, treat your machine like a cash register if you can. Unload the machine as part of the closing process. If you place your machine where it can be seen from a door or window after hours, leave the ATM door open after vaulting. There’s no need to break into a machine that’s visibly empty.

Create Obstacles

Third, make your machine difficult to get to or access. Keep the front and path leading to your machine clear for customers, of course, but bolt your machine to the ground when possible and try to arrange shelves or other furniture alongside the machine. 

Minimizing access points helps prevent physical as well as logical attacks. You don’t want someone to be able to get into the electrical system through a panel of your machine and cause it to malfunction in the hacker’s favor. Consider the top of your machine as a potential ingress point as well. You can fill the seams or create an internal barrier between the case and the critical electrical components to protect them.

Remember, the goal is to create barriers. Criminals won’t spend long trying to overcome obstacles. 

Regularly Update Software

Outdated software makes logical attacks easier for hackers. Updates typically include modern safeguards. Attackers will be able to identify outdated software, so make sure you keep it up-to-date.

Work with People You Trust

Unfortunately, theft can happen internally, too. Make sure you trust the location owner, employees, and third parties. Limit who has access to your machine; the less the better.

Check Your Machine Frequently

Unattended, low-traffic ATM machines are more likely to be targeted. Therefore, non-bank ATMs typically have a greater risk of being tampered with. Each time you visit your machine, run your hand over the body. Look for loose, bulky, or foreign parts. Anything unusual could indicate that your machine has been tampered with, putting your customers at risk of fraud.

Use GPS Trackers

GPS tracking is more likely to help you after the event of an attack rather than preventing one. These devices won’t be visible, so if a robber is successful, you or the police will be more likely to apprehend the culprit and recover your assets.

Invest in ATM Insurance

The only thing insurance will prevent is worry. Investing in ATM insurance can give you peace of mind knowing that you are protected financially in a worst case scenario. Having insurance will hopefully encourage you to let your assets go if you are victimized and have to fight the urge to struggle with an attacker.

Should Vaulters Be Armed?

We do not recommend that you arm yourself when loading or unloading your machine. One of the biggest problems with this is that if you do end up using your weapon, there will be more consequences and complications. There are other, safer precautions you can take to protect yourself. 

First of all, don’t vault your machine at night. This is when criminals are the most active and when there will be less witnesses and natural protection. Furthermore, don’t stick to a regular, predictable vaulting schedule. You don’t want to give someone the opportunity to plan a robbery.

Make sure there is surveillance. You can install your own cameras or just be sure you place your machine in line with the cameras of your location or surrounding locations. To help deter criminals, consider putting a sign up that advertises that the machine is under video surveillance.

Also be aware of who is around when you vault. If your machine is indoors, make sure a manager or employee is around while you vault rather than disappearing to the back. You can vault after hours as well to minimize the level of foot traffic while you are vulnerable. If you vault after hours, it’s best to do so away from windows or points of ingress where passersby can see your activity.

If you still feel unsure, and if you do live in a major metropolitan area, you might see if you can arrange for an armed officer to accompany you to your drops. Again, we don’t recommend that you take the law into your own hands. Smart decisions are your first line of defense.

Be Proactive Against ATM Robbery

This information about ATM robbery isn’t meant to scare you. On the contrary, it’s meant to empower you. The more you know, the more prepared you will be, and the more confident you will feel. 

Although ATM crime has risen in the past couple of years, crime in general has risen, so it isn’t unexpected. The number of reported incidents is still minor compared to the number of ATMs in operation, and bank ATMs are frequently targeted because larger vaults equal bigger payouts. 

In our many years of experience, we have never personally heard of an independent ATM deployer getting held up or mugged. And, being in the ATM business, that’s saying something!

Still have questions? Contact us today!

5 Advantages of Using Cash

Are there advantages to using cash? Do most of us even carry cash anymore? With cryptocurrency, online shopping, debit and credit cards, Apple and Google pay, PayPal, and other money transfer apps, do we really even need cash anymore?

Technology is nice, but what happens when it doesn’t work? Have you ever tried to order food at a restaurant just to be told that their point-of-sales (POS) system is down? Have you ever tried to use a money transfer app to send or receive money just to run into verification obstacles, long wait times, or extra fees? 

For these reasons and more, cash will have a special place in our hearts (even if it isn’t always in our wallets) for a long time. It’s reliable, it’s convenient, and it’s a 3,000 year tradition.

Is the ATM Business Dying?

As long as people need cash, they will need ATM machines. Although cash payments decline as electronic payment methods increase and improve, there is currently more cash in circulation than ever. 

Cash is traditional. It’s familiar. Comfortable. So for a long time yet, there will be people who prefer cash. Could you even imagine what would happen if cash was taken out of circulation? Many people would protest that choice being taken away from them. So we don’t see that happening in our lifetime.

Even so, ATM machines are versatile. They have already evolved to facilitate the cryptocurrency craze. So there’s no reason to believe that the ATM business would be dying anytime soon.

Furthermore, federal law prohibits businesses from going cashless. While state mandates might vary, it’s generally accepted that cash is the most widely accessible form of payment in addition to the other advantages of using cash. 

The Payment Choice Act

The Payment Choice Act (2021-2022) refers to the bill that states that retail businesses do have to accept cash payments. It also prohibits them from charging cash-paying customers more. The goal is to prevent discrimination and keep consumerism fair. 

Without the ability to pay with cash, low-income and other unbanked individuals would be unfairly excluded from locations that would prefer not to accept cash payments. However, as you will see, in most cases, cash payments actually benefit retail businesses. The advantages of using cash on top of the federal law further solidify the role of cash in our society.

5 Advantages of Using Cash

1. Quick

In many cases, cash payments are quicker than electronic ones. Cash payments don’t decline. The POS system doesn’t have to communicate with your bank to release the funds. And when that POS system goes down, you’d better believe you’ll be wishing you had some cash on you. 

Cash is also often more convenient than electronic payment methods. You don’t have to worry about accidentally overdrawing your account and accruing exorbitant bank fees when you pay with cash. 

And if someone needs to pay you for something, cash payments are immediate. You don’t have to download a new app, figure out how to be “added” as someone’s contact, fight with authentication procedures, worry about payments being sent to the wrong person, be restricted by sending limits, wait days for the money to hit your account, or pay any transfer fees.

With cash, once it hits your hands, it’s yours. 

2. Tangible

Cash is tangible, an old-fashioned favorite. Bills can be broken into smaller bills and even coins. Many of us learned to count using bills and coins, and many children still do. Physical money is an important educational tool for children when it comes to counting and budgeting. 

Cash is a useful budgeting tool as evidenced by the envelope method touted by financial guru Dave Ramsey. By physically dedicating a set amount of cash to various categories of your spending habits, it’s much easier to be frugal and disciplined with your money—once it’s gone, it’s gone. 

Don’t payments hurt just a little bit more when you can see and feel the money leaving your side? Electronic stashes are often out of sight and out of mind (and sometimes out of control if you aren’t careful with your credit cards…). Some people also feel safer having tangible money in their possession where they can keep an eye on it and protect it.

3. Private

Cash payments are private. They are difficult to track, and, excepting disposable paper receipts, they leave no paper trail. Sketchy business practices aside, this privacy also serves as a security measure. 

No one can electronically hack into your wallet or safe. Your financial information can’t be compromised in a data breach if you use cash payments at most stores and avoid online shopping. And if you minimize the number of debit and credit cards you carry, you in turn minimize your risk of identity theft. 

4. Universal

Cash is also the most widely accessible payment method. Everyone has access to cash. And it’s a good thing, too.

About 6% of Americans are unbanked, with no bank account, and another 16% are underbanked, meaning they only have a checking account and maybe a savings account. There are many reasons why someone might be unbanked or underbanked.

First, low-income individuals might not make enough money to warrant a bank account. This is especially true when bank accounts charge monthly service fees or impose minimum balance requirements. And what about the homeless man at the intersection? Does he take debit or credit? 

Other people might be distrustful of banks, especially under the threat of national and economic crises. Covid-19, for example, caused more cash to be in circulation than ever. Others still might just not want to deal with bank regulations and restrictions. 

Minors are also unbanked. We pay our children for doing extra chores. We use cash to pay our neighbor to mow our lawn. Our kids receive cash in their birthday cards. They keep it safe in a piggy bank. These are traditions that are still going strong.

5. Necessary

Finally, cash is necessary for cash-only businesses. Many small businesses are cash-only to save money on credit card processing fees and to make bookkeeping simpler. 

The cannabis industry is also often cash-only by necessity. Although legal in many states, whether medicinal or recreational, marijuana is still illegal on a federal level. Therefore, few banks will work with cannabis businesses due to the threat of breaking money laundering laws. 

Even if cannabis businesses find banks willing to work with them, it can be quite expensive for them to maintain those accounts. This is because it costs the banks more to service them due to anti-money laundering software, external auditors, and legal counsel.

Cash tipping is also common in many industries like beauty salons, bars, and restaurants. Many businesses, like Starbucks, only accept cash tips if they aren’t able to apply them to a debit or credit charge. You will see little bowls or buckets on the counters of places like these where customers can leave a cash tip. Businesses that are able to apply a tip to a debit or credit charge will sometimes still place a cash tip receptacle in customer view because the visual reminder (Dare we say peer pressure?) encourages more tips.  

Other times, customers want to make sure that their servers receive the full amount of a cash tip whereas electronic tips are subject to tip sharing and other deductions. And how else do you tip your concierge when you travel? The entertainment at your local bar? Your favorite street performer?

Cash is King

As you can see, cash plays a very important role in our society. There are many advantages of using cash. No other payment option is as secure, convenient, reliable, or universal. That’s good news for the ATM industry. As far as we are concerned, cash is here to stay, and so is the ATM industry. Ready to start your own ATM business? Where there is a need for cash, there is an opportunity for you to make some passive income. Get started today!

Positively What to Know When Buying an ATM Machine

Wondering positively what to know when buying an ATM machine? There are a lot of factors to consider. First of all, should you buy an ATM machine? To answer this question, you might need to know how to buy an ATM and make money. 

Here’s what to know when buying an ATM machine:

What ATM machine should I buy? 

Where can I buy an ATM machine?

How much does it cost to buy an ATM machine?

Should I buy an ATM machine for my business?

How do I buy an ATM machine?

In this article, we will answer these questions and tell you what to know when buying an ATM machine.

What to Know When Buying an ATM Machine

Before we get into some of the most common questions about buying an ATM, let’s talk about what an ATM machine could mean for you. ATM machines provide customers with convenient access to cash and their accounts. As the owner of an ATM machine, you receive 

What ATM Machine to Buy

The best ATM brands on the market in terms of durability and reliability are Hyosung, Genmega, Hantle, and Triton. However, in addition to the manufacturer, you also want to consider what type of ATM machine you want to buy. 

The most common type of ATM machine is free-standing. These are the types of ATM machines you see in convenience and grocery stores. They are easy to install and easy to move. 

Through-the-wall (TTW) ATM machines are more commonly found in office buildings where the machine can protrude into a separate, secure room. These machines are bulkier, but more secure since you can load and unload the machine behind locked doors.

Wall mount ATM machines are the smallest type of ATM. They are ideal for locations where space is minimal or where there is low traffic. Since wall mount ATM machines (they can also sit atop a table or counter) are smaller, they hold less cash. So they aren’t ideal for busy, high-traffic areas.

Finally, you need to decide whether you want a new, used, or refurbished ATM machine. Each of them have their pros and cons. 

New machines are shiny and attractive. However, they do cost more. So you have to decide if “shiny and new” is worth the extra cost. Typically, new machines are recommended for first-time ATM owners because you don’t want to add mechanical issues to the list of other aspects of the business you’ll be learning along the way.

Used machines can be cheaper, but they can be problematic if they aren’t properly refurbished. If you are considering a used, refurbished ATM machine, make sure it is “certified refurbished”. This means that any ATM damage is addressed rather than it simply being cleaned and polished.

For more information, check out our ATM Buyer’s Guide.

Where to Buy an ATM Machine

You can buy as many ATM machines as you want. But without ATM processing, you won’t be able to connect them to the network that communicates with users’ banks. An ATM machine without processing capabilities is basically useless. 

So, since you have to work with an ATM processing company anyway, it makes sense to buy an ATM machine from them as well. This simplifies the process by only having to do business with one company instead of multiple. The ATM processing company will also be able to provide you with better, more specific support for the machines they stock. 

Not all ATM processing companies sell ATM equipment, but a lot do. So where else can you buy an ATM machine?

A simple internet search will result in lists of ATM processing companies and ATM wholesalers. But you can also find machines on auction sites like eBay, on Craigslist, and even on Amazon. 

However, make sure you don’t compromise quality for what seems like a good deal. Used machines can be slow or damaged, refurbishments could be shoddy, and older machines can be out of compliance.

How Much Does it Cost to Buy an ATM Machine

ATM machines can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $8,000. However, most free standing ATM machines are about $1,500 to $3,000. Cost depends on size and age. Larger and newer machines cost more. You can find used and refurbished ATM machines for a little cheaper, around $1,500 to $2,000. 

However, you have to consider additional costs as well. Is the discount on a used machine really a discount if you have to pay for updates, upgrades, and repairs? 

You also have a number of options when it comes to additional features. Do you want a larger screen? A topper to run ads? A lighted keypad? You will have to budget for these items as well when calculating your ATM machine purchase budget.

Buying an ATM Machine for your Business

If you are wondering what to know when buying an ATM machine, then you either want to place your ATM machine in someone else’s business or you want to add one to your own existing business. There are a few benefits of buying an ATM machine for your business. 

First of all, the additional service brings more traffic in and around your business. This increases sales on top of the surcharge income you earn per transaction made on the machine. 

Buying an ATM machine for your business is a good idea if you feel like there is a need for one in your area. If there are other ATM machines nearby, keep in mind that you will be sharing customers and competing with them.

How to Buy an ATM Machine

Again, you can buy an ATM machine from someone besides a processing company. But you won’t be able to generate much income from an inoperable machine. So when you buy an ATM machine from a processing company, they will assume you want to operate it and will therefore require certain documentation.

First, you’ll need to complete an equipment order form. This is where you will indicate the equipment you want and the installer. You will also need to indicate your surcharge rate and the denominations your ATM will dispense. 

You will also need to provide an ACH form so that the revenue generated from your machine can be deposited into your bank account. Be prepared to provide a voided business check to verify the legitimacy of your designated bank account. And since you will be generating income from your ATM machine, you will have to submit a completed W-9 form for tax purposes. 

To confirm your identity, your driver’s license will be required as well as a background check since there are restrictions on who can legally operate an ATM machine. Furthermore, an ATM Operator Agreement and application tells banking partners who they are working with and ensures all federal regulations are met. 

And finally is the ATM processing agreement. This serves as the legal contract between you and the ATM processor that runs your ATM machine program. It lists and describes the responsibilities and obligations of both parties. 

As far as paying for the ATM equipment, you have a few options. The best option is to pay for the equipment in full, that way you don’t accrue any interest and end up paying more. However, you do have some financing options. You can make your purchase with a credit card, take out a loan, or apply for financing.

Positively What to Know When Buying an ATM Machine: A Recap

Now that we’ve answered the what, where, how, and how much questions circling the ATM buying process, you have some decisions to make. What type of ATM machine will you buy? Where will you get it from? How will you pay for it?

At, the process is simple. We offer special sales, upgrades and flexible payment options. You also avoid monthly fees, statement fees, and processing fees when you process with us. If you order your machine from, you get free shipping, an added cost when purchasing from other sellers. Still have questions? Or are you just ready to get started? Either way, contact us today!