How to Place an ATM Machine: 5 Tips for Securing ATM Locations

Want to know how to place an ATM machine? If you don’t own your own store or business, you have to think about where you are going to install your ATM machine. This requires talking to people….

But it’s not as scary as it sounds. A lot of people hate approaching strangers when they need something. Fortunately, you aren’t selling anything. And, if done right, your leads won’t be strangers for long.

We would never suggest sleazy sales tactics when explaining how to place an ATM machine. Instead, we encourage you to try to build relationships with your leads and have meaningful, effective conversations. So think of ATM placement as networking, not selling, and maybe these tips will help put you at ease.

Where Are the Best Locations to Place an ATM Machine?

There are many factors to consider when determining the best locations. It’s hard to develop a definitive list because the numbers and experiences vary from city to city. 

The ATM owner’s personal preference, background, and comfort play a role too. What might be a profitable location for one person might not be for another based on the way the deal is negotiated, the way the parties involved work together, and the way the business is run.

But you can use these guidelines to develop a strong list of leads for placing your ATM machine:

Generally, the best locations are the businesses where you are already a customer. First, you know a lot of the ins and outs already. Second, you might already have a relationship with the owner or someone who can get you a meeting with the owner. If and when you do get to speak with the owner, you then have an initial connection to draw upon in your negotiations.

Next, you want to consider the proximity of the location to your home, your work, and other ATM machines. The best locations are not only going to be the ones that have the least competition, but also the ones that are convenient for you to get to. 

You don’t want to end up spending a large portion of your revenue on transportation costs. You also want your ATM income to be passive, so you want to minimize the time you spend on the business in order to increase your profits.

Finally, you are looking for locations that get a lot of foot traffic. The more people who see the machine, the more potential you have to get transactions and revenue. Busy locations, locations with good reviews, and especially locations with high levels of cash transactions are usually good bets.

For more information and numbers, we list the 9 best locations for ATM machines based on our experience in the ATM business here. But keep reading to see how to talk to location owners to set up an ATM placement.

5 Tips for How to Place an ATM Machine

1. Cold Call

We’re going to cover this one first and get it out of the way! Joking aside, cold calling is a legitimate way to generate leads.

Cold calling is a proactive way to get leads. Referrals are inactive. While referrals are nice because they require little to no work on your part, they do have some drawbacks. First of all, you never know when a referral will come around. It’s also kind of hard to start a business from referrals if you haven’t even begun operating yet. Finally, you might not always like the referrals that come your way. 

One major benefit of cold calling is that you get to choose your potential business partners. Don’t bother calling someone in a neighborhood you dread going to or someone whose business has low reviews. Do your research, choose locations strategically, and don’t use sleazy tactics. 

Cold calling literally refers to unsolicited contact. However, effective cold calls are not random. Effective cold calling requires thought. It’s the first step in the relationship-building process. You might not close the deal on the initial call. It’s actually better that you don’t. Find out more about the importance and benefits of cold calling here.

2. Leave Something Behind

If you visit locations in person instead of over the phone, you will want to have something informative to leave behind. The location owner or decision-maker may not be available when you’re there, or he or she might want some time to think about your proposal.

You can have ATM business fliers made up ahead of time and keep some with you wherever you go, just in case. It’s also a good idea to have ATM business cards made. Opportunities can find you even when you aren’t looking for them. Having ATM business cards handy allows you to network anywhere you go.

3. Borrow Authority

You probably want to know how to place an ATM machine the first time. It can be difficult to negotiate ATM placements if you don’t have the confidence of having even one success story. So if you are trying to place your first ATM machine, don’t let that get you down. 

If you’re in communication with a location owner who asks about your other machines or locations, be honest. There are benefits that come with being the first or only location. Emphasize your motivation to do a good job so that you can get more locations. And explain that you will be able to devote all of your attention to this first location instead of dividing it among multiple.

Finally, try to borrow authority. To put location owners at ease with a first time independent ATM deployer (IAD), drop the name of the ATM processor you work with. That will give them a company to research and call if necessary to back up the information you’ve given them.

4. Offer Value

Obviously, the best way to land a deal is to list the benefits of working with you. There are many ways location owners and businesses benefit from having an ATM machine on the premises. More cash transactions mean less credit card transaction fees, and ATM service means more traffic, customers, and sales.

Listen to the location owner’s pain points. Does he or she experience any problems that you can solve? That’s your in!

5. Implement the LAER Method

Chances are, you won’t make it through this process without meeting a few objections. People are naturally skeptical of things they don’t understand. Rather than take the time to understand, it’s quicker to dismiss the idea altogether. Fortunately for you, an objection is not the end of the conversation; it’s just the beginning.

The LAER method of handling objections requires that you listen, acknowledge, explore, and respond. Essentially, it’s an active listening technique. Listen to the owner (objections and all), indicate that you understand, ask follow-up questions to dig deeper and clarify the issue, and then respond with facts.

Not only does active listening show respect for the other party, it also allows you to educate the owner without lecturing. This way, you can provide the information that specifically applies to the location owner. It’s quick, it’s direct, it’s relevant, and it’s effective.

How to Place an ATM Machine

There really isn’t much to placing an ATM machine. It just takes some practice. Remember that the more feelers you put out, the more hits you’ll get. But keep in mind that you want quality over quantity. Do some research and take the time to build relationships with businesses you really want to work with. 

With these tips, you now have the tools to approach valuable leads, build relationships, have meaningful conversations, and place ATM machines!

How to Use LAER for Handling Objections

LAER is most widely known as a marketing technique used by salespeople. However, you will find that it’s actually a great active listening technique for handling objections in any scenario. That’s why we’ll explain in this article how to listen, acknowledge, explore, and respond to objections you might face when approaching location owners with a proposal to place your ATM.

What is LAER?

LAER is a communication strategy that stands for Listen, Acknowledge, Explore, and Respond. While you might think these four steps go without saying, it’s actually a method that needs to be practiced and perfected. Too often we want to jump in with our solution, especially when we are so confident and sure of it. But doing so will almost certainly cost you the deal.

You know you have a good idea. You wouldn’t be approaching business owners with an ATM opportunity if you weren’t sure the location would benefit from it. And, you know there is little to no risk on the part of the location owner. But how do you get someone to trust you and to hear you out (especially for your first placement)? 

If you’ve struggled to negotiate locations in the past, it probably isn’t the idea that isn’t working; it might be the presentation. These are the four steps of the LAER method explained:


This is the first step, but it will be a vital one throughout the entire conversation. You don’t want to just listen to the owners’ initial objections, you’ll want to also listen to their answers to your questions. 

Listening doesn’t just mean not interrupting. It means really trying to understand the perspective of the speaker. As the location owner says he or she isn’t interested, try to understand why. When you ask probing questions to get to the root of the pain that’s causing the objection (step 3, explore), listen closely to the answers. 

This way, when you respond (step 4), your response is personalized, genuine, and helpful. Responding in this way rather than from a generic script will show the owner that you are a professional who actually listens.


During and after actively listening to the owner’s objections and answers to your questions, acknowledge that you understand what is being said. Acknowledgement can be a verbal, “I understand,” or a non-verbal head nod. Whether or not you agree with what is being said, acknowledgement encourages the speaker to keep talking. 

When he or she is finished, begin your response with a summary of what was said. If you get it right, great! If you get it wrong, the speaker will be happy to clarify and probably grateful for the opportunity because it shows that the conversation is two-way.

No longer are you simply trying to “sell” a machine, an idea, or a proposal. You are engaging in a professional conversation that works to please both parties. Again, acknowledgement doesn’t necessarily mean agreement. It just means that you are trying to meet the owner at his or her point(s) of concern 


Exploring allows you to dig deeper into the root of the objection. What exactly is causing the concern? Where is the objection coming from? You might find that a location owner is objecting due to past experiences, misinformation, or different goals or agenda. 

Ask questions that allow you to better understand why people are objecting. Don’t assume you know why they don’t agree. If you do, your response isn’t going to cut it; you will only scratch the surface of the problem. Don’t try to align what you hear with your beliefs. Instead, try to really understand them so that you can provide a realistic response.


Don’t tell someone why their way of thinking is wrong. This is aggressive, salesy, and off-putting, and it’s a surefire way to convince someone not to work with you. If you simply respond with facts, you can let someone determine on his or her own what makes the most sense. 

Your response should be factual and helpful. Recommend a solution, a next step, and/or compromise. Keep reading to see some common objections you can use to prepare yourself.  

What Objections Do ATM Owners Face?

New ideas can be scary. Change can be scary. Why try to fix what isn’t broken, right? Location owners might be particularly hesitant to enter into a partnership with you if they really don’t know much about ATM machines or the business. The less they already know, the scarier the change will be.

Location owners are also busy. Don’t be surprised if they aren’t quick to jump at an opportunity that they think will create more work for them. They also might not see that the potential rewards outweigh the perceived risk.

Here are some objections you might come across (or maybe already have) when approaching location owners:

  • I’m afraid an ATM machine will attract crime.
  • I don’t have room for a machine in my store.
  • I don’t have time to handle an ATM machine.
  • I think I’d rather purchase my own machine.
  • I don’t feel comfortable working with someone new to the business.

What kinds of questions can you ask to dig deeper into the root of the objection? Next, we’ll provide an example.

What Happens without the LAER Method?

Let’s take a look at two conversations, one that uses LAER and one that does not. Which one sounds more effective to you?

Without LAER:

ATM Owner: Thank you so much for your time. I wanted to talk to you about placing an ATM machine in your store. Is this something you might be interested in?

Location Owner: No, not really. I don’t want people breaking into my store.

ATM Owner: Well you see, adding an ATM to your store will increase traffic to your store and get you more sales. 

In this scenario, the ATM owner provides the location owner with the potential value and benefits of adding an ATM machine to the location. However, this response completely ignores the root of the objection. So it isn’t going to be a strong enough response to convince the location owner to work with you.

This response also sounds rehearsed. It’s totally acceptable to use a script to guide you, especially when you are just starting out. But in this case, the script is obvious because it sounds as though the ATM owner wasn’t really listening to the location owner. Instead, the ATM owner responds as though it didn’t actually matter what the location owner said; the response was going to be the same. 

It sounds almost as if the ATM owner was just waiting for the opportunity to recite the list of benefits. And while they might be true (there really is a list of benefits of ATM machines for location owners), they don’t address the concern the location owner has. This response does not provide a solution or compromise.

With LAER:

ATM Owner: Thank you so much for your time. I wanted to talk to you about placing an ATM machine in your store. Is this something you might be interested in?

Location Owner: No, not really. I don’t want people breaking into my store.

ATM Owner: I understand. Break-ins can be expensive! Have you experienced a break-in here before?

Location Owner: No, but I’ve heard stories of other robberies in this area.

ATM Owner: Oh. There have been robberies in this area? Were they ATM robberies?

Location Owner: No, they robbed cash registers. OR I don’t know.

ATM Owner: Are you worried about theft during store hours or after store hours?

Location Owner: Well, both, but the robberies here happened (during/after) store hours.

ATM Owner: Uh huh. I see. Well robbery is definitely a concern, but ATM machines aren’t really a big target for armed robbery. It takes a long time to breach an ATM machine, and that increases the risk for average robbers. What if we put the ATM machine outside of the store?

Do you see how this scenario sounds more like a two-way conversation with both parties sharing new information with the other? The ATM owner listens to the location owner by repeating or summarizing what the location owner says, acknowledges the location owner by verbally affirming that he or she understands, explores the root of the problem by asking probing follow-up questions, and responds with facts specifically about ATM crime and even proposes a compromise.

So if you were questioning the effectiveness of active listening strategies before, hopefully now you see the benefit! Are there other methods you can use? Absolutely! The point is that you practice active listening in order to provide more effective responses and close those deals!

How to Use LAER for Handling Objections

In summary, listen to what the owner says, acknowledge that you understand the objections, explore in depth the pain that is driving the objection, and respond to the pain only when you fully understand it.

The concept is simple, but execution can be tricky. You might not get it perfect right away. Practice using it and listening for it in your day to day conversations. You may find that it even improves your conversations with your loved ones!

For scripts you can use to get location owners to talk to you to negotiate deals, check out the Member’s Area at!

How to Complete Your ATM Business Basic Checklist

This ATM business basic checklist is for you to use as you go through the process of operating an ATM machine. If you’re looking for more of a step-by-step guide, check out our article How to Start an ATM Business in 5 Steps

However, if you are looking for a list of what needs to be done, this is it. Once you have completed each item in this ATM business basic checklist, you will officially be in business. You can’t neglect any of these items if you want to start operating your own ATM machines!

1. How to Find a Processor

What is ATM Processing?

You need to work with an ATM processing company so that your ATM machine can communicate with your customers’ banks. An ATM processor identifies the network of each card inserted into your ATM machine, routes the information to the user’s bank, verifies the funds, then receives approval from the bank to dispense the withdrawal amount up to what’s available in the account. Check out our video here for more information.

Factors to Consider

Although ATM processing is pretty basic, there are a number of factors to consider when choosing an ATM processing company. It is in your best interest to research a variety of companies to find the one that is going to best suit your business needs and transaction volume.

Now, if you’re just getting started, you might not know your transaction volume yet. But your processor might. Find an experienced company that will be able to assist you throughout your entire career as an ATM owner. 


An experienced company will be able to give you advice regarding the location you choose (keep reading this ATM business basic checklist for more information on choosing a location) as well as how much you can expect to make from that location or from alternative locations.


You also want to work with an ATM processing company that wants you to make money. A company that acts as a business partner will offer you support throughout your entire career, not just during the initial setup. The company should offer training, ongoing support, and dependable support (meaning they answer the phone when you call…).

Other Services

Finally, you want to know what additional services the company provides. Not all ATM machines work with all processing companies, so if you choose a processor before your equipment, you might want to know if they also sell equipment. Because they will only sell machines that they can support.

If you purchase your equipment before choosing a processing company, you will have to make sure the company can support it. (More on deciding machine type next.) And you can switch processors after you are already in operation. Your needs might change, or you might not get the service you expect from your current processing company. In these cases, you will need to switch to a company that can support the machines you already have. 

Other services you might want to consider are vaulting, remote monitoring, and automated payments. This business is all about building passive income. So you want to minimize your workload as much as possible.

You can load your ATM machine (vaulting) yourself to make as much profit as you can. But if this isn’t convenient for you, your ATM processing company might offer this service. 

Remote monitoring allows you to track your machine’s activity and cash availability which makes it easier for you to keep it stocked and minimize downtime. And automated payments prevent you from having to spend time making transfers yourself and constantly online banking. The less time you spend managing your ATM, the more passive income you make.

When looking for an ATM processor, look for a business partner. Find out more about how to choose an ATM processor here.

2. How to Decide on Your Machine Type

You have lots of options when it comes to choosing ATM equipment. If you’ve already chosen an ATM processing company to work with, you will have to narrow your search to machines the company can support. If the company sells machines, this might be the simplest item on this ATM business basic checklist!

Machine Type

First, you need to decide if you want a freestanding machine, a through-the-wall (TTW) machine, or a wall mount machine. The three most important factors to consider when it comes to machine type are cost, space, and security.

TTW machines are the largest of the three types and therefore cost a little more. However, they are more secure because the vault extends into another room that can be secured during regular operation and vaulting. Unfortunately, they require a lot of space and some construction work to allow the machine to fit into the wall if the space doesn’t already exist.

Freestanding machines are smaller than TTW and are therefore a little cheaper. You also have more flexibility with the placement of a freestanding machine. Likely, a majority of the ATM machines you see day to day are freestanding.

Wall mount machines are the smallest of the three types. They are also the cheapest, but they don’t hold as much cash. Wall mount machines are a good option for slower locations. Despite the name, this type can be mounted to a countertop as well which makes them easy and convenient to place; they don’t take up a lot of space.


Some of the biggest names in ATM equipment are Hyosung, Genmega, Hantle, and Triton. All are reputable companies that have been in the business for a long time and are known for producing quality equipment. 

Check out our ATM Buyers Guide for more guidance on choosing the ATM equipment that’s best for your business. We also compare Hyosung and Genmega, the two top of the line ATM manufacturers.

New vs. Refurbished

Finally, you have to weigh the pros and cons of a new vs. refurbished machine. It really comes down to your budget, your experience, and machine availability. 

We recommend starting with a new ATM machine at least for your first one. Newer models come with improved features and advanced technology making them easier to operate.

However, refurbished ATMs are also good options. It just depends on what is available and the quality of the refurbishment. If you have your heart set on a specific manufacturer or model, you might not be able to easily find what you’re looking for; you will more likely have to choose from what’s available. 

Most importantly, make sure you purchase certified refurbished if you choose to go this route. This guarantees that the machine has had standards checks, detailing, and upgrades applied.

3. How to Place Your ATM

If you own your own store, you can go ahead and mark this off of your ATM business basic checklist! If you plan to place your machine in someone else’s business or store, consider these factors:

  • Foot traffic
  • Proximity to other ATMs
  • Proximity to you
  • Liquor license

The busier the location is, the better the location’s reviews are, the more people that pass by it every day, the better your ATM is going to perform. People can’t use your machine if they don’t pass by it or see it, so you want to get as many eyes on your machine as possible.

You also want to corner the market. You will get more users the farther away your machine is from other machines. This way, you aren’t sharing customers; yours is the most convenient!

Remember that the goal is to build passive income. So the less time you spend managing your machine, the more you make! This is why it’s important to choose a location that’s convenient for you, too. If it’s close to the route you take often, either to and from home or work, you make more with less time and work (and gas!).

Finally, keep in mind that locations that have a liquor license are able to charge more for transactions. In our article 9 Best Locations for ATM Machines we share our experiences with ATMs in various locations. If you need help approaching location owners, check out our tips for cold calling or join ATM Depot’s Members Area for access to scripts you can use to negotiate a deal.

4. How to Decide Your Surcharge

Setting your surcharge is all about strategy. You want to strike a balance between a transaction fee that’s convenient for your users and profitable for you. If you’re just getting started, you need to make your return on investment (ROI) before you can start making a profit, so you want to do this quickly. There are two ways you can do this:

First, you can set a surcharge that is lower than the competition to increase the number of transactions your machine receives. Second, you can match the competition or set a higher surcharge to try to make more per transaction. 

However, it isn’t as simple as that. It all depends on your location, the amount of foot traffic, the demand for your service, and your proximity to other machines.

Fortunately, we have a comprehensive guide for How to Set Your ATM Surcharge. Furthermore, you can always adjust your surcharge, so don’t stress out about it too much. Trial and error will play a big role in making sure you get it just right!

Completing Your ATM Business Basic Checklist

You know what you need to do, but how do you do it? This ATM business basic checklist is just the start. That’s why choosing the right ATM processing company is so important. Because you want support from beginning to end. Whether it’s asking questions, strategizing, or filling your pockets, your ATM processor should be there every step of the way making sure that you are successful. If you have questions about choosing a processor, purchasing ATM equipment, placing your ATM, or setting your surcharge, contact us today!

ATM Business Basic Checklist via
Want to start your own ATM Business? Make sure you check off all of the items on this checklist before you get started so that you’re prepared.

How to Set SMART Goals for Your ATM Business

Have you heard of SMART goals? It’s no secret that goal-setting is a tried and true method of making sure stuff gets done. But if you’ve set goals before without success, you might have missed some key steps.

Setting goals for your ATM business is a good way to make sure you are successful. You might need to set goals to help get your business started to begin with. Or maybe you need to set some goals to increase profits. Or maybe you want to set some goals to help you balance your ATM business better among your other jobs and your personal life.

Whatever the case may be, SMART goals are a good place to start. We’ll show you how.

What Are SMART Goals?

SMART goals are specifically designed to help you actually achieve what you set out to do. Rather than just jotting down some items on a to-do list without any accountability, SMART goals allow you to monitor your progress toward a big-picture goal. 

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. By making sure your business goals fit these categories, you set yourself up for success by ensuring that you have a plan to actually accomplish them. Let’s take a look at some examples of SMART goals you can set for your ATM business.

How to Set SMART Goals

How to set SMART goals is already outlined in the acronym. Think of a goal and make sure it fits all five categories. If it doesn’t, then tweak it until it does. We’ll start with a basic example—increase profit—and see how it can be turned into a SMART goal.


First, your goal needs to be specific. “Increase profit” is a good start, but it would be even better to assign a number to it. If you make just one penny more, technically you will meet this goal. But is that really what you mean when you say you want to increase profit?

Take a look at how much you have already been making. Then, decide how much more you’d like to make. Give yourself a specific number to reach. Track it along the way to make sure you are on track to meeting this milestone.


Once you make your goal more specific—increase profit by X% or increase profit to $X—you need to make sure it is measurable. Because, like we mentioned before, you want to be able to track your progress toward reaching your goal. And you want it to be clear at the end whether or not you succeeded.

Assigning a dollar amount or percent to the “increase profit” example not only makes the goal more specific, but it also ensures that your goal is measurable. Percents and dollars can be calculated. You can do some accounting at the end of the quarter or the end of the year to see if you have increased profit from last quarter.

By setting a measurable goal, you are able to keep it on the forefront of your mind. You can create a chart or graph to visibly display your progress toward your goal. Don’t blindly wait around until accounting time to see if you magically made more money. 

Measuring and tracking progress makes working to achieve your goal a constant activity and therefore increases the chances that you will actually succeed. If you are actively measuring and tracking your progress toward your goal, you can make adjustments along the way if the numbers start going the wrong direction or plateau.


This one is tricky because you have to find a balance between shooting for the stars and grounding yourself in reality. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure by setting a goal that is completely out of reach, unrealistic, or unachievable. On the other hand, we want to encourage you to set high goals for yourself and to believe that you can and will achieve them.

So let’s look at our example. Increasing your profit by 10% or by $1,000 are examples of achievable goals. These numbers are realistic, and reaching them will have an obvious effect on your business, your income, your lifestyle, etc. 

Earning a million dollars, for example, is not realistic. If you’re in the ATM business, you know you aren’t doing it to get rich. So you aren’t selling yourself short by lowering your goal from a million dollars because this business isn’t designed to earn you that much. It has nothing to do with your abilities, passion, drive. Just keep that balance in mind as you set your SMART goals.


Next, you want to make sure your goal is relevant. This means that whatever goals you set for your business should align with the goals you set for yourself, your family, and your personal life. If your goal is to increase profit by $1,000, but to do so means placing an additional ATM machine, then you have to consider whether the time it will take you to maintain that ATM machine will cut into other important obligations.

Say you want to increase profits. So you place an additional ATM machine. But now you have to add a few hours a week to your route. Normally you would be spending that time at home with your family. Is that business goal still relevant? 

If not, adjust it! Maybe lower the profit goal to a number that could be reached by adjusting the surcharge or advertising the machine. That way you can still reach your goal, make more profit, and stay on track with the other areas of your life.


Finally, you want to set a time frame. Without it, you could be working blindly day in and day out without ever knowing for sure if you were making good progress toward your goal. 

A time frame holds you accountable. And if you’re measuring or tracking your progress, you can see how what you are doing in your business now is affecting the trajectory of your business toward reaching your goal. 

This also plays a part in making sure your goal is achievable. Increasing your profit by next year is an example of an achievable time frame. Increasing your profit by 10% by next week is a little unreasonable. It doesn’t give you enough time to measure the actions you are taking and the changes you are making to ensure that your efforts continue to move you forward.

But the bottom line is to make sure you set a goal that can realistically be achieved in the amount of time you determine. 

Why SMART Goals?

You can make a list of goals all day long. And if you’re really focused and motivated, you can accomplish them. But the best way to make sure you are productive is to set SMART goals. 

SMART goals are ideal because they are designed to be achieved. They clearly state what it is you’d like to do and force you to create a plan to get it done. For example, your goals should be measurable, but then you have to assume the task of measuring your progress. Your goals should be timely, so you need to pick a timeframe and stick to it. If you are ready to step up your ATM game, try setting SMART goals to see just how successful you can be. Need help? Contact us today to see how ATMDepot can help you reach your goals!

Improve ATM Performance and ATM Attractiveness to Maximize ATM Profits

Owning and operating an ATM business is a simple way to earn passive income. But what if your ATM performance isn’t as high as you expected? Is there anything you can do to maximize ATM profits?

You have to keep in mind that although an ATM business is unconventional in many ways, at the end of the day it is still a business. For instance, what do store owners do during slow periods? They run sales, offer coupons, and take out ads. You can do the same for your ATM. 

If your ATM isn’t performing well, don’t worry and don’t quit. There are things you can do to improve your ATM performance, maximize ATM profits, and get that passive income flowing.

Why Isn’t Your ATM Performing?

Before you look at the ways to improve your ATM performance, you need to diagnose the problem. After you identify the reason(s) why your ATM isn’t performing, then you can determine an appropriate solution.

The first factor you want to consider is the location. Is your ATM placed in someone else’s store? How much traffic does it get? Does the location have good reviews? You want your ATM machine in a store where a lot of people pass by and drop in.

What about hours of operation? Is the location 24/7? If not, is your ATM machine inside or outside of the store? Your ATM might not be serving your customers at the times when they need it most.

Think about the placement, too. Is the ATM in a place where people feel safe using it? If the ATM machine is hidden, poorly lit, or not under video surveillance, this could be deterring customers.

Finally, consider your surcharge. Is it too high? Is there another machine close by that offers a lower surcharge? If so, you might want to experiment with a lower fee.

Of course, you might not be sure what the problem is exactly. In that case, there’s no harm in trying all of the following ways to improve ATM performance and maximize ATM profits!

How to Improve ATM Performance

1. Advertise

The first thing you want to do to get customers to use your ATM is make sure they know it’s available. Is there a sign at the location that passers-by can see from the street? If not, add one.

Advertise inside the location as well. Add a topper to the machine that catches the attention of customers and patrons of the location. There should be a clear path to the ATM machine as well. If it’s in patrons’ line of sight, it will be easier to access and therefore will attract more customers.

Does the location or store have a website or Facebook page? If so, you might want to list “ATM” online as a service offering. That can spread the word to people who aren’t even on site or nearby. 

2. Offer Incentives

You might want to partner with the location owner to offer some sort of incentive to customers for using the ATM machine. Coupons can be printed on the ATM receipts to encourage both ATM use and in-store purchases. This creates a win-win situation for you and the location owner.

3. Upgrade Features

Adding upgrades to your ATM machine is an easy way to spruce up an older ATM machine. Even if your machine is new, adding additional features could help customers notice your ATM machine and set yours apart from the competition.

Add a topper to run graphics, messages, store promotions, ads. Install a lighted keypad to make the machine more attractive. And if you don’t already have a camera on the premises, adding one will make customers feel more comfortable using your machine.

You can also invest in a UV-C light device that scans the keypad to sanitize it. This could impress your customers by looking out for their health and safety and set you apart from the competition.

4. Lower Surcharge

You have to set your surcharge strategically. The average ATM surcharge fee is around $2.50-$3.00. If your surcharge is higher than this, it could be deterring customers.

If your surcharge is too high, you might lose customers to a machine with a lower surcharge. Scope out the surrounding area and see what other machines are charging. (If yours is the only ATM nearby, then surcharge likely isn’t your issue.) You want to offer a competitive rate: high enough for you to make income but low enough to encourage transactions.

You can experiment with this. Lower the surcharge for a while. If transactions don’t increase, then this probably isn’t the issue. So raise it back to the original surcharge so that you at least continue to make the same amount of money from the transactions you do get. Only lower the surcharge if it draws in more customers. 

You might also consider offering lower denominations from your ATM machine. Customers in the area where your machine is may need to take out less than a $20 bill. Dispensing a different denomination than the other ATMs around you could also help you stand out from the competition.

5. Move the ATM

If all else fails, move the ATM. This is one of the unique benefits of running an ATM business: it’s mobile. If your location is slow, hidden, going downhill, then it might be a good idea to move the ATM to a different store when your agreement is up. However, let’s not jump to switching locations just yet. Strategic placement of the machine at its current location could do the trick. 

First of all, can passers-by see the ATM before entering the store? If not, is there a place that would make this possible? People have to know that an ATM machine is available in order to use it.

Second, is the ATM machine easy to get to? You might consider moving it close to the front door or straight ahead from the front door without any shelves, lines, or other obstacles. Not only should the machine be easy to get to, but ATM users don’t want to be hidden from cameras or the public eye when they access their accounts. An obscure ATM machine isn’t safe, and your customers are attuned to this.

Third, can the ATM machine be moved outside? If this is feasible, it could extend the hours of operation of your machine if the store isn’t open 24/7. This also solves a couple of the other problems: visibility and accessibility.

Finally, is the ATM in an area where people need cash? There might not be a need for an ATM at its current location. Maybe there are other machines in close proximity that are proving to be too much competition. Or maybe there aren’t a lot of opportunities for people to make cash purchases at any other businesses in the area. If this is the case, it might be time to look for a new location.

How to Improve ATM Attractiveness

Would you rather use a dingy ATM or a shiny new one? Not only does shiny grab users’ attention, it also suggests a certain degree of safety and trust. We aren’t saying you have to purchase (or should have purchased) a brand new ATM. There is nothing wrong with a properly refurbished ATM machine.

What we are saying is that customers are more likely to use a machine that’s clean, attractive, and safe. Users don’t want to use a machine that looks old, run-down, poorly maintained. They might fear losing their debit cards if the machine doesn’t look trustworthy.

There are a few things you can do to make sure your ATM machine is attractive and enticing to customers. First, clean it. Wipe it down regularly. Replace the decals if necessary. Clean the area around the ATM, too. You want people to approach the ATM, not shy away from it.

Second, upgrade some features. Add a topper to run messages and advertisements. Get a security camera. Install a lighted keypad to attract customers and make the machine more attractive. Especially if your machine is used or refurbished, adding a lighted keypad could be a nice touch. 

Third, make sure your machine is functional and has little to no down time. An out of order sign could lose customers’ trust and prevent them from returning to that machine. So if anything ever goes wrong, address it immediately. This includes keeping the machine stocked with cash and receipt paper at all times.

Finally, regularly update your software. You want your machine to run as quickly and smoothly as possible. And you don’t want to run into any technical issues. The more available your machine is, the more potential there is for transactions.


If none of these tips are possible or effective for you, you might want to consider moving to a new location while keeping this list in mind. In order to improve ATM performance and maximize ATM profits, people have to know that the machine exists, they have to need cash, and they have to feel comfortable using the machine. 

It might require a little trial and error to get it just right. There are a lot of factors to consider and a lot of decisions to make. Be strategic and don’t be afraid to try and try again. That’s the beauty of the ATM business: it’s easy to be flexible. Want to know what locations experience the best ATM performance? Check out our article “Choosing an ATM Location: 9 Best Locations for ATM Machines” here.