How Much Can an ATM Make - Setting Your Surcharge by ATMDepot


How much money you can make owning an ATM machine depends on where your ATMs are located and if they are needed. The main thing to remember about the ATM Business is that it’s just like real estate. Location, Location, Location.

ATM Machine Business Rule of Thumb Formulas

The ATM Business has a “rule of thumb” formula that many Independent ATM Deployers “IADs” use. Use this rule of thumb to determine if a location would be a good candidate for an ATM machine. There are two different schools of thought on this rule. Obviously, since there are many unknown variables, no location is a guarantee using these formulas. However, using this formula is better than a WAG (wild ass guess).

Check out our Calculators to the right to make better decisions. These ATM profit calculators can help you determine if a location you’re considering might be a good location.

ATM Business Rule of Thumb #1

  • The first rule of thumb or formula in the ATM Business says that approximately 2 – 3% of people that actually see an ATM machine in an establishment will likely use the ATM. Say, for example, your location has an average of 200 customers visiting each day. One would expect or speculate that approximately 5 of those 200 people would use that ATM daily.
    • Secondly, you could then take those 5 people and multiply it by the amount of the surcharge. After that, take that figure and multiply it by how many days the location is open in the year. This will give an ATM owner, or prospective owner, an estimate on how much money he/she can make owning an ATM machine in a year’s time.
      • Like this: (5 x Surcharge Amount) x Days Open Per Year = ATM Revenue Per Year

Try the ATM calculator here. However, most ATM business owners want to calculate monthly revenue and income.

ATM Business Rule of Thumb #2

  • The second rule of thumb follows the norm that the number of adult patrons an establishment has in a given day, that same number (plus or minus 10%) will use the ATM on a monthly basis. Try the Rule of Thumb #2 ATM calculator here.
    • This rule of thumb is more commonly used if the establishment accepts credit cards or gives cash back at the point of sale (POS). However, alternate payment methods will affect ATM usage but will also convert some users to cash. This also helps lower credit card fees the establishment pays. Usage could be affected by as much as 20% – 40%.
      • Like this: # of Adult Patrons Per Day +/- 10% = # of People Use ATM Per Month

ATM Machines in Hotels and Commercial Buildings

  • A similar formula is used when locating ATMs in hotels, commercial buildings, or manufacturing plants. For hotels, we take the number of rooms, multiplied by the occupancy rate then apply the same plus or minus 10% rule. So if the hotel has 150 rooms with an 80% occupancy rate one might expect 110 – 135 monthly transactions. But, if the hotel has any events, banquet rooms, onsite restaurants, shops, beverage or snack stands that number should scale higher.
    • Similarly, with commercial buildings and industrial manufacturing (an office building or a manufacturing plant with hundreds or thousands of employees for example), we can take the total number of employees working in the building and use the yearly formula. Base your calculation on how many days a year employees work there. Think about how many people occupy the building on an average day when open. If there is a cafe or for-profit cafeteria in the building the estimates would be higher.
    • Many Employers enjoy an ATM on-site as an Employee benefit. For example, businesses may even pay a monthly fee to waive surcharges since an ATM can often cut down on employees being late to work or returning from lunch.
Popular ATM Industry Calculations - ATM Business Rule of Thumb

We’ll try to boil this down and make it simple. At the very least, whether you’re an IAD or a retail merchant, and you don’t already own an ATM, you could purchase the ATM hardware from anyone (even from us). Once you set up the ATM processing with us, it could pay for itself in less than a year or so when located in a good location. A great location could pay for itself in as little as a few months.

ATM’s can be installed anywhere in the USA.

For instance, inside or outside any retail merchant or any location where people could use cash. ATM machine locations include, but are not limited to, restaurants, liquor stores, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, quick-service restaurants, casual dining, bars, night clubs, train stations, football or baseball stadiums, concert venues, adult-themed locations, Hotels, Hospitals, Condo complexes, Apartment Complex, High Rise Apartment Buildings, coffee carts, mobile events, mounted in trailers, mounted on the back of food trucks, you name it. Some of the fastest-growing locations employ people that prefer cash tips such as barbershops and nail salons. Anywhere people need access to cash, an ATM Machine can make you a passive income. So, get started on your ATM Owner Journey and call us now.

The Bottom Line: If you’re considering an ATM Machine or want to get into the ATM business as a side hustle to earn some extra cash or as a passive income, you need at least 3-4 people per day to use your ATM (if available 7 days per week) to pay for the machine and make a few bucks.

Obviously, if you place your machine in a location that is open 10 hours a day, you only need one person to use the ATM every few hours.

To clarify, some of the best locations are where there is a high need for cash and no credit cards are accepted. Meanwhile, with ATM wireless communication now being so affordable, swap meets, outdoor events, street fairs, spring and summer events as well as Pumpkin patches and Christmas Tree farms are great options for temporary ATM Placements. Since these events are all great but very temporary, we call that a mobile ATM business which we can also show you how to operate.

If you’re considering a through-the-wall machine that faces outside it will be available 24 hours a day. These are like machines in parking lots and/or busy sidewalks. For example, machines like these need at least 8 – 10 people per day to make financial sense. They are often profitable if there is enough foot traffic walking by them. Ask us for help if you have a spot you think is great!

If you already have an ATM or are already in the ATM business and are looking to switch your ATM processing services (you need to check your current ATM agreement for termination clause), give us a call. You could take advantage of our higher revenue sharing without any costs to you and put more money in your pocket. Contact us about it here.

Important ATM Business Figures

If you answer yes to any of these questions …

  • I am a retail merchant looking to increase profits.
  • I’m an entrepreneur looking for a new business opportunity.
  • I’m an investor looking to diversify and maximize annual returns.
  • I already operate an ATM Business and I want to put more money in my pocket.
  • I am an individual looking for a business opportunity with a low cost of entry. 
  • I’m an individual, business owner, or part of a group that has locations that need ATMs.
  • I’m a go-getter with a regular job but I’m looking for a great side hustle where hard work pays off.

Then you would certainly reap the benefits of reading, The Amazing Money Machine.

ATM Surcharge Income Example

Surcharge Amount – $3.00

5 uses per day – $15.00

30 days – $450.00

12 months – $5,400.00

Surcharge Profit Calculator

Location Profit Estimator #1

Location Profit Estimator #2


Learn How to Reach Store Owners and What to Say

Finding a great location is key, so closing with that business owner is the ultimate goal. In the Members Area, we provide explanations of the best ways to close deals with locations.

The Amazing Money Machine

Calculator Disclaimer

The calculators above mean to provide a rough approximation of future financial performance. They are present for illustrative purposes only and actual profit amounts may vary.


So, how much you can make in the ATM business really depends on where you place your ATMs.

In conclusion, on average, if you want to earn $1500 per month from your ATM business you’ll need 5 – 7 ATMs in average locations. Obviously, 2 or 3 great locations would get you there faster. Even so, every IAD has a few good ATM locations, a few dog ATM locations and a few ATM locations that are home runs.


Well, It’s all about foot traffic, a reason to need money, and other available payment methods. Sometimes just having a lot of people walk by or see your ATM Machine can mean the difference between a good and an underwhelming ATM location.

If you’re a motivated entrepreneur who doesn’t quit too soon then the ATM business is for you. Most people fail because they quit too soon. If your first 2 locations are dogs, don’t get discouraged, you can move them to better locations. Remember, ATMDepot doesn’t charge you if you move an ATM.

In short, just keep going and have a plan (e.g. 6 machines your 1st year, 12 machines the 2nd year). You can easily earn $5,000 per month in the ATM business in a couple of years with 18 – 20 locations. How? Utilize our ATM road map and run your ATM business the right way.

Remember, an ATM Business doesn’t need much financing to start …

Let’s say for example you purchase the new Hyosung Halo II. You can install it yourself. However, we recommend you let us arrange to have a professional install your first ATM. We will also train you for your future ones. This ATM can use wireless communications technology which can be as low as $9.95 per month.

We sometimes have refurbished Triton ATMs for under $1,500 with a warranty. We also occasionally offer refurbished Hyosung, Hantle, and Genmega ATMs. You will probably invest between $2,250 – $3,500 in a good ATM machine by the time you’re done. This includes professional installation, signs, wireless devices, or anything else you may want for your ATM Business.

If you don’t have an ATM, you can review our ATM Machine Equipment options or call us for advice.