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Having an ATM in your business (be it a bar, gas station, restaurant, or retail store) is a great way to pull in some easy income, among other benefits. Owning or leasing and operating an ATM is even less complicated than using your cash register or photocopier and far easier than operating your merchant account.
Purchasing an ATM
The process of buying an ATM for your business is no different than the process of buying any other tool or product for it. You want to start, as with most purchases, by looking at the leading manufacturers of the product, such as Hyosung ATM, Tranax ATM, and Triton ATM, to name a few. When choosing between brands, you need to think about what each one has to offer: Can it be upgraded? How are the prices in comparison to other brands? Do they offer technical and maintenance services after the sale?
It is important to take your time and compare prices between companies. But, while price may be your primary focus, it shouldn’t be your only focus. Take a look at what each company offers after the sale. If something were to happen that put your ATM out of commission, you need to have the peace of mind that a trained professional will be able to service it. All it takes for a customer to think your ATM is unreliable is a few instances where it’s down, and they’ll be on their way to another ATM and business. Make sure that whoever you go with offers comprehensive after-sale services.
Also consider the location of your ATM. You need to make sure that the size and type of ATM you choose will fit properly wherever you decide to place it. Some companies may offer to help you decide on a location, while others leave that decision up to you. If you find a unit that you like, but it doesn’t fit to the space you have available, some companies retrofit machines to be able to fit any existing space.
Buying and ATM: Pros and Cons
- Long-Term Costs: You save money in the long run when you buy an ATM outright. A lease is like a loan, so you end up paying extra to spread the payment across multiple months.
- Ownership: Outright buying a machine gives you complete control of the ATM. It’s up to you how often it gets filled with cash, how much is charged for each transaction, and where it will go.
- Maintenance/Repairs: Owning the unit entirely puts the cost for any necessary maintenance or repairs squarely on your shoulders.
- Upfront Cost: While an outright purchase saves you money in the long run, the upfront cost can be hefty. If the capital is there it might not be an issue, but be prepared for the expense.
Leasing an ATM
There can be certain benefits to leasing a machine over buying one. Buying an ATM may be cheaper in the long run, but you also need to consider day-to-day costs. Most machines have at least a one-year warranty, but anything that needs to be worked on outside the scope of that warranty comes directly from you. If you lease a unit, you are more likely to get assistance when it comes to repair and maintenance costs. However, read through your leasing agreement carefully before signing on the dotted line. Make sure that you know every stipulation set in the contract, such as opt-out clauses, late payment fees, and what you can do if the unit does not perform to expectations.
It is also important that you look at the total price of the ATM in addition to the monthly price. If monthly payments will leave you paying exponentially more for a unit, then it just isn’t worth it. Carefully consider what the total cost would end up being and if that cost is worth it for the set up.
Leasing an ATM: Pros and Cons
- Lower Upfront Cost: Leasing is a small upfront investment that doesn’t require a large lump sum payment.
- No Long-Term Commitment: Leasing allows you to test a unit to see whether the ATM is worth it. If not, you can send it back after the lease expires.
- Higher Long-Term Cost: With interest and monthly payments, leasing will almost always cost more over time.
- Lack of Ownership: When leasing, you may not have control over any of the decisions involved with your ATM. Read the agreement carefully to know which decisions you can and cannot make about the ATM.