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The perfect business for the "Starving Student".

People often ask what the benefit of getting into the ATM business is.  It’s simple. Residual income.  

One of the many struggles as a college student isn’t the assignments, tests or stressful group projects, but finances.  Students constantly hope that they can do away with the stresses of being broke. As a graduate of Cal State Los Angeles I looked forward to the beginning of the quarter for one reason, financial aid. The excess cash that I had after tuition was paid ranged anywhere between $1,500-$2,000, which typically went straight to bills.  However if there is one business I would recommend any college student to get into for the purposes of making extra cash each month, it would be the ATM business.  Using the excess cash from financial aid or even some extra cash you have laying around would be enough to get started, and here's why…

Low Start Up costs.

Most common ATM locations are mom and pop shops and gas stations; locations that don’t require a machine to hold a large sum of cash. You’re first new ATM will start at around $1,700. At that point you just need to have enough expendable cash to load your ATM with. ATM cash dispensers or CDUs located in the safe can hold anywhere from $500 to $2,000.  So all in all being ready to operate your first ATM will run about $2,500.

Locations are easy to come by.

The general consensus in the ATM business is that locations for are being taken up left and right. That is something I refer to as a “fallacy”. There are always business looking to make more money and we at are constantly taking new orders on machines for new deals from our partners. And these locations are places that college students visit constantly: gas stations, bars, night clubs, mom and pop shops, liquor stores.  It can be as easy as bringing up the idea to your regular “go to” spot or to a place that is familiar with you.

No Employees needed

You are your own boss!! In this business all you really need to keep up with is loading and maintaining your machine, which really only requires a wipe down of your sensors and belts.  Monitoring your machine so it doesn’t run completely out of cash, and watch that residual dollar amount grow. There is no clocking in and it is a business that can work around your everyday schedule.

Cash is always in demand.

Providing a service that people will always need is a sure way to get your residuals flowing to a point that you will always have cash coming in.  Not every location accepts cards because of credit card fees. You can help local businesses bypass those charges with an ATM that is at no cost to them, and you need not worry about extra fees.


EMV stops fraud worldwide: Venezuela lowered credit card fraud by almost 100%

Venezuela lowered credit card fraud by a whopping 98%. This unprecedented cliff-like drop in card related fraud is unheard of in any market globally. This is mainly attributed to the shift from magnetic strips card to the new smart-card or chip cards.

Local private banks began implementing chip cards last year with the objective to prevent and stop electronic banking fraud.  The EMV chip and pin technology initiative was launched in Europe in the early 1990s and has led to dramatic reductions on fraud rates.

The EMV technology has been implemented worldwide – except in the US, where magstripes still rule and chip cards are still extremely limited. Major players, MasterCard and Visa have strategically positioned themselves to refuse all liabilities from non-EMV upgraded ATMs and POS in the event of a loss.

In Venezuela, as a result of increased chip cards implementation, fraudsters have shifted their activities to alternative schemes including website cloning, card cloning, phishing attacks and social engineering.


Ensuring Security for your ATM Business

Some of the biggest issues with ATMs are security.  Though the migration to EMV has begun, the Unites States is still heavily dependant on mag-stripe cards.  Though it is true that counterfeit-fraud hasn’t been limited to ATMs, it still accounts for $1 Billion of the $8.6 Billion lost each year.  These attacks have included card-counterfeit fraud and FI hacking and component manipulation. The best way to protect yourself and your company? Keep your machines up to date.


There was a time when our products were built to last. Cars were made of an indestructible material known as metal, and now it seems that more and more people purchase products consciously knowing they plan on replacing them within two years. Electronic companies have been notorious for creating products that require replacement in order to keep up with demands since 2007.  Their purpose? Entertainment.

However, the ATM industry has a different purpose and that is security in convenience.  Updates to ATMs serve both the ATM owner and customer. Much like constantly updating your computer’s anti-virus software, it is essential to keep your ATM up to date for security reasons. The longer your PC based ATM holds any specific version of software, the more susceptible it is to hacking.

Your hardware isn’t as updated as software, but it is important to remember how critical it is to keep your ATM physically secure. Hardware updates and even general upkeep can make the difference between a secure machine and a machine at risk.  High-security pick resistant locks can be customized for your machine and can work in conjunction with third party-security and alarm devices.  Remember, you can never put a cost limit on the protection of your investment.


Remote ATM monitoring sites, bank and shopping sites are all targets that hackers can exploit. Keep your passwords unique, anything related to your settlement account can have a massive impact on your daily business. Email is often disregarded, but should be highly protected. If a hacker controls your email, they have access to user names and passwords, contacts, critical data and ultimately your life.

Use remote key entry

If the option is available, you may be able to remotely enter keys from a remote site, removing the human error factor as well as any shoulder surfing attempts to uncover data while entering keys in manually at a terminal.

Ensure you are Partnered with a Well-Trusted Provider

Updates are inevitable, if your ATM Provider has a plan and will push to ensure your business is safe, then your relationship is a solid one.



What to look for in an ATM

Determining the type of ATM is important to both you and your client.  Constantly asking questions will get you something you’re really looking for. I’m here to clear up everything and anything I can to make your decision easy and enjoyable.

Functionality, Simplicity and Affordability

Functionality and convenience has been a major selling point for many of our IADs.  Depending on the model of ATM terminal youwill find out very quickly what you may want with your next ATM. The option to stay with that model in the future will be on your mind while you continue to build your ATM empire.  In my experience ATM distributors have always found the MB1500 by Nautilus Hyosung to be a classic, a “Beast” and the “Iron Man” of all ATMs.  Though this retail ATM is discontinued it can still be found online if you look hard enough. And the purpose for such praise was its simplicity, easy to program, straightforward in terms of entering bill counts under the settlement option and most importantly, affordability.

Programming an ATM with a blindfold on

At one point we were competing here at the office with who can program an Automated Teller Machine the fastest while blindfolded.  Because of it's simplicity, we deployed thousands of 1500s, and our clients became accustomed to them.  The MB4000 and MB1700 are both testaments to the fact that Hantle and Nautilus Hyosung wanted to appease their customers while advancing other aspects.  Being able to connect your ATM through an internet connection became a significant milestone in terms of speed and reliability.  Phone lines and dial up modems are a dying technology (most of which was created in the ‘50s) so a transition to a more efficient method is crucial.

The emergence of TCP and IP connection

Many ATMs offer the capability of using the internet directly via an Ethernet port, however, for those that do not you will need some type of conversion unit.  We offer a Systech box that will do just that, convert a dial tone into a TCP/IP connection. This way you can at least keep any existing ATMs up to date with technology.  The overall cost of the machine will increase slightly with an internet ready ATM machine that runs on Windows based software. Though, chances are your customer won’t care about the style of machine, as long as they can get to one.  So if you plan on getting your hands on something fancy, make sure the location is equally fancy (i.e. A hotel or a club). If you have any questions, be sure to give ATMTRADER.COM a visit and see for yourself the benefit of each Hantle, Hyosung, Triton and GenMega.