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How To Start An ATM Side Hustle and Make Money Passively

Since the past few days, you must be hearing about ATM side hustle. You must hear about this ex-policeman who made over $12 million with his ATMs in San Fransisco. Intriguing right? 

The good news is, you can do it too. With some research and effort, you can own ATMs and make money. Let’s learn how you can do it too. Ready to earn some extra money with an ATM start-up?


What is the ATM Side Hustle 

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ATM side hustle means owning and operating ATMs in different locations. You must acquire these machines, scout the best location, install it, and then earn a transaction fee. 


Is ATM Side Hustle Profitable?

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Yes, ATM side hustles are profitable. When individuals withdraw money, they have to pay a transaction fee. This is how you get paid to own an ATM. 

However, remember that a lot depends on how many ATMs you have and where they are installed. As a general rule of thumb, you should scout for locations that need cash. For example, convenience stores, restaurants, bars, liquor stores, casinos, etc. 


How Much Can You Earn With This?

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Paul Alex is taking over the internet with what he has achieved, from working as a police offer in the Bay Area to owning a profitable side hustle that generated over $12 million in 3 years. 

Laila Maidan, of Business Insider, mentions that it all started because he is a big family man and couldn’t spend time with family. Thanks to the 80-100 hours a week that his job demanded. 

This was when things started to change, and he started to look into other ways to make cash. While many side hustles generate income, some take active involvement, and some take a long time before they make any cash. 

Some others are cash-intensive businesses like real estate. He wanted none. 

Finally, he stumbled upon owning and running ATMs. It fits into his criterion perfectly. Not only was it not expensive, he could spend little time on it and still run it. It also had good profit prospects. 

This isn’t all. We found a Redditor who speaks about making $40,000-50,000 a year with 5 machines installed in busy areas (on average, with five transactions a day). The machines cost him between $1500-2000 and he charges 2.75-3.50 per transaction. 

Besides this, TikToker rinmatheboss, also revealed that she owns an ATM business that makes $4000 a month in passive income. One of the best parts is you can make money online, sitting at home and managing your machines. 


How Do You Start ATM Side Hustle and Make Money

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Wondering how to make money with your ATMs? The first step should be to research and draw a business plan. Here are the things to include and consider


Step 1: Understanding The Costs 

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We believe you should start by understanding the costs associated with this. Begin by understanding the costs associated with 

  • Buying and installing ATM Machines. You can spend as much as $1500-3000 per machine. While used machines are cheap, any new machine will cost a lot more. You can either buy or lease them out. 
  • Licenses and Permits
  • Transaction Fees by ATM Processor 

In case you decide to buy an ATM Machine, here are some of the variations you will likely see in the market:

  • Nautilus Hyosung Monimax 5000 is a stand-alone ATM in many retail stores. It has a small footprint.
  • Genmega G2500: Basic ATM and small in size
  • Genmega GT3000: It is a “through-the-wall” ATM. It isn’t a standalone machine.

Besides this, you will also need an ATM ProcessorYou may think that the ATMs will automatically process the transaction, but it does not work like that. You need to get an ATM processor.  You will also need something to process the customer cards in your machine.

Besides that, your costs will include an internet wireless modem (approx $150), a monthly internet charge (approx. $6.99, and installation by a technician of $300. 

Also, remember that you will need to pay taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and might need to hire a bookkeeper for it. 


Step 2: Scouting For Locations 

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As we mentioned, you should look for places with high footfall and a need for cash. For example, Convenience stores, liquor stores, and bars are among the popular spots for ATMs.

Some of the best places to put your ATM are

  • Cash only restaurant
  • Gas Stations
  • Convenience store
  • Liquor store
  • Casinos
  • Grocery stores

There are two things you should remember. Find a location that 

  • Works on tips. Individuals are always in need of cash to leave a tip 
  • Businesses that offer cashback: If a business offers cashback on checkout, they always need a bill in the register. 

You want to install your ATM in an area like that. 


Step 3: Acquiring Licenses and Setting Up Business 

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You must set up an LLC for your business and get the required license. 

Setting up an LLC should cost you, on average, $100 or more. For example, some states require a money transmitter license, while others are fine with a regular business license. Contact the state’s Department of Financial Institutions or local government agencies.


Step 4: Launch

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You can ask the processing company to install the ATM or do it yourself. Remember, you want to get it installed without a glitch, so it is always better to get it done by professionals. 


  • Profitable: You can expect to earn a few thousand dollars each month
  • Quick to Make Money: Unlike others, this is a faster way to generate cash 


  • Investment: It requires upfront investment into machines
  • Fraud: At all times, you need to ensure there is no theft and fraud
  • Misc Cost: You will need to consider many things, including processor fees, insurance, permit costs, etc
  • Maintenance: You must ensure ATMs work properly and dispense cash without glitches or fraud.


How Much Does An ATM Machine Cost

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It varies, but used $1500, and new ones are around $2000-2500, depending on where you get them. The cost also depends on whether you are using a new or an old one. 


What Is The Transaction Fee You Can Charge

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Yes, it’s a very lucrative business if you do it right & around 2.75-3.50 per transaction.


With Everything Going Cashless, Is This Viable

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“People have been saying that for 30-40 years now. They said the same thing once debit cards came & ATMs evolved with the times. It’ll happen the same with crypto coming around. All my ATMs are crypto-enabled already. ATMs are here to stay.” says a user. 


How Much Does It Cost to Start an ATM Business?


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The cost to start an ATM business depends on your choice. For example, do you get a used machine or a new one?

Approx. You will need $3000-4000 to start the business. The good part? You can use a credit card.


Is Owning an ATM Profitable?

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Yes, owning an ATM is profitable. As mentioned above, some people make thousands of dollars each year with this.  The key is to place your ATM where cash is in demand and expand your ATM network.


How Much Money Do You Make Owning an ATM?

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You can make up to $5000 to over $100000 a year. It all depends on how well your machines are doing.


Who Fills Money in the ATMs?

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You will. We mean the person who owns the ATM and the ATM business puts the cash into the vault. 

A bank that runs an ATM is in charge of loading the cash. However, as an independent ATM business owner, you can have a third party carry this responsibility.

Note: There seems to be confusion on who pays for the cash-filled in the vault.  We found an internet user frantically asking. 


How Do You Recoup The Money?

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I’ve tried googling, but I can’t seem to get an answer. You own an ATM; you collect a $3 fee for all transactions. But how are you getting paid back for the money you are filling it with? You load it with $4000. 100 transactions equal $40 each. That would get you $300 in transaction fees… but how do you recoup your $4000?

Do you get paid back by the banks? If so, how does that process work? I’ve seen so many people talking about owning their own ATM business, but this is one question that is never answered. Am I overthinking it?”

Another user answers, “It transfers the cash withdrawn plus the fee from their checking account to yours.”


How to Start an ATM Business With No Money?


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If you have no money to start your ATM business, you can opt for a loan or an interest-free credit card. Many cards are interest-free for the first 12 months, and that is enough time for you to start, earn profit and pay up without giving one cent in interest.

You can then use the credit card to purchase the ATM and get a third party to load the ATM with cash.

Besides this, a few things you can do are, 

  • Sell your old stuff for money
  • Make extra cash by picking up odd jobs
  • Make money online with survey sites
  • Renting your space 


Can I Start My Own ATM?


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Many people are asking ‘’can I start my ATM?’’ and the answer is yes. Yes, you can. 

Starting up an ATM is one of the easiest and most profitable sides hustles to generate passive income and earn money. You can either do it full-time or part-time. 


Ready To Start Your ATM Side Hustle?

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While there are many ways to make money online and offline, owning an ATM business is something you should look into.  If you do things right, you will make money quickly. Don’t forget to do your research before you dive into this business.

Ready to be your boss?