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Compare Leasing vs Buying ATM Machine Costs

Renting/Leasing an ATM Machine Overview

There are many benefits to having an automatic teller machine (ATM) on site. You’ll increase foot traffic and reduce the cost of credit and debit card transactions. If your location is busy enough, you might even make a profit on the ATM transaction fees.

When you rent or lease an ATM, you’ll make monthly payments instead of paying a lump sum. Typically, the leasing company handles any maintenance or repairs. And there’s no long term commitment: If you no longer want the machine when the lease term expires, simply give it back.

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Cost of Renting/Leasing an ATM Machine

Generally, renting or leasing an ATM costs between $50 and $120 per month. Fees for installation and training can be anywhere from $50 to $500. However, if your location has extremely high traffic, a vendor may choose to waive all of the above and instead collect a portion of the ATM surcharges.

There are also some recurring costs associated with having an ATM. You’ll have to maintain a phone line ($20 to $40 per month) and hire a professional cash loading service (about $50 per trip). In rare cases, you may even have to hire an armored truck service ($100 to $500 per month). Budget up to $30 per month for statement fees and as much as $50 to replace the receipt paper.

In some cases, the leasing company is responsible for the cost of maintenance and repairs. In other cases, you are. Make sure you read the lease agreement carefully to find out who will pick up the tab.

Renting/Leasing an ATM Machine Pros

  • Lower upfront cost - Renting or leasing an ATM requires a very small upfront investment. It’s a popular option among businesses that don’t have thousands of dollars to shell out at once.
  • No long-term commitment - Leasing a great way to “test out” having an ATM on site. If you’re happy with the machine and it’s profitable, you can choose to renew the lease or buy the machine outright. If the arrangement doesn’t work out, you can send the machine back when the lease term expires.
ATM Machine Leasing vs Buying

Renting/Leasing an ATM Machine Cons

  • Higher long-term cost - In the long term, leasing is almost always more expensive than buying. Many business owners don’t realize this because the cost is spread out over many months.
  • Lack of ownership - When the machine isn’t yours, don’t expect total control over things like where it is placed, how often it is serviced and the price of the surcharge. In some cases, the leasing company makes these decisions for you. Again, be sure to read to the lease agreement in advance to find out.

Buying an ATM Overview

When you buy an ATM outright, the machine is yours to operate as you wish. Decide where it is located, how often it is stuffed with cash and how much to charge for each transaction. However, you will need a significant amount of cash upfront for the purchase.

Cost of Buying an ATM

ATM prices have fallen significantly over the last couple decades do to increased competition and better technology. But they’re still a significant investment. Most standalone models fall in the range of $3,000 to $5,000, but refurbished models can be found for around $1,000. Countertop models cost about $1,500, while heavy-duty machines designed for outdoor use often cost $10,000 or more.

Recurring costs include the price of a phone line ($20 to $40 per month) and hiring a professional cash loading service (about $50 per trip) or an armored truck service ($100 to $500 per month). Replacement receipt paper costs about $30 per month. You’ll also want to strongly consider purchasing an extended warranty to cover the cost of repairs.

Buying an ATM Pros

  • Ownership - Again, you’ll have full control of how the ATM is operated. You say where it goes, how often it is filled with cash and how much to charge for each transaction.
  • Long-term costs - You’ll save money over the long term by buying outright. A lease is similar to a loan - you’ll pay extra to spread the payments over a number of months or years.

Buying an ATM Cons

  • Upfront cost - You’ll need to be in a good financial position to shell out the amount of cash needed to purchase an ATM outright. The machines can be expensive.
  • Maintenance/repairs - When you own the machine, you’re on the hook for repairs if anything goes wrong. Budget extra for routine maintenance, too.

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