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EMV chip card liability shift information

EMV stands for Europay MasterCard / Visa. It is a standard designed to prevent a fraudulent transaction from occurring. This technology involves a chip card and a chip card reader. All ATM machines in the US that conduct a MasterCard/Cirrus transaction must be EMV compliant (have a working chip card reader) by October 21, 2016. If an ATM is not EMV compliant (cannot read a chip card) on October 21, 2016 then the ATM owner will be liable for loss from a fraudulent transaction if it occurs at their ATM, not MasterCard. This is a liability shift from MasterCard to the ATM owner. The EMV deadline for VISA cards is still reported to be October 1, 2017. Most newer machines have EMV card readers. Some may need a software upgrade or simply to have EMV enabled in the setup functions. Some older ATMs cannot be upgraded while other require an upgrade kit that can cost as much as $900 plus the cost of a tech to install it. The total could be half the cost of a brand new ATM. One question we get from current ATM owners: What happens if I don't upgrade to EMV? If you do not upgrade your ATM to read a chip card and be EMV compliant, you will be liable for transactions that are reported to be fraudulent at your ATM. MasterCard recommends that all ATMs that are not EMV compliant be unplugged until they are upgraded or replaced by October 21, 2016.

Below is a combination of frequent questions and important information for current ATM owners and new ATM owners. Our intent is to give you as much information about owning and maintaining an ATM as we can. Operating an ATM is usually trouble-free. Replace the money, replace the receipt paper, push a few buttons to access administrative functions, not much to it. But problems can occur. From a Reg E claim, to ATM cash loading mistakes, problems happen, and when they do, you will be glad you bought your ATM from call toll free 888-336-4872

ATM FAQ - Frequent ATM Questions

1. How much money will I make? We don't know exactly because it varies from location. It depends on the type of business the machine is located in. It also depends on the standard of living in the area. Where it costs more to live, higher surcharges are tolerated. You will generally pay a higher surcharge in New York City, than in a small town in Iowa. Another variable is how much of a surcharge you set. It's easy to get a general idea though. Here's an example: How many people do you think will use your ATM in a month? 100, 300, 500? Let's say 300 people will use your ATM in one month. Let's also say you have a $2 surcharge. So, 300 X $2 is $600 a month. Plug in any other figures to get a good idea of your potential. If you have a business that accepts credit cards, you know how high the fees are. An ATM can help lower those fees because you will be conducting less credit card transactions.

2. How much do your ATMs cost? In general, they start at less than $2200 and go up to $15,000. The best sellers are less than $3000.

3. Do you have statistics about ATMs? By statistics, we mean those questions asked about revenue potential. All statistics you read on the Internet include bank ATMs. This skews the information towards banking ATMs and the result is mostly irrelevant information when relating to lower volume locations. Most bank ATMs conduct hundreds of transactions per month while some non bank ATM locations are lucky to get to 100. Mix the two statistics together and the results are skewed towards bank ATMs. The only way to know revenue potential is to use this simple formula: number of transactions X amount of surcharge = money made. 300 x $2 = $600 as per the example above. If your machine costs $3000 to purchase with installation, in 5 months the ATM would be paid for.

4. Where do I get the money to put in the ATM? When you purchase an ATM, you will have to load it with cash for customers to make a transaction withdrawal. You will need to open a business bank account at a bank of your choice to get the money you loaded back by ACH deposits. Go to this same bank and tell them you need bundles of $20 bills to put in an ATM. Most people start with $3000 to $5000. Most ATMs hold around $20,000, although very few ATM owners put that much money in an ATM.

5. Where does the money go that comes out of the ATM and how do I get it back? When someone uses your ATM, they are accessing their debit or credit card account to get an overnight loan from your ATM. Most ATM owners set a surcharge fee for this convenience. Each ATM has a terminal ID and a bank routing number. When someone takes money out of your ATM, the banking networks know what machine did the transaction through these numbers. That's how the banking networks also know where to put the money back the next day, through the routing number. Example: All ATMs settle on banking days at 4:00 pm EST. Money taken out of the ATM before 4:00 pm EST will appear in your bank account the next day. Any money taken out after 4:00 pm will appear the day after. Any money taken out after 4:00 pm EST on a Friday will not show up in your bank account until Monday. Saturday and Sundays are not banking days. All surcharge money is deposited into your bank account once a month. All vault cash you load is returned to you via your bank account, usually the following day.

6. What if I have a problem with my ATM? What if it needs repaired? There are ATM installers and repairmen nationwide. There are also support teams that help troubleshoot any problems before deploying repairmen. We also maintain a database of ATM tech's nationwide. If you are a certified ATM field tech, fill out our form on the home page.

7. Can you mail me all the information you have about all of your ATM machines? All of the information we have is included on our web site. Almost every word on each machine's brochure is included on our web site as well. You can download each machine's brochure on our brochure page if you like. The link is on the right side of this page. The purpose of this web site is to not have to mail out information. Why wait a week when you can read about it or download it now?

8. Are there any fees or charges? We have tried to make ATM processing as low cost as possible. There are some small charges that come from ATM processors however. Some administrative functions such as refilling the machine with money, resetting machine totals, etc. require the ATM to dial out to the processor. This basically amounts to a data phone call, and a .03 cent fee. For example, let's say you filled the machine once a week for a month and reset the total in the machine. The ATM would dial out to the processor 4 times at .03 cents each for a total of .12 cents for the month. There is a $10 network processing fee each month while the ATM is connected to the national network system. That's about .30 cents a day.

9. I want an ATM that works on DSL or wireless. Do you sell those? Yes, we sell those. Our recommendation has always been to stick with a standard phone line. However, we are rapidly moving towards recommending wireless technology. As more phone systems switch to digital, an increase in analog devices having problems communicating will occur. DSL and other digital technologies have the advantage of being faster per transaction, but unless you anticipate a waiting line at your ATM, you really do not need the speed of DSL. As with wireless, additional hardware must be purchased and you would need to have knowledge of IP addresses and networking. Also, DSL is prone to brief outages that can prevent an ATM from completing a transaction. It's so much simpler and cheaper to use a standard phone line. Our recommendation is this: Start off with the standard phone line if one exists. If the ATM can process transactions reliably and without errors, then you are one of the lucky ones. If you have communication errors, or no phone line exists and need one installed, consider a wireless device to take the place of needing a phone line. A wireless device can save hours of troubleshooting ATM communication errors.

10. Can you find me a business to put my ATM in? I heard you could make money doing that. If you want to start a business placing ATMs in businesses you do not own as an investment venture, we really have no information about how to do that. Some of our customers are established ATM companies and are frequent buyers. Many started out with vending routes. We simply sell ATMs at We are not advisors or start up consultants. (Not enough hours in the day and the pay is lousy!) If you already have an ATM business and need to buy more machines or find a better processor, we can do that. We try and devote all of our time to helping storefront business owners purchase an ATM for their customer's use.

Getting Started

We're glad you found and are having a look around. This page is helpful to read before you buy an ATM. It's a great place to get started.


Call to order an ATM to purchase. Call if you have any questions about purchasing an ATM. If you purchased your ATM from, call us for service or repairs first. Click the support links above for more choices of ATM help pages to visit.