Selecting an ATM Location: Factors to Consider

There are multiple conditions to consider before selecting a location for an ATM. 

People rely on ATMs for quick cash and other banking services, no matter where they are; however, some sites are certainly more lucrative for Independent ATM Deployers (IADs) to place their terminals.

Factors to Consider When Placing an ATM

ATMs must be located where potential consumers live, work, or shop. Since ATMs are many people’s only point of contact with their Financial Institution, machines should also be located in safe, secure and typically well-light or highly-trafficked locations.

In addition to traffic, be sure to account for power supply, connectivity, and parking.

Once an ATM is placed, continue to monitor its performance over time.  As establishments in the area change, foot and/or traffic patterns may change also.

Top Suggestions for ATM Locations

The following suggestions are typically more lucrative solutions for where to place an ATM:


While higher-end restaurants or bars may yield higher bills that are typically paid via credit card, more casual locations are fantastic places for ATMs.  People are more likely to pay for a meal in cash when the price of the meal is lower. Pro Tip: Consider the cleanliness of an area, as unsanitary locations may attract rodents that can damage delicate machine parts.

Sports Arena/Entertainment Venue

Cash is king at arenas and amphitheaters, as many vendors do not accept credit cards.  Aside from the constant foot traffic, prices are often much higher than patrons anticipate, prompting multiple visits to the ATM in a single evening.

Hotels & Resorts

People visiting hotels are often away from home, and therefore, away from their home bank.  They may not have access to their bank in the city they are visiting, or may just want the convenience of being able to take cash out without having to find the nearest bank.  

Hotels offer an additional potential stream of revenue through Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC).  DCC is a process in which the amount of a Visa or Mastercard transaction is converted by an ATM to the currency of the payment card’s country of issue at the point of sale.

How ATM Location Affects Bottom Line

Operating an ATM fleet costs time and resources, so it is important to be strategic when selecting where to place your terminal(s).  Typically, an IAD can anticipate one to three percent of the daily foot traffic passing in front of an ATM will utilize it. For example, if 1000 people pass the ATM daily, the terminal would be expected to process between 10 and 30 transactions.  This equates to roughly 300 to 900 transactions per month, or $900-$2700 in monthly revenue.

It is important to understand the geography of the potential ATM site prior to committing a terminal to a location.  Study the market and strategically determine the most lucrative option(s). Once placing a terminal, continue monitoring for any increases or decreases in profitability to adjust your approach accordingly.  And, as always, be on the lookout for competition. When a location sees one successful ATM, competitors will follow.