The Small Business Times

How Much Money Does An ATM Hold?

How much money does an ATM hold? Who refills ATM machines? And how often are they refilled? These are interesting questions and possible ones we’ve all asked ourselves at some point. But what are the answers to these questions?

The most that one ATM can hold is approximately $280,000. “ATM” is an acronym for Automated Teller Machine. And it’s a machine that enables individuals to withdraw cash and more without visiting a bank. Most ATMs accept debit or credit cards for deposits, transfers, and withdrawals. ATM machines come in different sizes. Therefore, some machines can hold more than others. 

In fact, the quantity of money each ATM holds differs depending on various criteria. The criteria include the model and the number of cassettes the ATM machine has, and more. All these restrictions are in place for practical and safety reasons.

With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about how much money an ATM can hold.

How Much Money Does an ATM Hold?

The maximum amount of money that an ATM can hold varies from machine to machine.

In the United States, the average ATM machine can hold around $200,000 at a time. Furthermore, ATMs with more than two cassettes can hold up to $280,000. 

Some smaller in-store ATMs can hold 1000 notes or $20,000 in $20 notes. However, in rare instances, an ATM can contain less than $10,000.

Who Puts Money into ATM machines?

ATM machines installed in a bank are typically refilled by bank employees. On the other hand, ATMs outside the bank can be refilled in various ways.

If a company or bank owns an ATM, they have the option of refilling it on their own. While this isn’t always the best option, it is the most cost-effective strategy for ATM refills.                             

Part of the issue is having enough cash to refill the machine before running out of money. This requires ATM owners to have a considerable amount of cash on hand. Another challenge is determining the best time to refill an ATM machine to avoid possible safety risks.

The logistics and safety challenges involved in refilling the ATM are why ATM owners consider hiring cash management companies. These specialized companies then handle the cash and refilling of ATMs on their behalf.

The other option is the ATM owner can partner with an ATM provider to arrange ATM refills. 

Cash Management Companies

Hiring a cash management company can be costly, but it does relieve them of the strain. The cost of a refill varies depending on the type of machine, amount of money it carries, and its location.

The best time to refill an ATM machine varies from one ATM to another. It should be done at the safest possible time to not jeopardize the safety of the employees and money.

Regardless of the specific requirements, the cash management company will have all the information about a particular ATM to plan when it should be refilled.

Based on the number of previous transactions, they’ll also know how much money they’ll need to put into the machine when it’s time to refill it. Of course, when ATMs are refilled, the standard procedure is to add an extra 10% cash just in case the machine is busier than before.

In case anything goes wrong, cash management companies provide insurance coverage. If something goes wrong when the company refills the ATM, the ATM owner will not incur any losses.

It may be more cost-effective for ATM owners to refill an ATM themselves. However, the peace of mind that comes with leaving it in the hands of trusted specialists has its advantages.

How Often are ATMs Refilled?

This varies a great deal depending on how busy the location of the ATM machine is. Furthermore, the company’s capacity to refill the ATM is dependent on the cash on hand. But it’s common practice for ATMs to be refilled as often as necessary.

A bank’s ATMs are often refilled daily. However, ATMs in a public location outside a bank are usually refilled at least once a week.

Suppose a single ATM machine in a low-crime location runs out of money. In that case, it may be refilled on weekends to avoid any inconvenience. However, other ATMs will be refilled during business operating hours and days.

Today, most ATMs have systems to alert owners or cash management companies when the ATM is running low on cash. The ATM owner can also check the amount of money in an ATM before it runs out in real-time using their phone. And they can keep track of the number and type of transactions taking place at the ATM.

Before an ATM runs out of cash, the system will message the refill company. After that, the machine will disburse all the money in each cassette. The ATM will stop working when all the cassettes are empty.

The ATM owner or cash management company will then refill in this case.

How Much Cash is Required to Refill an ATM? 

The amount of cash required to fill an ATM is determined by three factors.

  1. The ATM Machine’s Capacity

This depends on the type of ATM or cash cassette that a particular ATM has. Some ATMs include a fixed cassette designed for ATMs with a low cash capacity.

Then there are ATMs with cassettes that can be removed. These ATMs are typically in busier places and may contain a large volume of cash.

  1. The Amount Required to Meet Supply and Demand

In retail areas, you’ll primarily find ATMs with easy-to-load dispensers that may have varying capacities and durability depending on usage. Most ATMs in retail locations only carry a few thousand dollars. They are refilled daily to reduce the likelihood of theft.

A typical store, bar, or restaurant ATM will typically carry $2000 to $5000 in $20 notes.

  1. How Often Companies Want to Restock ATMs

Most ATM owners may want to restock daily to keep up with the transaction volume and withdrawals. 

The average ATM withdrawal frequency is between 100 and 200 times each month, depending on the ATM’s location. Therefore, it may be higher or lower than average in some instances.

Bear in mind that these are estimations rather than exact figures.

As a result, ATM owners would want to refill busy machines daily to cover the typical volume of withdrawals and transactions. Companies will usually also refill ATMs and replace receipt paper regularly to sustain the machine’s upkeep.


One ATM differs from another. And restrictions experienced at each machine are dictated by factors such as capacity, location, supply, and demand. Determining when your local machines are refilled and how much they can hold at a time is helpful. 

Whether you need to draw cash or are merely interested in how much money an ATM can hold, it’s crucial to know. Because if an ATM is out of money, you’ll find yourself unable to withdraw cash when you need it.