How Much Does It Cost to Build Custom Kiosk Software

I’m going to give you some examples of the factors that contribute to the cost of building custom kiosk software and some broad cost ranges on the kiosk software and kiosk hardware.

A common question I get asked in the first few minutes of a call with a potential client looking for custom kiosk software is “how much will this cost me?”

Sometimes people get irritated when I explain that it takes more than a 5-minute conversation in order to really understand their requirements.

First let’s start out with the factors that have the biggest impact on the software costs.  Please keep in mind that our specialty is kiosks for accepting payments.

  • How many kiosks do you plan to deploy?
  • Will your kiosks be accepting payments and if so what form of payments?
  • Does the kiosk need to be EMV or PCI compliant?
  • Does the kiosk need to dispense change (cash and/or coin)?
  • Does the kiosk need to support any other user interface devices (i.e. barcode scanners, RFID, webcams, etc…)?
  • Does the kiosk need to interface with an API or other backend accounting system?
  • Does the kiosk need to be able to continue operating during an internet outage?
  • What are the reporting requirements?
  • What are the administrative requirements (setting up kiosks, changing pricing, etc.)
  • and many more…

These are just a few of the questions that help us determine the cost of your custom kiosk software.

Let’s get to the numbers since that’s probably the reason you’re still reading this article.  Please keep in mind these are typical ranges for a custom kiosk application.

The cost for the kiosk hardware typically runs in the $5K-$15K range depending on the payment devices/peripherals, if custom engineering is required and order quantities.

The cost for the custom kiosk software has a much broader range because there are so many factors. This is why it’s critical to define your requirements and set a budget for your custom kiosk project before beginning the design phase.

  • Kiosk App Only
  • We develop your kiosk application based around your reporting backend
  • Perfect if you already have reporting in place
  • Single location deployments
  • Accept cash and credit
  • Dispense change and print receipts
  • Real-time integration with your API
  • Typical timeline:
    2-4 months
  • Typical Cost: $60,000-$100,000
  • Request Estimate
  • Kiosk App + Backend
  • We develop your kiosk application along with a reporting backend
  • Perfect for starting from scratch
  • A few location deployments
  • Includes detailed transaction reports
  • Same as previous tier, plus we develop your reporting website
  • Typical timeline:
    4-6 months
  • Typical Cost: $100,000-$150,000
  • Request Estimate
  • Large Scale Deployment
  • Designed for many locations and a large number of kiosks
  • Perfect for businesses planning large expansions
  • Many location deployments
  • Same as previous tier, but designed for large scale deployments
  • Typical timeline:
    6+ months
  • Typical Cost:
    Starting at $150,000
  • Request Estimate

Your next question is probably why does custom kiosk software cost so much?  The answer boils down to the simple fact that the software is by definition custom and doesn’t have a lot of reuse.

When we develop your custom kiosk software you end up owning the IP (intellectual property).  We don’t just grab someone else’s custom software and make a few tweaks.  Your software is custom made and a perfect fit solution.

If these numbers scare you then your best bet is to find a turnkey kiosk application that already does exactly what you need.

If a turnkey solution doesn’t exist because your idea is unique and you’re willing to allocate the budget, then a perfect-fit custom solution is definitely what you need.

You can learn more about our Custom Kiosk Software Development Process and please contact us to request an estimate.

Andrew Savala
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Author: Andrew Savala

Andrew Savala is the CEO of RedSwimmer, with a background in designing and deploying complex payment kiosk systems. Andrew offers high-value, strategic consulting services to companies looking to develop their payment kiosks.