What is an ATM?

Millions of people use ATMs around the world, it is difficult to imagine the streets of cities without them, and even more, their absence often causes us discomfort. We will tell you about various kinds of ATMs, how they work and what they can be used for.

How ATMs work

An ATM is a data input device that works through a host processor. It allows the cardholder to access the bank’s network through an ATM. Most often, the host processors are owned by the banks themselves or other financial institutions, although there are cases where they are owned by independent service providers.

The most common ATMs have one cash dispenser, but sometimes they are equipped with two at once. Such ATMs are installed in places with high traffic to reduce the likelihood that all cash will be withdrawn quickly. Two ATMs are also needed to issue two currencies at once – such functions are popular in places with high business activity and in the city center.

Why do I need an ATM?

Thanks to the ATM, bank customers can avoid visiting the office, because it is quite capable of replacing the office in most cases. You can use an ATM to:

  1. Withdraw cash on your bank card. Moreover, this can be done in the bank’s own ATM, which is the card issuer or in the device of another bank. ATMs accept cards of any banks. The main thing here is that the payment system of the card corresponds to the payment systems that are serviced by an ATM. Usually their logos are indicated on the front side of the ATM, so you understand whether you can use this device with your card or not;
  2. Replenish the card. Card replenishment is available only in those ATMs where there is a cache-in function. Typically, replenishment is done by crediting a bundle of banknotes up to 40 pieces at a time or separately to the ATM;
  3. Pay for utilities, mobile, Internet and other utilities. Most often this service is provided without a commission. You can use a bank card and at the same time pay from its account, or you can pay for these services without using a card by loading cash into the ATM for payment. This is very convenient in a situation if you forget your bank card, etc;
  4. Open a debit card. A modern ATM allows you to leave a request for a debit card issue in minutes. The service is available to existing customers of the bank who used their own card when working with an ATM. Its readiness to the client will be notified by telephone, to which a valid card is attached;
  5. Get a credit card. At the ATM you can leave a request for a credit card. In such an application, only the desired amount should be indicated. The bank will have all other data because the client is identified by the current card in use;
  6. Open a deposit account. Some ATMs allow you can open a remote deposit and immediately replenish it in cash or by transfer from an inserted card;
  7. Transfer money from card to card. Until recently, interbank or intra-bank transfers by card number were one of the most popular services at ATMs. Today, everyone transfers money through Internet banking or special services but some customers still use this service. Transfer to another person’s card can be made at any ATM, indicating the number of a third-party card, the amount of transfer;
  8. Connect additional services. For example, mobile banking, online banking. In many banks, ATMs allow you to connect and disconnect additional services on the card. This is convenient and saves the client from unnecessary visits to the office;
  9. Receive one-time passwords for entering the Internet bank without creating a permanent password for entry. You can get a one-time login and password at the ATM of the bank to enter the Internet bank. This is convenient if the client does not want to create a personal account with a constant password.

Use of ATMs in the world

There are no exact statistics on the number of ATMs used in the world. However, according to the ATM Industry Association, more than 2.5 million ATMs have been installed in the world.

For example, Bank of America has over 16,000 ATMs nationwide, making it one of the largest bank ATM network in the United States.  At the same time, Colchester Bank has only 1 ATM location – 218 Lower Mountain View Drive Colchester, Vermont 05446.

Varieties of ATMs

There are several types of ATMs:

  • Recycle. This is the most modern device that works on the issuance and reception of money;
  • Cash-in. Terminals that only accept money. They cannot be used to withdraw cash on the card;

Classic ATMs that only give out money. You can not replenish the card using them.

How to avoid problems when using an ATM?

All recommendations for working with ATMs are simple but really important to prevent the most common types of fraud. Here are the most basic ones.

  1. You should avoid using lonely-standing ATMs in poorly lit places. It is safest to use ATMs located in the lobby of banks: these premises are always equipped with video surveillance, so that attackers prefer less secure and guarded locations;
  2. Make sure that no one is standing right behind you at the time of the operation. Often, ATMs are equipped with small mirrors just so that you can make sure that noone is peeping;
  3. Check if the device itself causes suspicions: whether there are traces of glue or electrical tape on the surface, or if any elements are loose. This may be a sign that the attackers tried to install skimmers (devices made to match the color of the ATM; they read the cards when they are received, remove the PIN code using the keyboard overlay or the camera installed next to it, which allows the attacker to duplicate cards). When entering a PIN code, cover the keyboard with your hand or wallet;
  4. If your card is stuck in an ATM, immediately call your bank. Block the card, and then you can already call the support service number indicated on the ATM. Beware of the advice of people nearby, such as “let me help you” – this is often an attempt by scammers to distract you and gain access to your card, the PIN code of which you have already entered;
  5. Do not leave the ATM if the ATM delays the issuance of cash – sometimes the process takes a long time. If the ATM does not give out money, stay in place and immediately call your bank, and then you can already call the support service number indicated on the ATM.

Where to report if you have problems with an ATM?

When using an ATM, many unpleasant situations can occur:

  • The device freezes and does not return a card;
  • It does not give out money
  • It gives out money for another amount
  • It does not accept money, although it has the cash-in function;
  • It gives errors when performing some operation.

If you have a complaint about the operation of the ATM, there are some difficulties with the device, you need to call the bank that owns the device, give its number and report any problems.

If the ATM is located in the bank branch, you need to call the employee and report problems with the device directly to him or her.

Category: Finance