The ATM machine has become an intrinsic part of modern life. Like other automated machines, ATM machines allow transactions to be completed without the aid of a human worker. As a result, ATM transactions are not dependent on the dexterity or timeliness of a human teller.
The ATM machine was originally created in the 1930s.
The inventor who developed the ATM machine desired to make a machine that would allow bank customers to withdraw money from the bank after normal banking hours. When vouchers were inserted into the ATM machine, the machine dispensed cash. The vouchers were made of paper and could be purchased from the bank during banking hours. The value of the voucher was the same as its purchase price. For instance, a $10 voucher was purchased by the banking customer for $10.
When a voucher was inserted into the ATM machine, the machine “read” the amount of the voucher and dispensed a cash amount that equaled the voucher value. The ATM machine was located in the foyer of the bank and could be accessed after the bank had closed. Use of the ATM machine allowed banking customers to access cash whenever they needed it. Nevertheless, the ATM machine was not well liked by the banking customers of the 1930s. They were unaccustomed to interacting with automated machinery. They preferred the customer service of a human worker.
After a six-month trial at the bank, the ATM machine was abandoned.
Few customers wanted to use the machine. Consequently, the ATM machine was not considered beneficial. The machine did not resurface until the 1970s. Its use quickly became widespread in Europe. Foreign ATM customers were more apt to embrace the automated technology that their early American counterparts had rejected.
By the 1980s, the ATM machine was being used in New York. Eventually, the technology spread throughout the United States. Nowadays, there is an ATM machine on practically every corner. In fact, ATM machines are more popular than banks throughout most metropolitan areas.
Banking customers who use ATM machines are no longer restricted to cash withdrawals.
The customers can also check account balances or transfer money between accounts. However, ATM customers must have an ATM card and a valid personal identification number to perform an ATM transaction. The ATM card is issued to the cardholder by the financial institution with which the cardholder has an account. Often, several accounts are linked to the same ATM card. For example, if a bank customer has a checking account and a savings account at the same bank, he may have only one ATM card. The card is used to access both accounts.
When an ATM customer desires to use an ATM machine, he inserts his ATM card into the ATM machine.
He is then prompted by the ATM machine to enter his personal identification number. The personal identification number, which is often abbreviated as “PIN,” is a four-digit number that is assigned to the ATM card that is being used. A unique PIN is assigned to the card prior to use, and the card cannot be used to perform ATM transactions if the PIN is not known by the ATM customer.
After the ATM customer enters his PIN, he selects the type of transaction that he would like to perform. Nevertheless, cash withdrawals may not exceed the available balance in the associated account. In addition, balance transfers can only be performed if the accounts involved are both linked to the same ATM card.
ATM customers are usually charged a small fee for using an ATM machine. The fee allows the owner of the ATM machine to profit from the machine’s usage. Transactions performed through bank-owned ATM machines are typically free to customers who have accounts with the owning bank.