What is an atm?

What is an Automated Teller Machine (ATM)?
ATM stands for Automated Teller Machine. It’s a specialized computer that makes it convenient to manage your money. For example, almost all ATMs allow you to withdraw money, and many allow you to make deposits. At some ATMs, you can print a statement (a record of your account activity or transactions); check your account balances (the amount of money in your accounts right now); transfer money between your accounts; and even purchase stamps. You can usually access the most services at an ATM that’s operated by your own bank.

What Are the Parts of an ATM?

The Card Reader on an ATM is where you put your card in to get started.

Icon of an ATM with the card reader zoomed out

The Keypad on an ATM is where you enter your PIN and the amount you want to deposit or withdrawal.

Icon of an ATM with the keypad zoomed out

The Screen on an ATM is where all of the information is displayed. It can even be used in place of the keypad.

Icon of an ATM with the screen zoomed out

The Money Dispenser is where the cash comes out of the ATM.

Icon of an ATM with the money dispenser zoomed out

The Receipt Printer is where your receipts and statements will be printed.

Icon of an ATM with the receipt dispenser zoomed out

Why use ATMs?
ATMs are a safe and easy way to manage your money. There are millions of ATMs worldwide and you can use many ATMs 24 hours a day, 7 days week. Some allow you to select the language you want to use.

Is there a fee for using an ATM?
Check with your bank to see if they charge any ATM fees to customers. Usually there isn’t a fee to use one of your banks ATMs but almost all banks do charge a fee to non-customers who use their ATMs. Keep in mind that even though using an ATM may cost you money, it’s typically less expensive than using a check cashing service.

How do you use an ATM?
To operate an ATM, you insert an ATM or debit card and enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN). Your PIN is a secret password that you create.

Then, follow the onscreen directions and select the banking service you require (deposit, withdrawal, transfer funds, etc.).

icon of an atm

atm security tips

Because most ATMs give out cash and many accept deposits, it makes sense to be alert and aware of your surroundings whenever you use an ATM. Here are some personal safety tips when using an ATM:

  • Report a lost or stolen ATM card to your bank right away.
  • Don’t leave your ATM Card in your car.
  • Don’t lend your ATM Card to anyone.
  • Keep copies of your ATM receipts.
  • If you get a new ATM card, destroy the old one.
  • Use ATMs in well lit, public areas where people are around.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • If it looks like someone has messed with the ATM, don’t use it.
  • Keep your ATM Card and Card Number hidden.
  • Cover the keypad when putting in your ATM PIN.
  • After you’re done, take your ATM Card, cash and printed documents.
  • Put your ATM Card and cash away before your leave.
  • Keep your doors locked and engine running at a drive-up ATM.
  • Pick an ATM PIN that is easy for you to remember.
  • Don’t use any ATM PIN information that appears in your wallet.
  • Never write down your ATM PIN. Memorize it.
  • Never tell anyone your ATM PIN.

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