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Why It’s Wiser to Use ATMs (Automated Teller Machines)

July 9th, 2010

how-to-use-atm.jpgUsing ATMs instead of indoor or drive through banking is a wiser choice for today’s consumer. There was a time when people feared using ATMs due to a variety of security reasons. However, from a practical standpoint, this is no longer much of an issue.

All banks have policies for their services. While many are similar, others are different. Check your bank’s requirements and restrictions to learn what services are offered with each option.

Using ATMs is better because they offer a variety of benefits, many of which are not common knowledge. ATMs are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You’re no longer restricted to “normal banking hours.” ATMs also allow for several transactions in one session in one spot.

ATMs are plentiful, meaning more convenience and accessibility. It is best to use your bank’s ATMs due to additional fees charged when you use other banks’ ATMs. Often, fees are charged on both ends.

Increasingly, more people are using cash. ATMs are easy for obtaining or depositing cash. There is no better way to make cash transactions than using an ATM. Additionally, many of them now provide further services such as purchasing postage stamps, transferring funds between accounts, making payments on loans or the bank’s credit cards, and acquiring printed mini-statements on demand.

ATMs offer immediate posting of deposits and withdrawals plus the ability to cash checks without having to wait several days for the money to become available. Frequently, when banking inside or at a drive-up window (both are treated by most banks as inside banking), there is a waiting period before funds can be accessed.

Many ATMs allow you to set a variety of other preferences. You can set the amount of money you’re allowed to withdraw from an ATM in any 24 hour period, change your PIN number, and set your “Fast Cash” or “Easy Money” amount. This allows you to pre-program a certain amount of cash that the bank dispenses to you every time you withdraw money, immediately ending the transaction record and saving you precious time. You can also pre-set your ATM for language and receipt options, i.e. “always give,” “never give,” or “prompt each time.”

ATMs have become more popular because banks have taken steps to assure their safety. However, it is still wise to follow a few rules when using this convenient venue for obtaining your cash. Always be aware of your surroundings. Try to use ATMs that are well lit and visible. It’s better to use ATMs that are not located on a corner, as someone could be lurking around the corner outside your range of detection.

If you must use ATMs late at night, take someone with you for added security. When using drive-up ATMs, make sure all car doors are locked and all windows are rolled up except for the one that you need to reach through to use the ATM.

When making a withdrawal from an ATM, don’t stand there to count your cash afterward. Be sure no one is close enough to be able to glean your personal information as you make your transaction.

“Shoulder surfing” has risen in popularity because people have become more careful about selecting PIN numbers and other identifying information, making it harder for thieves to access your account(s). If a bank assigns you a PIN, almost every bank allows you to change it. It’s better to change that one to something easy to remember without having to write it down or write any prompts to help you remember it.

ATMs have come a long way since they were first introduced. They rank high on the “additional benefits” list of smart, convenient, and quicker banking.


This article was supplied by Judith Rae from Constant Content.

Related article: How to Avoid ATM Fees


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