ATMs: Types, Fuctions & Tips

The widespread use of payment cards has led to the emergence and development of networks of devices for their service. The main device for servicing payment cards is an ATM. ATMs are now found almost everywhere: on the street, in shops, entertainment centers. On this page, we will tell you in detail about the capabilities of ATMs and teach you how to use them.

What is an ATM?

ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) is a device for dispensing cash on plastic cards and performing a number of other operations. Working with it is built in a dialogue mode: it asks questions, and you choose one of the proposed options by pressing the option buttons. The language of the dialogue (menu) is chosen by the client independently. Usually, the ATM menu is available in the language of the country where the ATM is located + 1-2 international languages, usually English.

What are ATM machines?

Depending on the time of access to the ATM, they are usually divided into:

Depending on the type of placement, ATMs can be:

Why do you need an ATM?

Thanks to the ATM, the bank’s clients 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 from 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 from any banks. The main thing here is that the payment system of the card matches the payment systems that are served by the ATM. Usually, their logos are indicated on the front side of the ATM so that a person understands whether he or she can use this device with his/her card or not;
  2. Top up the card. Card replenishment is available only in those ATMs that have a cash-in function. Usually, the replenishment is made by crediting to the ATM a pack of bills up to 40 pieces at a time or separately;
  3. Pay utility bills, mobile, internet and other utility costs. Most often, this service is provided without a commission. In this case, you can use a bank card and pay from its account, or you can pay for these services without using a card by loading cash into an ATM for payment. This is very convenient in a situation if you forgot your bank card, etc;
  4. Open a debit card. A modern ATM allows you to leave an application for a debit card in a matter of minutes. The service is available to existing customers of the bank who have used their own card when working with an ATM. The client will be informed about its readiness by phone to which the valid card is attached;
  5. Apply for a credit card. You can leave a request for a credit card at an ATM. In such an application, you only need to indicate the desired amount. The bank will have all other data because the client is identified by a valid card in use;
  6. Open a deposit. Using ATMs of some banks, you can open a remote deposit and immediately replenish it in cash or by transfer from an inserted card. The client is identified by it;
  7. Transfer money from card to card. Until recently, interbank or intrabank 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. A transfer to another person’s card can be made at any ATM with the indication of the third-party card number, the transfer amount;
  8. Connect additional services. For example, mobile banking, internet banking. In many banks, ATMs allow you to activate and deactivate additional card services. It is convenient and saves the client from unnecessary office visits;
  9. Get one-time passwords for logging into the Internet Bank without creating a permanent login password. At the bank’s ATM, you can get a one-time login and password to enter the Internet bank. This is convenient if the client does not want to create a personal account with a permanent password, but it is not so secure.

How do I withdraw cash from an ATM?

Cash withdrawal is the main function of the ATM. Below we will talk about the steps that you need to follow to receive cash from your payment card account.

Life situations. What to do, if…

  1. … the card was stolen. Immediately contact the bank that issued your payment card with a request to block it. There may be a charge for this service.
    If you use the services of Internet banking or SMS banking, you can block the card using these services, i.e. via the Internet or via SMS from your mobile phone;
  2. … you have lost or forgot your PIN. Contact the bank branch and draw up an application for card reissue. You don’t need to block it. However, you will have to return it in exchange for a new one;
  3. … the card was taken by the ATM. You must immediately contact the bank that issued your payment card with an identity document and a statement in which you must indicate all the card details and the location of the ATM. Advice: if your card was arrested by someone else’s ATM, do not waste time. If you do not apply after 7 days from the date of card withdrawal (for some banks, this period is reduced to 3 days), it will be destroyed. In this case, you will have to issue a new card (your money remains completely safe on the card account). If your card is withheld at an ATM in a foreign country, you also need to contact the bank that issued your payment card;
  4. … the ATM refused to service the card. Make sure that: the card has not expired; there are enough funds on the card to complete the transaction; there are no limits on the use of funds on the card; the card has no physical damage.

Things to remember when using an ATM

ATMs and their users are natural targets for attackers. Therefore, news about cyber-attacks and fraud with bank cards comes regularly. To steal money, criminals often do not need to break into the ATM itself; they just need to deceive the people who use it.

There are different types of ATM attacks. The first of these is the so-called network attacks, which are aimed at stealing the device from the safe. The aim of the attackers is to get the ATM to dispense money. According to a study by Positive Technologies, 85% of ATMs are vulnerable to attacks of this type. On average, a criminal who gains access to a bank’s network takes 15 minutes to successfully attack.

The second type of attacks is aimed directly at bank customers and their bank cards. In this case, criminals seek to copy the payment data of the card – to obtain information that will allow them to steal money. Unfortunately, absolutely any ATM is vulnerable to attacks of this type, so the owners of bank cards must think about protecting their funds on their own.

Below are some tips to help you avoid losing money.

Better to use ATMs inside the bank

For many years, criminals have been copying card data using physical overlays on card readers – skimmers. It is easier to install such a device or a miniature video camera for reading PIN codes at an ATM located in a public place – for example, in a shopping center. It is much more difficult to manipulate a device installed in a bank office: ATMs there are under constant surveillance – therefore, if possible, you should use them.

Check ATM machine before use

In any case, you need to carefully study the ATM before inserting a card into it. Check if there are any foreign objects on the card reader. Skimming pads are external equipment, usually they are not attached very tightly (with tape or glue). If you touch the card reader and feel that it is not very securely attached, this is a sign that such an ATM cannot be used.

But if the skimmer is not found, this does not mean that you can relax. Criminals often install hidden video cameras on the ATM, so cover the keypad with your hand when entering the PIN code: this will further reduce the likelihood of theft.

Analyze the situation around the ATM

If you notice a person who comes too close to you or another ATM user, this should raise suspicion. In this case, it is better to interrupt the operation and look for another ATM.

In addition, it is worth suspecting something amiss if a device for entering a PIN code is located right at the door of a 24-hour ATM area. Usually, to get inside, it is enough to swipe the card through the magnetic lock: the door should not ask for any PIN-codes.

If there is someone else’s bank card in the ATM itself or next to it, you do not need to touch it. This is a common trick of fraudsters: after a person touches such a “forgotten” card, its “owner” appears from around the corner, who charges of theft and demands compensation here and now. If something like this happens, you need to immediately call the police.

Do not respond to phone requests to use an ATM

One type of phone scam is designed to trick the victim into inserting a card into a hacked ATM machine. If a “bank representative” calls you and asks you to “go to the ATM” and perform any actions “to increase security”, “to change your password”, etc., the conversation must be terminated immediately.