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Automated Teller Machine (ATM)


An Automated Teller Machine (ATM) is an electronic banking device that allows customers to manage common financial transactions without the aid of a human teller. These transactions can include withdrawals, deposits, balance inquiries, and transfers between accounts. ATMs are typically owned by banks and financial institutions and are accessible 24/7.


The phonetic transcription of “Automated Teller Machine (ATM)” is: /ɔːˈtoʊmeɪtɪd ‘telər məˈʃiːn (eɪ tiː ɛm)/

Key Takeaways

  1. Convenience: ATMs provide 24-hour access to banking, allowing customers to perform banking transactions such as withdrawing cash, checking account balances and depositing checks or cash at any time, anywhere.
  2. Global Accessibility: With an ATM card, users have the ability to access their bank accounts from ATMs around the world. This makes traveling, particularly abroad, a lot easier and more convenient.
  3. Self-Service Banking: ATMs provide the ability to perform banking transactions without the need for a human bank teller. This not only frees up time for bank tellers to focus on more complex services but also provides users with a quick, efficient way of banking.


The Automated Teller Machine (ATM) plays a crucial role in the financial sector since it offers consumers a fast, efficient, and convenient way to perform banking transactions. These machines provide 24/7 service which means customers can access banking services even beyond the regular banking hours. Key services offered by ATMs include cash withdrawal, fund transfer, balance inquiry, deposit, and some even provide mini statements. This has revolutionized the banking industry by reducing queues and congestion in the banking halls, thus promoting efficiency, while also making it possible for banks to reach out to more remote areas with less infrastructure, thereby expanding their customer base. As a result, ATMs are an indispensable tool in modern finance and business.


The purpose of an Automated Teller Machine, commonly referred to as an ATM, goes beyond the convenience of allowing customers to withdraw cash without having to go inside a bank. It serves as a multi-functional machine which allows users to handle several different types of financial transactions independently, at their discretion. For instance, they can deposit funds, transfer money between accounts, check account balances, or even pay bills. ATMs create an avenue for consumers and bank customers to perform these banking tasks on their own, at any time, thereby eliminating the need for direct interaction with bank employees during the regular banking hours. What gives the ATM its vitality in the structure of financial services is its accessibility and versatility. ATMs are strategically located in various places like convenience stores, gas stations, malls, and even in remote areas, making it possible for customers to have continual access to banking services. This means that users can carry out transactions even after the banking hall is closed or irrespective of their geographic location. More technologically advanced ATMs now also offer services like providing account information, issuing new debit cards instantly, and communicating with customer service via a video call, further increasing the convenience to users. The use of ATMs highlights the evolution of financial services as it has become a benchmark for modern banking services.


1. Banking Services: One of the most common real world examples of an Automated Teller Machine or ATM is when customers visit banks such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo or Citibank to withdraw cash, deposit checks, or check their account balance. These tasks are performed using an ATM, which is installed by the bank and their service providers. 2. Retail Shopping: ATMs are often found in shopping centers and retail stores across the world. For instance, Walmart, Walgreens, and other big-chain stores can have in-house ATMs to make cash transactions easier for customers. In some cases, such ATMs could also offer cash-back services and bill payments. 3. Public Utilities: Public places like airports, train stations, and tourist attractions often have ATMs to facilitate cash withdrawals for travelers. For example, if you are at London’s Heathrow Airport or New York’s Times Square, you will easily find an ATM for immediate access to cash.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is an Automated Teller Machine (ATM)?
An Automated Teller Machine (ATM) is a specialized computerized device that allows customers to perform banking transactions, such as cash withdrawal, deposits, fund transfers, or account information enquiries, without the need for a human cashier or teller.
How does an ATM work?
When a user inserts a card into an ATM, the machine identifies the account associated with the card. The user then enters a Personal Identification Number (PIN). If the PIN matches the information on the card, the user can proceed to perform transactions.
Is it safe to use an ATM?
Yes, it is generally safe to use an ATM. However, customers are advised to use ATMs situated in well-lit and open areas. It’s also important to protect your PIN from view and to check for any suspicious devices on or around the ATM.
Are ATM services available 24 hours a day?
Yes. ATMs are typically available 24/7 to provide services such as cash withdrawals and deposits, among other things.
Are there charges for using an ATM?
This depends on the bank or the ATM owner’s policy. Some banks do not charge their customers for using their ATMs while others do. When using an ATM of a different bank or in a different country, the customer is usually charged a fee.
What should I do if my card is retained by an ATM?
If an ATM retains your card, contact the bank immediately. The customer service number is usually displayed on the ATM. This could happen due to various reasons, including a mistake in entering the PIN multiple times.
Can I use my credit card at an ATM?
Yes, you can use your credit card to make cash advances through an ATM. However, interest rates for cash advances are typically higher than those for regular purchases.
What is the daily limit for ATM withdrawal?
The daily withdrawal limit can vary from bank to bank and from person to person, based on the account type and the customer’s profile with the bank. It’s best to contact your bank for detail regarding daily withdrawal limits.
What do I do if I suspect fraudulent activity on my account through ATM transactions?
If you suspect that your account has been subject to fraudulent activity, contact your bank immediately. Ensure to check your bank statements regularly and keep track of your ATM receipts.
: Can I use an ATM abroad?
: Yes, you can typically use an ATM abroad but be aware that there could be extra charges involved. These charges usually include a foreign transaction fee and an operator fee from the bank whose ATM you are using.

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