IntroductionATM is abbreviated form of the term 'Automated Teller Machine' which is a computerized machine. It enables a bank customer to access his/her bank account without visiting the bank branch and carry out specified financial transactions including cash withdrawal. Presently there are about 2 lakhs ATMs installed in India. The first ATM in India was introduced by the HSBC bank at Mumbai in the year 1987 and ICICI was the first bank to introduce mobile ATM in India in the year 2002.
Advantages of ATMsThe following are some of the important advantages of using ATMs -
How ATMs workThe ATMs consists of mainly two input devices namely card reader and keypad. It also consists of four output devices namely speaker, display screen, receipt printer and cash depositor. The card reader reads data from the card when it is inserted or swiped in the ATM and passes on to the host processor (server). The card is recognized when PIN is keyed in. All ATMs are connected to the host processor (server) through internet which provides communication between ATM and host processor. The host processor checks these details with the bank and after matching the details the host processor sends the approval code to the ATM machine for transferring the cash.
Services available at ATMsThe services provided by ATMs may vary from bank to bank and depend on the type of machine installed also. However the following types of services are most commonly offered at the bank ATMs -
How to transact at ATMsThe following are the basic features of transactions at bank ATMs -
What is PINPersonal Identification Number or PIN is a numeric password issued by the banks at the time of issue of ATM card. However it is sent by post or handed over to the customer separately. This PIN issued by the banks has to be reset to a new PIN by the customer. Most banks require the customers to change the PIN during the first use itself. The PIN should not be written on the ATM card or the card holder as in such cases the ATM card can be misused if the same is lost or stolen.
Important facts about ATMsSome of the important important facts about the ATMs are as follows -
White label ATMsATMs set up, owned and operated by non-banks are called White Label ATMs. Non-bank ATM operators are authorized by the Reserve Bank of India under Payment & Settlement Systems Act, 2007. In white label ATMs, scenario, logo displayed on ATM machine in ATM premises pertain to WLA operator instead of a bank.
New developments/initiatives in ATMs
ConclusionATMs offer hassle free service 24X7 and are conveniently located at traditional locations like bank premises as well as at non-traditional locations like supermarkets, airports and shopping malls etc. However sometimes ATMs may be off-line in case the system is down. Also fee is charged by banks to use ATMs of other banks beyond specified limit. Further it requires extra alertness on the part of the customer to maintain security. However the use of ATMs is increasing day be day and newer features are being added by banks to make the experience more convenient.
I do understand that ATM's have become user friendly and for those who does not have time to do banking leisurely can use the ATM facility even at the odd hours of the day and thus one can ensure 24 hours banking at our disposal. With the advent of ATM's many people are not carrying the hard cash with them but simply carry the bank cards through which they can withdraw the money at any given time. But care must be taken that you withdraw the money from your bank ATM's only otherwise service charges may be levied. More over I want to make a suggestion here that every ATM must have a hotline facility to the branch or the customer care center where in certain problems faced during withdrawal or transactions could be redressed. For example the card might have been read, but we wont get the cash or we type higher denomination and got lesser cash etc. Some ATM's have facility to withdraw only in the denomination of 500 and not 100. So all these problems for the new user are not addressed and he has to wait for next day when the bank opens to tell his complaints.