Since its creation by John Shepherd-Barron in 1960, the automatic teller machine (ATM) has been a mainstay automatic banking machine (ABM). In fact, it has become a critical part of the financial services infrastructure. While many people assume that the technology behind the ATM has plateaued and that ATMs are not developing, the truth of the matter is that ATM machines in the US have experienced tremendous development since their inception. Nonetheless, the core functions of drawing cash and providing account reports still prevail.
So how do ATMs work, you might ask? They rely on multiple sensors, input and output devices to provide a seamless experience for their users. For starters, an ATM user must have a valid prepaid or credit card to transact with the Atm. The card bears the information about the cardholder in a magnetic strip (for the older generation card) or a microchip (for new and more secure cards). To perform a transaction using the card, the cardholder must provide a pin number which is passed to the host server to authenticate the details of the card.
For these processes, you need to interact with the ATM machine, whereby you use the input devices such as the keypad or touch screen to input data. On the other hand, the output device, which in this case is the display, provides output for users. Another output device is the receipt printer which prints detailed recording of the transactions. The ATM is connected to the bank’s server through a network to facilitate the transactions.
In the high-tech world that we have in the U.S., many might consider ATMs as dinosaur technology. Nonetheless, they do play a critical role, and therefore, they have their benefits. For instance, while there are numerous digital payment methods in existence today, the use of cash as a payment method is quite prevalent. ATMs allow people to gain access to their cash held in bank accounts with ease at any time of day as ATMs run 24/7. It is little surprise then that over $400,000 is withdrawn from ATMs across the world today.
Another benefit that modern ATMs provide their users is an increased variety of services the machine can offer. Modern ATMs are being designed to be service point terminals for more than just dispensing cash. As such, some can be used to event ticket purchase and printing, air ticket purchase, paying bills, and foreign currency exchanges, and much more. It is thus safe to say that ATMs have a place in the financial world even moving into the future.