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Using an ATM

Since it first appeared almost 50 years ago, the ATM (automated teller machine) has become a convenient method to access cash. The ATM allows people to withdraw and deposit money from their accounts any hour of the day or night, any day of the year. In fact, some people say ATM stands for “any time money.”

Millions of people use their check/debit or credit cards at ATMs every day. ATMs are found in many places. A common location is outside of banks. They can also be found in airports, grocery stores, retail stores, and gas stations.

To use the machine, you must have a check/debit card for your bank or a credit card. The machine allows you to withdraw money from your bank account or charge against your card. Be aware of the fees that may be charged to you for using your credit card. Check your card’s rules before using it. Some credit card companies start charging interest on the money you withdraw right away.

After inserting the card into the machine, you will be asked for your PIN (personal identification number). When you first receive your card, you will select your own PIN. You should choose a number that is easy to remember but not too easy from someone else to figure out. For example, your birthdate is not a good choice. Do not write your PIN on your card, and do not tell it to anyone.

After you type in your PIN, you will receive a message about a fee for using the ATM if the ATM is not connected to your bank or credit card. You can choose to reject or accept the fee, but you won’t be able to get cash from the machine if you reject the fee. As of 2018, the average fee for using an ATM was $4.35.

If you accept the fee, you will be asked about the kind of transaction you are requesting. You can choose to withdraw money, deposit money, or check your account balance. You will then be asked what type of account you would like to access. The most common accounts are checking, savings, and money market accounts.

If you make a withdrawal, you will get your cash. If you make a deposit, you will insert cash or checks directly into the machine with a deposit slip. You will be asked if you want a receipt. Keep your receipts and compare them with your monthly statements. Remember to keep track of your deposits and withdrawals.

Always follow ATM directions carefully. When you are finished using the ATM, don’t forget to take your card! If you forget your card or lose it, contact your bank or credit card company right away.

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners

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