7 mysteries about ATM Machines

If you have used ATMs for considerable time, you must be aware of those unsolved mysteries that you never quite understand about ATM Machines. Some of them are plain funny curiosities while other are really strange and we all need to know the answers to them.

I have spoken to a few people regarding these and found out that I am not the only person confused about ATM machines. So, I embarked on a little research to find out answers to these questions. I call them 7 mysteries about ATM Machines aka seven wonders of ATM World. I will post answers to these question in my next post.


The ATM Mysteries

  1. Why do ATMs allow you to enter the amount you wish to withdraw in penny increments? If I type in I want $53.28 it’s not like it’s going to shoot a quarter and three pennies out of the bill changer. Pretty much all ATMs only give out cash in $10 or $20 increments so I won’t even get the three ones! Why not just type in the dollar amount? It sure would be a lot simpler.
  2. Why do drive up ATMs have Braille? This is a common wise-crack many people have made. The rationale is blind people shouldn’t be driving, and there’s warning on most drive up ATMs telling you not to walk up and use them, so why have Braille.
  3. What does the Braille say? This isn’t one I’ve heard any one else ask, but I think the better question than why do the drive up ATMs have Braille is what could it possibly say next to those buttons? The function of the buttons change with every screen. In recent years they added headphone jacks that probably solve this problem, but for years they didn’t. So what do the buttons say?
  4. What’s with the $2.50 or more fee you have to pay when using an ATM from another bank? I can almost understand the $1.50 fee the foreign banks ATM charges you for using their machine, but why does your own bank charge you another dollar. They don’t charge you when you use that same card to pay for something at a store so why is it any different when you use an ATM. The $1.50 seems high too, especially when you only take out $20. A merchant is only charged around 30 cents on average to make that same $20 purchase on your check card.
  5. Is the “Fast Cash” option really any quicker? I don’t think so. I rather skip that screen all together and just go to the 10 key. It takes me longer to search for the dollar amount on the Fast Cash screen and try to figure out which button it almost lines up to than to just type it in. Also the inputs are usually in $20 increments so I have to go to the 10 key anyways to get my $50 out of the machine.
  6. Why are PINs 4 digits? It seems backwards that my email provide feels it’s necessary to secure my account with a password that is at least 8 characters, alpha numeric, has at least one upper and lower case letter and at least one number, yet my bank it feels four numeric characters will suffice. It’s 1 in 10,000 pretty good odds of guessing someone’s pin? If you consider that most people use some sort of date as their pin in MMDD format, you’re down to 1 in 365 odds.
  7. What do you do if the ATM give you the wrong amount? There’s usually a number to call on the ATM, but how do you go about proving you got the wrong amount.

I would be posting answers I found about these questions in my next post so It is a good idea to Subscribe to My RSS Feed to get notified when I post next.

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is an experienced IT Consultant turned Blogger, Interested in Technology, Personal Finance, Humans and Life...You and discover more about him by following RMak on twitter.

5 Responses to “7 mysteries about ATM Machines”

  1. joe says:

    … and …

    Why are they _so_ ergonomically ridiculous?
    - Select language, on screen (sometimes keypad allows 1, 2 keys to select
    - Enter PIN on the keypad … won’t take enter, have to swing back to the touchscreen to enter.
    - select action on touchscreen, e.g., withdrawal (woot! we didn’t have to swing back to the keypad!)
    - enter amount on the keypad swing back to touchscreen (sometimes enter on keypad does work)

    you get the idea

  2. [...] digg_skin = ‘compact’; digg_window = ‘new’; In my previous post, I talked about how 7 questions about ATMs bother me alot. So I did bit of a research to get these answer. The answers below are true to the [...]

  3. jesuscrusher says:

    ever wonder why atms all have metal buttons? well a few years ago my friends and i heard about a little trick where you can take a metal screen out of a faucet and put it over your finger while you push the buttons for your transaction and the machine wont take out the money from your account but it will still still spit out the cash we used that trick for about 3 months and got about $5000 before one day the atm popped up with a message about us being in violation of article blah blah blah we still dont know why that trick worked but we have a theory about the metal butttons reading your fingerprints through thermal imaging or something thats why it would still take the money out of the account if you were wearing gloves and it couldnt read your fingerprints but with a metal screen over your finger it would read a fucked up fingerprint and assume someone was trying to steal money from your account or something like that but thats just a theory we really have no idea why it worked but it did and thats all that mattered

  4. Heidy Dawley says:

    Wowsuper article. I’ve examine a few other articles inside your weblog and discovered very educational and I understand many point as well from the meaningful posts.

  5. ronald mcdonald says:

    the thing about the brail on the buttons is still a mystery to me? I mean when was the last time you saw a guy in front of you in the queue Taking out his wallet, finding the right card, putting in the small slot then typing his PIN, selecting how much cash he wanted removing his card and putting hiis money away?

    All as the next chap in line see’s his PIN and then Mug’s him 5 minutes ;ater down the road taking the money and goes back to the same ATM to take everthing in his bank account??
    I mean come on ! the only witness is a dog who cant speak !! lol

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