An automated teller machine (ATM) is an electronic banking outlet that allows customers to complete basic transactions without the aid of a branch representative or teller. Anyone with a credit card or debit card can access most ATMs.
The first ATM appeared in London in 1967, and in less than 50 years, ATMs spread around the globe, securing a presence in every major country and even tiny little island nations such as Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia.
ATMs are convenient, allowing consumers to perform quick, self-serve transactions from everyday banking like deposits and withdrawals to more complex transactions like bill payments and transfers.
Understanding Automated Teller Machines (ATMs)
Since the first ATM appeared in 1967, the popularity of these machines has steadily been on the rise. There are more than 3.5 million ATMs in use across the world. They are also known in different parts of the world as automated bank machines (ABM) or bank machines.
There are two primary types of ATMs. Basic units only allow customers to withdraw cash and receive updated account balances. The more complex machines accept deposits, facilitate line-of-credit payments, transfers, and report account information. To access the advanced features of the complex units, a user must be an account holder at the bank that operates the machine.
Analysts anticipate ATMs will become even more popular and forecast an increase in the number of ATM withdrawals. ATMs of the future are likely to be full-service terminals instead of or in addition to traditional bank tellers.