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How to use an ATM: what is a reject cassette and why it makes no sense to enter a mirror PIN code

ATMs are devices for processing information. These machines are used to dispense and receive money, pay for services, pay off loans, and other transactions.

In this article, you will learn about the design and useful features of ATMs.

ATM design

External components of an ATM:

  • hull;
  • monitor;
  • keypad for code entry;
  • card reader;
  • bill acceptor;
  • observation camera;
  • printer.

Internal ATM components:

  • a safe with dispensers and cassettes, which is a cash vault;
  • the system of rollers for receiving and dispensing cash;
  • the “brains”: motherboard, processor and power supply unit.

Interesting facts about ATMs

  • A limited number of banknotes – per transaction ATMs issue from 35 till 110 banknotes.
  • Not all ATMs work 24 hours a day – for example, in Japan there are a large number of ATMs that work only during the day (because the night profit from the operation of the devices does not cover the cost of their maintenance and security).
  • A certain number of cash cassettes – as a rule, an ATM has 4-6 cassettes configured for a particular banknote, each of which holds approximately 2.5 thousand banknotes.
  • An ATM has a small cull cassette – it holds glued bills and banknotes that users have not picked up from the cash withdrawal slot.
  • ATMs can freeze – a standard outdoor machine is fully protected against moisture, but is sensitive to cold and may stop functioning perfectly at temperatures below 15 °C.
  • ATMs use matrix and thermal printers – whereby the paper tape for receipts is located in spools (usually 2,000 to 5,000 receipts per spool).

Important: There is false information on the Internet that a mirror PIN code can save from robbers. This claim appeared after 1994, when Joseph Singer, an American lawyer, suggested that entering numbers in reverse sequence would be an alarm signal for banks and police. However, the idea of a mirror PIN was never implemented, because in this case the cardholder would have to enter the value of the code somewhere to further enter the information into the ATM.

The evolution of ATMs

According to the results of Transaction Network survey, for the most part of respondents (78%) the most important thing is access to cash at the ATM. According to the research, in 2021 to 76% of cases ATMs were used for depositing money and only 24% were used for withdrawing money.

However, along with the ability to deposit and withdraw cash, modern ATMs are equipped with a variety of useful features that help save time, avoid queues, communication with not always friendly bank employees and filling out various receipts. Multifunctional self-service devices allow making various operations without using other apparatus. Banks are gradually upgrading their fleet of devices – and from standard ATMs they are turning into smart machines with a set of innovative options.

Important: The money issued by the device must be taken away within 30 seconds, otherwise the ATM will take it back.

New functions of ATMs:

  • NFC – this technology makes it possible to use the ATM without inserting a plastic card into the card reader, but by attaching the card or smartphone to the reader.
  • QR-codes – this method assumes a contactless use of an ATM for payment of taxes and other operations (in this case the authorization and identification are made through a bank application).
  • Reclining – technology which allows the cash money deposited by one client to be received by another client.
  • Personal cabinet – most banks expand the functionality of their devices, making them closer to online banking and equipping them with features for creating deposits and savings accounts, viewing information about products, etc.
  • New design – modern ATMs have a touch screen and increasingly resemble smartphones, not only in appearance, but also in the possibility of improving their functionality and installing additional applications.

To summarize, we note that in the future a significant expansion of ATM functionality is predicted. These mini-offices will be able to provide access to any banking and non-banking. Banks have different visions of improving their fleet of devices, and most of them are already adopting advanced technologies, which we will discuss in more detail in the following articles.

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