No matter which institution you bank through, if you have a checking or savings account, you more than likely have access to ATMs. While people typically use ATMs to get money out, you can also use them to put money into your account. You can generally only make deposits at an ATM sponsored by your bank or credit union. Some banks, however, belong to large ATM payment networks and allow customers to make deposits at other banks' ATMs. Check with your bank for its specific policy.
Before you can deposit cash or checks, you have to find the nearest ATM that accepts deposits. Banks and credit unions have websites that include an ATM locator or search tool to find the closest ATM. One nationwide bank, for example, allows you to search by state or zip code. It also lists the hours of the ATM, where it is located on the premise and whether it accepts deposits.
At the ATM
The exact steps vary depending on the ATM, but they typically follow the same basic process. Insert your ATM card, enter your PIN code and choose the deposit option on the screen. If you have more than one account with the bank, choose the account where you want the deposit to go. Some banks require you to type in the total amount of the deposits while others ask for the amount of each check and total amount of cash. Your bank may limit the number of checks you can list.
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Making the Deposit
In the past, depositing money at an ATM required that you use a deposit envelope, but it's possible at some banks to deposit both checks and bills into the ATM individually without an envelope. The ATM may show you an itemized list of all the money you deposited and print out a receipt with images of the checks. The ATM may require you to insert cash and checks separately, asking you to indicate what type you are inserting before you do.
Make sure that you endorse all checks. Double-check your bank's policies for when deposited money is available to you to spend. Typically, cash is available immediately. Checks can take anywhere from 24 hours to several days to post to your account, depending on the type of check you deposit. Check the back of your ATM card to see if your bank belongs to a payment network. Some banks charge a fee for making a deposit at off-site ATMs like ones at airports or stores. It may also charge a fee for making a deposit outside of the institution's network.