Disadvantages of Automatic Teller Machines

Automated teller machines, or ATMs, are machines that function like bank tellers, allowing customers to perform basic banking functions, such as making deposits, making withdraws and shifting money between different accounts. In place of identification, bank members use personalized debit cards to access their holdings. There are a number of disadvantages to these machines.

Security

Unlike bank tellers, ATMs do not require the person performing the transaction to present a picture identification. Rather, the person must only insert a bank card and enter a personal identification number. If the bank card is stolen and the number ascertained, an unauthorized person can easily access the account.

Inability To Perform Complex Transactions

ATMs can only perform relatively basic transactions. This means that people who need to complete these longer transactions will be forced to use the teller, restricting use of the ATM for people who need to complete simple business. In this sense, the ATM Is rather like the express line in a supermarket--faster for some, but unavailable to others.

Fees

With the advent of ATMs came ATM fees. Not only do banks of which you are not a member charge fees for the use of their ATMs, but users are often charged surreptitious fees by their own banks for using other banks' ATMs--meaning the customer is docked twice for the same transaction.

Privacy

Unlike banks, in which security guards and tellers are present to ensure the person performing a transaction receives privacy, there is no such guarantee when using an ATM. People may try to spy on users as delicate information appears on the screen, without the user being aware.

Difficulty of Use

The performance of business at an ATM is generally quicker than that at a human teller. However, the ATM is incapable of providing personalized instruction to the user in a way that a human teller can. This can result in longer wait times if the user currently using the machine is struggling to complete a transaction.

Eating a Card

Occasionally, ATMs will malfunction and swallow a user's ATM card. The customer will then be directed to contact a service number or their bank and wait for a repair technician to retrieve this card. While this happens only rarely, if it occurs on a weekend or at night, the user may be left to wait for several days before they can again use their card, something that would not happen with a human cashier.

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