Urban dwellers can find automated teller machines on almost every street corner in major cities. Debit or credit card holders use ATMs to withdraw cash from their checking or credit accounts, check account balances, and transfer funds. Many machines now accept cash and check deposits as well. The two types of ATMs are freestanding and built-in.
Freestanding ATMs are in businesses, on the street, or in the drive-through lane at banks. Freestanding ATMs anchor to the ground for safety, unattached to a wall or building facade. They provide convenience to customers in businesses that do not accept credit or debit cards. For example, customers find these ATMs in grocery stores, restaurants, corner stores and movie theaters. For security purposes, such machines do not accept deposits.
Built-in ATMs attach to the wall of a bank or business. Tellers access the machine from behind the wall, so customers cannot see the hidden security features.
ATMs now use several different types of software. ATM software can tell the auditor or teller how much money should be in the ATM and the complete history of transactions. Various versions of software offer banks and businesses programs that best fit their needs. Built-in ATMs at banks have software easy for tellers to use, yet complex enough to accept deposits and transfer account funds. Freestanding ATMs have simple software that performs basic transactions, but is more complex to audit than bank ATM software.
Manufacturers offer a variety of security features for ATM customers and owners. Security cameras and personal identification numbers protect customers from theft. ATMs provide security to banks by requiring a key and a pass code to access the vault. Cameras take the place of security guards by also deterring vandalism.