How Can I Teach My Child about ATMs?
You might be looking for a way to teach your young children basic concepts about money. Or, if you take your little ones with you when you use an automatic teller machine, you might be seeking a way to explain to them what that machine does. You may also want to dispel the notion that an ATM is some kind of magic gadget that gives people passing by as much money as they want. A toy ATM can be a great tool for teaching these lessons. Such a toy is similar to the piggy bank you might have had when you were a child – but on a whole other level.
High-quality toy ATMs work in similar ways. They look like realistic miniature versions of the real deal. And they store your child’s cash – dollar bills and coins. Your child can use its keypad to type in how much she wants to retrieve from the machine, and the machine will dispense exactly that much money. Thus, this kind of machine teaches kids about numbers and about counting money. Some toy ATM’s even come with toy ATM cards. In any event, the first few times your kids try this toy out, they’re likely to be amazed and delighted by the mechanics of it, and may want to play with it over and over again.
What is the Best Toy ATM to Purchase?
One of the best-reviewed toy ATMs on the market is the “YOUniverse Deluxe ATM Bank Machine.” Among its exciting features, this device:
- assigns kids their own personal identification numbers
- says hello to them personally when they enter their PINs
- includes a cash drawer and separate slots for placing various kinds of coins and bills
- displays flashing lights
- plays sound effects.
All in all, this toy is sleekly-designed and highly portable.
Another terrific toy ATM is the “Deluxe ATM Toy Bank with ATM Card” from the Ohio-based company Trademark Games. This product includes alarm clock and calculator functions, and tells you the time and date. It also allows kids to enter information about how much money they wish to save and by what date, and then keeps track of how much time is left and how much additional money is needed to hit that goal.
Once children understand the basics of their toy automatic teller machine, you can teach them some more philosophical concepts about money and savings: how they should save as much of their money as they can, how they should only remove money from their account if they need something or if they really want something and can afford it. You could have them perform a simple task, like drying the dishes, and then give them a dollar for doing so, money they can put in their toy ATM. Then you can explain how what they just did mirrors what adults do: work for a wage and save that money for when it’s needed.
The toy ATM also allows parents a chance to help their kids brush up on arithmetic skills. All you have to do is have your child look at the ATM’s digital balance display and write down how much money she has. Then cover up that display and give her a certain amount of money to deposit. Before you uncover the new balance, have her use addition to figure out what that sum is. You can do a similar activity with subtraction; this time, of course, you’ll have her withdraw rather than deposit cash.
Of course, soon will come the day when your child outgrows her toy ATM and wants to use the real thing. Those are the tween and teen years. We’ll have some tips for coping with that situation next time.
The process of loading your automatic teller machine with new bills is called ‘ATM cash replenishment’ (and not, for whatever reason, ‘ATM cash replacement’). It’s important to replenish your ATM’s cash as soon as it starts running low. If people find that your ATM does not provide them with sufficient funds, your business’s reputation may falter and you might even start losing customers.
What is the process for ATM cash replenishment?
Once you’ve been operating one or more ATM’s for a while, the cash replenishment process will become routine. But there are important procedures you should always follow whenever you’re replenishing your ATM’s supply of money. They will protect your money, your ATM and most important, your safety and your employees’ safety.
- First, try to vary the times at which you replenish your ATM cash. For instance, you could replenish early Tuesday morning one time, late Friday afternoon the next time, midday Monday the next, and so on. Don’t stick to a pattern of replenishment times, either. Instead, replenish on a completely random basis to the greatest extent possible. Not to induce paranoia, but thieves could be staking out your ATM at this very moment, trying to discern when it is you do your replenishing.
- Remember that you should replenish your ATM’s one at a time, and you should replenish your cassettes one at a time as well. There should be no customers inside your place of business during a cash replenishment procedure. Shut your doors and shut your blinds to shield this process from the view of people passing on the street. Have on hand an alarm system, too – one you could strike at a second’s notice to automatically contact 911 in the event of a robbery attempt.
- Before the new stacks of cash enter your automatic teller machine, take the time to flip through them. Look at each bill to make sure everything seems OK. That is, check that none of the bills is counterfeit or torn, and that none contain markings indicating they might have been stolen. Also make certain that each of the bills is the denomination that it’s supposed to be. If you find any problem bills, contact your bank’s manager at once, and don’t let them go inside your ATM.
- If you have a safe full of cash on your premises which you use during cash replenishments, change the combination of that safe after each replenishment. Don’t use a master key with this safe, either, because you’ll greatly increase your risk of theft if you were to ever misplace your key.
- You should take enough time during an ATM cash replenishment to ensure you don’t make any mistakes, but at the same time you should work as quickly as you can so that the process takes no longer than it has to. Also, never place any container holding cash on the floor, and certainly never take your eyes off of such a container, even for a split-second!
Secure services are available to take care of ATM cash replenishment
There are plenty of companies you can hire to take care of your ATM cash replenishment needs for you. A good service will order all the cash you need, and bring that cash to your place of business in an armored vehicle. They’ll also carry the cash from that armored vehicle to your ATM in a secure container. Further, that company may deploy an entire team to take care of these duties, including:
- the armored car driver
- at least one armed guard
- at least one experienced technician to actually replace the money
All these employees should present identification to you before you admit them into your business. In some cases, the ATM company will give you a list of employees along with samples of their signatures, so you may compare a signature on an ID card to a signature on your list.
Some of these companies are available to replenish ATM cash seven days a week, 24 hours a day. And in many cases, such companies offer ATM maintenance services in addition to cash replenishment – freeing ATM cards when they get jammed, for example – as part of a package. Hiring one of these companies to take care of your ATM cash replenishment needs will not only save you and/or your employees time, but it may eliminate a source of anxiety as well.Read More
Doing business at a local ATM machine is not at all that uncommon, but what about trying to transact business with an ATM that’s located outside of your native country? Is it as easy to do, as it would be at home? Are the fees reasonable or astronomical? What about customer service, or support systems?
All of these are certainly legitimate concerns for any person who is trying to use an ATM machine out of the country. And, if you’re an ATM machine owner, it’s certainly a topic that you want to address with your customers so that you can help them to avoid any issues. Working with the proper channels that are necessary in order to have your ATM location properly mapped can mean the difference in you either losing, or gaining, business.
Dealing with financial institutions abroad can be quite interesting, especially given that each banking institution operates under its own set of guidelines. There are of course some areas where financial institutions operate under the same principles (legal, etc.), but there is flexibility on other areas where things can be changed or adjusted to fit the bank’s mission or objective. To protect the customer, there are a few things that they need to be aware of when doing business with international ATMs. Some include:
Try to only deal with ATMs that are owned and/or operated by the financial institution that owns them. This means, avoiding unknown, unheard of or ATMs that are ill-placed in different areas. If the customer experiences any problems with such machines, it would be a horrendous task to try and lay claim to any losses while in a foreign country.
- Conversion Fees
Take note of any “conversion fees” that are a part of the ATM transaction. These fees are also known as international withdrawal fees, and are assessed whenever a customer withdraws money in another country from an ATM machine. Generally, these conversion fees are a matter of doing business, but it’s important to stay aware o the fees, which should run no more than between 1% to 3% per purchase, or per instance (debit card purchases inclusive).
- Balance Inquiry
A charge for a simple “balance inquiry” at an ATM machine can result in a nominal fee being tacked on to your account. As a one-off transaction, this may not be especially important, but depending on the institution’s policies and fees, this amount can certainly add up quickly. It’s probably going to be best (and more economical) to find an alternate method to check your bank account balance to get this information. One such suggestion would be to do an online inquiry, which would likely not result in a charge from your local banking institution.
Other Financial Services
Customers can also turn directly to the financial institution that issued the card if they want to get more financial services, in addition to the ATM services. This is especially important if the traveler will be going abroad and may need other services like currency exchange information, information about withdrawal limits or any other cash restrictions or any limits on cash advances for the local currency. Dealing directly with the issuing institution will help answer any questions or vague understanding that the customer may have about cash, ATM and traveling. It’s always best to have a thorough understanding of any money issues that may exist in other locales before arriving there.
In order for customers to locate ATM’s in a specific country or within a particular region, they can reference an ATM locator to find out if there is one in their area. Usually, owners send ATM location information periodically to MasterCard and Visa card corporations. This location information is logged and made available on the card-issuer’s site(s) so that customers can quickly locate an ATM location. Since this information is updated frequently, it does in fact contain the most current and accurate ATM location information that would be available to customers worldwide.