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Cash Limits at ATMs

Cash for Convenience

Cash Limits at ATMs

It’s a matter of convenience when you want to withdraw cash from an ATM machine. You may find yourself in a cash crunch and need access to cash right away. Whether it’s to pay a bill or for some cash for last-minute spending, the convenience of the cash machine can be a glorious, welcoming site!

However, cash machines can also bring a bit of angst with their conveniences. Meaning that sometimes when you have to or find that you need to withdraw particularly large amounts of cash, you may find that there are imposed limits on just how much cash you can retrieve. Why is that? Is it fair? After all, since it is your money, how can the ATM machine or the banking facility impose a limit on your money and block you from getting what’s yours?

Locating Cash Machines

There are some cash machines that will tell you or show you the daily limit that you can retrieve from that particular machine. What some customers will attempt to try is to go to several different ATMs and try to withdraw their cash requirements and try to skirt around the imposed limit. They are usually not always successful because the cash restrictions are not tied to the cash machine itself, but rather to the account for which the transaction is tied to. That means that no matter how many machines are visited, the limit will follow the account and not the transaction.

Why Cash Limits Are Imposed

So why is it then that there are limits imposed? Simply put, for security reasons. By implementing a cash withdrawal threshold for each account, this guarantees that a someone who has wrongfully gained access to the person’s account will not empty the account out.

This is especially good news for the person who has either lost their ATM card or find that it has been stolen. If this were to ever happen, the person of course would notify the bank immediately when they discover this. However, at that point it is theoretically possible that the thief can essentially withdraw all of the money from the account, whether that amount is $100 or $100,000. But with limits, there is a cutoff, and the person’s account would essentially be affected by that amount.

Customers and ATM Protection

Stolen cards would become void and deactivated, and then eventually replaced by the bank for the customers. So the person who stole the card would not be able to use it to access the individual’s account, and there are no worries about the account being completely emptied. In the case where there may have been money stolen, the ATM and banking institution will usually have insurance to cover against these losses, and the banking customer would be reimbursed for any losses.

Free-standing ATM machines very often don’t have human security systems, such as guards or uniformed policemen. They have security cameras that record traffic activity and that also monitor any activity from the machine. Therefore, if there is any suspicious activity milling around the machine, the camera will record it and aid in any investigative attempts at fraudulent behavior.

ATM machines will also sometimes display a notice stating the amount of money that the cash machine holds, or, what the daily withdrawal amounts are per customer. They do this for two reasons; 1.) to deter any criminal activity with anyone thinking that the ATM machine contains a substantial amount of money, and 2) to keep customers aware of limits so that they can guard against any ATM suspicious activities like skimming or stalking. Also, ATM machines will sometimes post notices stating that the machines are stocked every 24 hours, also in an effort to discourage suspicious activity in thinking that the machines are full of monies.

How to Steal Money from an ATM

How to Steal Money from an ATM

Stealing money from an ATM machine? Does that really happen?

While that does sound like a ridiculous attempted feat given the level of security that ATM machines have, there are some potential criminals who still try to find and exploit any weaknesses in an ATM’s system in order to gain access.

Stealing money from an ATM machine is undoubtedly an attempt that has been tried numerous times. But much to the would-be criminal’s chagrin, it is to no avail. There aren’t any successful ATM heists that you will likely read about in your local newspapers. There won’t be any television news reports about how savvy criminals got away with successfully removing the money from any ATM machine. It just doesn’t happen, and for good reason, no doubt.

Owner and Their Machines

When ATM owners initially set up their cash machines, they are advised to invest in equipment that has the latest software technology, physical locks and vaults and other enhancements that would deter criminal activity. Since most well-made ATM machines generally have safeguards in place as basic features, it behooves the owner to ensure that their machines do in fact have proper security. ATM machine owners can take solace in knowing that the machines have durable, comprehensive security cabinets and vaults that have been made to meet proper standards.

There are two prominent types of security that you will find present on most machines. These are the Business Hours security vault and the 24 Hours Level security vault. Both types of protection offer the owner different protection levels, but basically have the same security. Different business environments and traffic levels will dictate what the best fit may be for the protection levels.

Machines built for ATM needs are known as the UL 291 Standard, which are designed by Underwriters Laboratories. The company is responsible for rating and product-testing consumer goods like home appliances and electrical goods. Investing in a UL 291 Standard ensures that the machine is well-designed to withstand attacks and to protect the contents of the machine.

Business Hours ATM Vault

The Business Hours ATM machines are designed to hold and protect cash where transactions are made during normal business hours. In these instances, there is usually someone on the premises like a manager or an owner who can monitor the machine during the day. Therefore, at the end of the business day, the cash is safely removed from the machine and moved to other locations.

24-Hour Level 1 ATM Vault

The design and structure of the 24 Hour Level 1 ATM machine is designed to withstand inordinate amounts of potential attacks, drilling or any maneuver launched in an attempt to try and gain access to the system. About 300 pounds is what these machines generally weigh, and are also designed to withstand physical pressure loads of up to 50,000 psi.

Foil the Criminal

There are substantially hefty fines and possible jail time that are associated with any criminal activity associated with tampering with ATM machines. This alone is sometimes enough to discourage any would-be criminal. But even the possibility of being caught and punished, it’s is still not enough of a deterrent for some criminal-minded individuals. Thankfully for ATM owners, however, the ATM machines are now equipped with specialized internal and external equipment and enhanced software that can make the machines virtually impossible to steal. The machines are sometimes even bolted down in the area where they’re found, in order to discourage theft. Even in the unlikely event that the thief successfully unmounts the machine from its foundation, it is virtually impossible for him to penetrate the machine to break it in order to get to its cash content. In some cases, even the attempt is punishable by law and the individual can be incarcerated.

Doing Business with International ATMs

Doing Business with International ATMs

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.

Customer Protection

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:

– Locally-Owned

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.

ATM Fee Disclosure Reform

In a world of conveniences that make daily necessities much better, access to ATM machines are probably at the top of many lists. ATM machines are certainly a welcomed convenience for customers, especially when they’re pressed to get cash in a hurry and they’re looking for the nearest ATM machine(s). As ATM owners, providing such a welcomed service in prime locations can also be quite lucrative and provide a steady flow of customer traffic. It’s a win-win situation for both the customer and the ATM machine owner, that is, until there are miscommunications or underhanded things done that adversely affect ATM owners. While they are a great idea and convenience to have, what’s not so great is when situations arise where customers sue machine owners because of this wonderful convenience.

Are There Fees?

Are There FeesCustomers generally understand that when they use an ATM machine at a bank or a location other than their main banking facility, they can expect to pay a small to moderate user fee for the service. The fee amount can vary from one facility to the other, but there will invariably be a fee incurred by the user. There is rarely, if ever, no machine user fee, so the notion of “no fee” is really not expected.

Surprise Lawsuits?

Another thing that’s not expected is the litany of lawsuits that ATM owners have had to deal with for supposedly not disclosing their ATM machine fees to customers. Several lawsuits ranging in varying dollar amounts have stated that the usage fees were not displayed in plain sight and they were not knowledgeable of the fees before they made a transaction. Therefore, because the defendant (the ATM owners) are responsible for ensuring that the fees notifications are prominently displayed on the unit, the monetary lawsuits were awarded in favor of the plaintiffs. So why were the notices not in plain sight?

The New ATM Bill

This is where things get a little controversial. Notices can be placed with a sticker on the unit, notifying the customer of the fees. The problem is that the stickers were constantly being removed (weather conditions, theft, etc.) in some cases, making it appear that the owner wasn’t providing optimal customer service. This problem needed a solution. There had to be a better, more ideal way to apprise the customer of the fees. That answer was in the amendment of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, more specifically H.R. 4367. This amendment works to protect ATM owners and also to discourage those frivolous lawsuits that were beginning to drastically increase.

The newly reformed ATM Fee Disclosure bill now protects ATM owners as it eliminates the requirements that were originally set forth in the amendment that required ATM owners to have and display a physical sticker which notified customers of the ATM service fees.

ATM Changes for Owners

ATM Changes for OwnersWith the new bill in place, all that ATM owners would be required to do is to continue to apprise customers of the service usage fees, but they can now display that information digitally on the screen. Customers have the option to accept or deny any charges associated with the ATM machine when using it to access cash withdrawals. This new system also eliminates faulty problems that were occurring with the notification stickers and them “getting lost” so frequently. So whether the missing stickers were due to acts of nature or from malicious intent, ATM owners no longer have to worry about lawsuits resulting from not having fee information displayed on the machines.

ATM owners are glad and relieved to know this good news. The problem with the lawsuits was affecting the owners in a very negative way having to constantly defend their compliance with the notifications. With digital notices, customers can and are required to read and accept the full disclosure sentence regarding the fees, and they must do this before the ATM machine continues to transact their request. This means no more misunderstandings, miscommunications and best of all, no more lawsuits.

ATM Machines and Bill Paying dup

ATM Machines and Bill PayingWithout a doubt, we are now all living in a digital world, one that’s full of technological advances and conveniences that were not afforded to us years ago. This is great time to be in business as an ATM business owner, and a great time to get into a sound, solid and profitable business.

The income gained from being an ATM business owner is highly flexible, meaning, you can make as much or as little money that you want to make. With multiple machines and/or multiple locations, you will of course make more money. With one or two machines, you will still make a great profit, and you also get to keep your inventory to a reasonably manageable size that’s ideal for the solo business owner.

With the convenience of ATM machines and accessing cash as needed, there is also the added convenience of taking care of other financial duties and responsibilities that most everyone has to deal with, and that’s bill paying.

We do it every day, week or month, and for some people, the task really requires a dedicated amount of time to focus on getting the job done. Whether they are paying those bills online, in person or mailing them in, getting those bills paid are a fact of life that you’ll need to stop and do on a regular basis.

But what if there was an easier way, or perhaps a quicker way to get it done? Maybe on their lunch break, they could easily grab a hotdog and soda from the street vendor AND pay their mortgage all at the same time? That would be pretty cool!

With the ATM machines that also offer bill payment options, it can be done easily and quickly, and as often as necessary. Bill payment kiosks that are a part of the ATM machine and its functions have become and is becoming a popular and sought-after feature for many individuals. Why? Well, mainly because they offer such flexibility and convenience, but also because there are less fees and less paperwork for customers to deal with. With the options to:

1.) withdraw cash

2.) pay bills online

3.) get financial statements from bill vendors and

4.) transfer cash between accounts and bill payors

all of the many benefits of ATM usage turns out to be a very attractive solution for customers. There are many other beneficial uses, but for customers, the main goal is to do as much as they can in an allotted (limited) amount of time, but yet enjoy the maximum amount of benefits as possible. In this day and age, multi-tasking is the fruit of choice, so giving customers multiple options with their ATM visits is ideal.

Although ATM machines and bill-paying is going to be a draw for some customers, for others it may be something that they want to stay far away from, which can likely be due to either a bad experience or not having or knowing enough information on the subject. As an ATM business owner, you can certainly offset their reasons by being as proactive as you can be to make sure the customer’s gravitate to and embrace the idea. Here are some things you can implement to ensure that this happens:

  • Make sure the ATM machine is in a safe location so customers will have confidence when using it, especially if it’s in a high-traffic area.
  • Ensure that the machine has the proper and the most current software available so that customers can find and interact with their bill payors. Make sure also to have as many high-profile bill payors and utility companies that you can so that you attract customers. Of course, this depends on location, so update your list as often as possible.
  • When customers experience issues like statement paper jams or a problem connecting to a vendor, you need to know about it so that you can remedy the problem. Because of this, always make sure that you have contact information visible so that customers can contact you with any machine issues. This includes offline and online contact information.

The only thing for the bill-paying and ATM machine concept to do is to grow. That’s because there are so many benefits and advantages that customers and ATM machine owners will receive. As it continues to grow, ATM owners will continue to enjoy the growing profits while customers receive another service that saves them time and offers them flexibility in one of life’s recurring tasks.