What is ATM, Full form, uses, definition and more!

Safalta Expert Published by: Harshita Pathak Updated Thu, 13 Jul 2023 11:58 PM IST


Automated Teller Machine (ATM) is an electronic machine that is used for money transactions. It is also known as the automatic machine and works as a banking platform that does not require any human cashier or teller/representative

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ATM Full Form: ATM stands for "Automated Teller Machine," an electronic device utilized for financial transactions. This banking platform eliminates the need for human cashiers or representatives. ATMs have significantly simplified the process of withdrawing and depositing cash for customers. Various banks provide their own ATMs, which are accessible to all customers. Read this article to know all about ATM and related details. You may also read UPSC Full Form: Check the full form of IAS, IPS, UPSC and others
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What is Automated Teller Machine (ATM)?

It is a self-service centre where you may withdraw money, check your balance, or even transfer funds regardless of whether you have an account with the same bank. ATM services are provided by several banks through the installation of cash machines in various locations of the country. Depending on the bank, transactions are either free or incur a small fee.

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You may not be charged for the first 3-5 transactions in a month, or you may be charged a small fee if you take money from a bank ATM where you do not have an account.

Types of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs)

There are two kinds of automated teller machines (ATMs)- Onsite and Offsite ATMs. Onsite ATMs are located within the bank's premises, whilst offsite ATMs are located around the country to ensure that people have basic banking services and rapid cash withdrawals if they are unable to visit a bank office. 

The other varieties of ATMs are based on the labels they are given:
  1. White label ATM: There is no logo of any bank on the ATM machines as they are owned by authorities other than the bank. 
  2. Brown label ATM: Operated by a third party other than the bank.
  3. Green label ATM: Used for agricultural transaction purposes.
  4. Yellow label ATM: Used for the purpose of E-commerce.
  5. Orange label ATM: Used for share transactions.
  6. Pink label ATM: Specifically made for access to females so they avoid any long lines to make their transactions.
  7. Biometric ATM: Uses biometric features like an eye scanner or a fingerprint to be operated. 

ATM Design Elements

Although the design of each ATM is different, they all contain the same basic parts:
  1. Card reader: Reads the chip on the card's front or the magnetic stripe on the card's back.
  2. Keypad: The consumer uses the keypad to enter information such as their personal identification number (PIN) and the value of the transaction.
  3. Cash dispenser: Cash is dispensed through a slot in the machine, which is linked to a safe at the machine's bottom.
  4. Consumers can request receipts to be printed here if necessary. The kind of transaction, the amount, and the account balance are all recorded on the receipt.
  5. Screen: The ATM displays prompts that help the user through the transaction procedure. 
Full-service machines now often have slots for depositing paper checks or cash.

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How to Use ATMs?

To use an ATM, you must have a bank account and an ATM card linked to that account. Most banks provide a single card that serves as both a debit card and an ATM card. The difference between an ATM card and a debit card is that an ATM card can only be used for cash withdrawals, whilst a debit card can also be used for online payments and swipe payments. Insert this card into ATMs to withdraw cash or for other reasons supported by the ATM.

You can use your ATMs globally anywhere, even virtually. Travel experts urge clients to utilise foreign ATMs as a source of cash while travelling overseas since they typically obtain a better conversion rate than most currency exchange businesses.

Functions Of ATMs

  • Money deposit
  • Cash withdrawal
  • Payment of bills on a regular basis Account balance information
  • Prepaid mobile phone recharge
  • Alter the pin code
  • Cash transfer
  • Account information
  • Mini statement

Advantages of ATM

  • ATM service is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • It lessens the workload on bank employees.
  • ATMs are more convenient for travellers.
  • The ATM provides flawless service.
  • It saves time

History of ATMs

The first ATM appeared in 1967 at a Barclays Bank branch in London, while there is evidence of a cash dispenser in Japan as early as the mid-1960s. In the 1970s, an interbank transaction permitted a consumer to use one bank's card at another bank's ATM. ATMs have created their own space on the globe in just a few years. They can be even found in small island states like Kiribati. There are currently around 3.5 million ATMs in operation globally.
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What is the cash withdrawal limit in ATM in India?

The withdrawal limit is set by a particular bank under the guidance of RBI. The limit cannot exceed 50,000 per day. Few government banks have a lesser withdrawal limit that can be as less as 20,000. The cash withdrawal in India also differs from bank to bank and it also depends on the type of account and card used to withdraw the amount. For example - SBI bank gives the maximum withdrawal amount of Rs.20,000 whereas HDFC bank allows to transact Rs.1 lakh daily from its ATM.

Can I use an ATM card abroad?

You certainly can. You can use an ATM card in a foreign nation depending on your card association (Visa, MasterCard, or Plus). The money will be debited in Indian rupees, depending on the exchange rate on the day, and there may be an international cost for making the transaction.

Are there any hidden charges in transactions through ATMs?

There are no hidden charges but there’s a nominal charge for transactions after the limit of free transactions is passed. Normally, there are 3 or 5 free transactions in a month, depending on the bank.

Is an ATM safe?

Yes, it is absolutely safe to withdraw money from an ATM. Make sure you do not share your PIN with anyone or fall prey to fraudsters.

What is a Floating ATM?

A floating ATM is one that is set up on a ferry, ship, or a similar water body vehicle. India’s first floating ATM was first launched in Kochi, Kerala by SBI.

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