Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tips for Safe Use of Automatic Teller Machines(ATMs)

About Automatic Teller Machines(ATMs)

An Automated Teller Machine (ATM), also known as a Cash Point (which is a trademark of Lloyds TSB), Cash Machine or sometimes a Hole in the Wall in British English, is a computerised telecommunications device that provides the clients of a financial institution with access to financial transactions in a public space without the need for a cashier, human clerk or bank teller. ATMs are known by various other names including ATM Machineautomatic banking machine, and various regional variants derived from trademarks on ATM systems held by particular banks.

Invented by IBM, the first ATM was introduced in December 1972 at Lloyds Bank in the UK. However, there is a plaque on Barclays Bank in Enfield Town, north London stating that the first ATM (in the world) was installed there on the 27th June 1967. 
On most modern ATMs, the customer is identified by inserting a plastic ATM card with a magnetic stripe or a plastic smart card with a chip, that contains a unique card number and some security information such as an expiration date or CVVC (CVV). 
Authentication is provided by the customer entering a personal identification number (PIN).
Using an ATM, customers can access their bank accounts in order to make cash withdrawals, credit card cash advances, and check their account balances as well as purchase prepaid cellphone credit. If the currency being withdrawn from the ATM is different from that which the bank account is denominated in (e.g.: Withdrawing Japanese Yen from a bank account containing US Dollars), the money will be converted at a wholesale exchange rate. Thus, ATMs often provide the best possible exchange rate for foreign travelers and are heavily used for this purpose as well.

Whereas there are many advantages in the usage of  Automatic Teller Machines, the users should take enough precautions in the safe keeping  of the ATM cards provided to them and also to take precautions while doing transactions in  ATMs.

Tips for Safe Use of  Automatic Teller Machines(ATMs)

i) Your card is very important and must be kept safely.
ii) Do not not keep your ATM card near any magnet or magnetic gadget like television set, magnetic compass, purse or wallet having magnetic locking arrangements as magnetic field may erase all data stored in the magnetic strip of your ATM card.
iii) Store your ATM card in a secure place where you will immediately know if it is missing.
iv) Store the ATM card carefully so that the magnetic stripe does not get damaged.
v) Never leave your Card unattended at places like your car, in a hotel room, workplace or at the bar and restaurant you visit
vi)DO NOT bend the card.
vii)DO NOT place two cards with magnetic stripes together.
viii)Cancel unused cards and shred blocked cards.
ix)Immediately report any stolen or lost ATM card to the proper authorities

                                          Security of ATM  PIN
  • Your ATM PIN must be kept very secret since ATM card  can be misused by a person if he/she steals both the ATM card and the ATM PIN together.
  • Change your PIN frequently; do not write it a piece of paper  or on the face/back of the ATM card but memorise it.
  • Select a PIN that must be difficult to guess; avoid household numbers such as house number, car number, birthday etc.
  • Never disclose your PIN to anyone including members of your family or relatives; if it gets divulged for some reason, change it immediately.
  • Do not  keep pin and card together under any circumstances.
Precautions to be taken while doing transaction with the card

  • Avoid using ATMs in remote / unprotected areas and avoid ATMs adjacent to obvious hiding places.
  • If you want us to alert you whenever a transaction takes place on your account / Credit Card, you can register for the Bank's SMS Service by registering your Mobile number.

  • Shield the screen and keyboard so anyone waiting to use the ATM cannot see you enter your PIN or transaction amount.
  • Be careful when people you do not know offer to help you at an ATM.
  • If you notice anything suspicious at the ATM you want to use e.g. tampering with the card slot / numbers pad or any suspicious activity around the ATM area, do not use the ATM and report your concern to the Bank immediately.
  • Do not force your card into the card slot or if you feel that the ATM machine is not working properly for any reason, press the “Cancel” key, take your card and report it to the Bank. 
  • If your card gets lost, captured or stuck in the ATM, report it to the Bank to block your card immediately.
  • Make sure you get the card back after every transaction & only use it at ATMs /Point of Sale (POS) machines in reputed public locations / locations known to you.

  • When using a drive in ATM, keep doors locked and passenger side and rear windows up.
  • While using your card at a POS, ensure  that the merchant swipes the card in your presence.
  • Check your account balances and statements regularly to ensure your accounts have not been accessed by anyone else and to identify any unusual transaction(s). 




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