When the automated teller machines arrived, most people breathed a sigh of relief. Time spent at the bank was definitely reduced!

Now that you have found a customer-friendly bank to park your money and earn interest, let us see what other facility banks provide. Long, long ago, before the advent of the ATM machines, most of the bank customers had to finish doing their bank deposits and withdrawals during the working hours of the banks. Often, there were serpentine queues that wasted hours of one's time. All this changed when ATM machines started mushrooming all over our cities and towns.

Any time

What exactly is an ATM? Have you seen those small glass booths within bank branches or on high traffic roads? The ATM is an abbreviation for “Automated Teller Machine”, but for most of us it is “Any Time Money”. A bank teller is the one who accepts deposits, disburses cash and so on in a bank. But why do we need to automate the poor teller?

If not for the ATM machines, we can do our banking only during 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM or some such time. The teller will also be away during lunch hours and in some of the less customer-friendly banks, will also be away for tea breaks. But what if you are in a hurry? What if you want to withdraw money at 7:00 P.M. from your account? How about going to a mall or a movie hall and suddenly discovering that you are short of cash?

The ATM machine helps us do a whole lot of our routine banking activities like depositing cash, withdrawing cash, depositing cheques, updating passbooks, and doing a balance enquiry — it’s a breeze. And more importantly, these machines are operational round the clock, 24X7, except for an hour or so when the cash is loaded and the cheques/deposits are collected. Thankfully, these machines don't have breaks for long lunches and tea.

To use the ATM, you would need an ATM card, and you can request for the same with your bank. The bank will also send you a PIN or a Personal Identification Number separately for security purposes. You need to insert your ATM card into the machine and key in your PIN to transact using the ATM. Please do not share your PIN with anyone, as it could lead to dire consequences.

Can you think of one or two reasons why you shouldn't share your PIN with your class mates, the way you share your favourite Amar Chitra Katha comic?

Money Trivia :

Do you know that SBI operates the largest ATM network in the country with over 21,000 ATMs in its network?

Young World Money-Wizards Quiz #17

India claims to have the world's highest installed ATM at Nathu La Pass. Do you know which bank has installed this ATM?

If you know the answer, email it to youngworld@money-wizards.com. The first five correct answers within seven days will each be awarded flipkart evouchers worth Rs. 250. The results and the answers will be published at www.money-wizards.com.

About Money-Wizards: A company in financial literacy and money education. They conduct workshops and after school classes on money education for school children. If you want Money Wizards programmes in your school or neighbourhood, write to Info@Money-Wizards.com