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Automated Teller Machine

The ATM full form stands for Automated Teller Machine. It is an electronic device that offers 24×7 cash withdrawals and other banking services. To be eligible to use an ATM, a customer must have a functional debit or credit card issued for an account held in a bank. The card reader located inside the machine reads the chip placed in the card, and transactions can be made by entering the correct PIN (Personal Identification Number) registered with the bank. 

History of ATMs in India

Today, ATM services are an essential part of daily life, but the first ATM in India was launched by HSBC in Mumbai in the year 1987, almost 2 decades after it was first introduced in the USA. At first, the electronic device was not very popular, as most people still preferred to visit the bank. Yet, in the years to come, the number of ATMs in India boomed from around 800 in the 1990s to over 10,000 in 2003. In 2023, almost all privatised and central banks offer ATM services, all of which are overlooked, managed and linked nationwide through the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). 

Key features of ATM

As the ATM full form suggests, the main feature of an ATM is to help customers withdraw cash from their bank account, at any time, from anywhere. However, the advantages of ATMs do not end here. The Automated Teller Machine is also useful for:

  • Balance enquiry
  • Transfer of funds 
  • Payment of bills

Compared to normal banking activities, using ATM services is more time efficient and secure. But beware! Due to the nature of ATMs, the particular machine might be out of cash. There is often also a lower and upper limit to the cash available for withdrawal. 

Types of ATM

The Automated Teller Machine can be classified into different categories based on:

  • Location of installation- 

ATM can be either on-premise (installed as part of a bank branch) or off-premise (installed as a standalone establishment). 

  • Functionality-

ATM can either support mono-function (only cash withdrawal and balance enquiry) or multi-function (transferring funds, paying bills, etc). 

  • Mode of installation-

ATM can either be interior (placed inside a separate establishment) or exterior (placed outside for example, on the footpath)

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