ATMs are linked to
computers that will give you money from your bank account. ATM means
Automated Teller Machine. An ATM is also a place where you can
deposit your money into the
bank. Tellers in a bank are humans but an Automated Teller is just a
machine. The good thing about these machines is that they are open 24
hours a day, seven days a week. ATMs are inside and outside banks, in
stores, airports, and many other places, too. They are all over the
When you open a savings or checking
account in a bank, you will be asked whether you want a debit
card. You need a debit card to take money out of or put
money into an ATM. Debit cards look just like credit cards
and, just like credit cards, they can be used in stores to buy
things. When you use it in a store, it takes the money out
of your account right awayójust like getting cash from an ATM
does. An important thing to remember is: Keep the
card safe so no one else can use it!
ATMs are linked to computers that are linked to your bank.
The debit card or credit card that you put into the ATM sends your
account numbers to your bank so that the ATM knows how much money you
have in your accounts. You have to have money in your bank account in
order to take money out. That makes sense, right? It is very important
to keep track of what you take out of a checking account. If you forget
to write it down in your
you might write a check and think you have more money in the account
than you really do. When that happens, you might
overdraft and the bank charges
you extra money for doing that. No one wants to lose their money!
This is how to use a debit card at an ATM:
Look at the ATM machine carefully because there are little things that
could be different about them. For example, sometimes you need to put
your card in a slot and it is pulled inside the machine and given back
to you later. With other machines, you quickly put it in the slot and
pull it back out again. There is a picture of where the stripe on the
back of the card needs to be when you put your card in. Follow the
directions and put in the card.
The first screen will ask for your PIN number. A PIN number is your
very own Personal Identification Number. The bank lets you decide what
this number is and it is usually four numbers in length. It is
important to pick one that wonít be easy to figure out and that you can
remember. It is not a good idea to pick one like your phone number or
your birthday that someone could figure out if they knew your name.
When you put in your PIN number, the computer will call your bank to see
if your Pin is right.
The ATM will show a screen asking if you want a receipt. A receipt is a
small piece of paper that tells how much money you took out of (or put
account. You should say yes because you will need this paper to remind
you to write the amount in your check register when you get home.
The machine will start and a screen will come up that asks you what you
want to do. It asks you if you want to do a
withdrawal, a deposit, or want to
find out how much money you have in your account. You push the button
next to what you want to do and follow the directions.
often, ATMs are used to take money out of an
account. If you have a savings and a checking
account, another screen will come up and ask you to
choose which account you want to take the money out
you wanted to take money out, the next screen will ask you how much
money. Some machines will only let you take it out in $20.00 steps.
For example: you could take out $20.00, $40.00, $60.00, etc. Some
machines let you take it out in $10.00 amounts. For example: You could
take out $10.00, $20.00, $30.00 etc. Quick cash is usually $60.00.
When you decide what you want, you push the button next to it.
Remember: you canít take out money if you have no money in the
account. You canít take out $20.00 when you only have $10.00 in the
account. The computer that is still connected to your bank will find
out if you have enough money in your bank to do what you want. If you
donít, it will cancel out the
you need to deposit money, there will be envelopes for you to fill out
and put your money in.
you check how much money you have in the bank (balance), remember that this
doesnít include checks you might have written that the bank hasnít
gotten yet. For example: You had $20.00. If you wrote a check today
for $10.00, there really wasnít enough time for the bank to take it out
of your account yet. Sometimes it takes a week for this to happen. So,
if you went to the ATM, your balance might still say $20.00 because the
bank doesnít know about your $10.00 check yet. If you take out the
$20.00, your check will
and then it gets ugly. Click here to find out how checking accounts
The next screen will ask you if you want to do anything else. Push the
button next to your answer.
When you are done, the receipt will come out of a slot on the machine.
Your card will come out if the ATM is one that pulls in your card. Make
sure you have the receipt AND the card when you leave the ATM.
Safety and a debit card:
Never tell anyone your PIN number.
Donít write it down and put it in your wallet with
the card. If someone stole your wallet, they
would be able to get into your account and take all
of your money.
Choose an ATM that is in a safe place and make sure no one is watching
you at the machine. If you feel unsafe or that someone is too close to
you as you are using the ATM, cancel out and leave. Make sure you have
your card when you leave.
Even if you feel that no one is watching you use the card, cover the
number pad when you put in your PIN. It is also a good idea to stand
right in front of and close to the ATM so that no one can see what you
you need to count the cash, stand close to the ATM so that your body
hides the money from anyone who might be looking. Put the money away