ATMs are fascinating pieces of machinery that allow us to withdraw money from our bank accounts and credit cards. If you are wondering how much money an average ATM holds, the answer might just surprise you!
What Is an ATM?
An ATM (Automated Teller Machine) is a special computer that makes it simple for users to manage their bank accounts. With these machines, users can deposit or withdraw money, check their balances, and print a transaction statement.
ATMs were first used in London in 1967 and are still being used worldwide. While most banks have an ATM on premises, these machines are also offered as standalone units and parts of retail locations.
An ATM has four outputs and two input devices. These simple data terminals connect to and communicate via a host processor. A user simply puts their debit or credit card into the card reader and then their password. From there, the user can perform a variety of tasks.
How Much Money Does an Average ATM Hold?
You may be surprised to learn an average ATM holds around $200,000, depending on the bill denominations it stocks. This amount varies on the type of ATM, the location, frequency of use, and the time of day.
The money is stored inside cassettes. Each of these cassettes only features one bill denomination. Most ATMs only dispense $20 bills, but some will give $50.
A typical ATM machine has four cassettes. There are two for $20 bills and two for $50. If the machine only gives $20 bills, all four cassettes will only contain this denomination. Interestingly, each cassette holds 2,000 bills, so the average ATM holds 8,000 bills in total.
How Much Money Can a User Withdraw From an ATM?
An ATM does not control how much you can withdraw in a day. Your bank does put limits in place, mostly for your protection. If someone steals your bank account, they could not drain it dry in a single day, giving you time to learn about the theft and take corrective action.
The withdrawal amounts typically vary from $300 to $3,000, depending on the bank. The following are some of the limits for the top banks at the time of this writing.
- Wells Fargo varies, depending on your account status
- Bank of America $1,500
- US Bank $500
- Chase $1,000
- Citibank $1,000
How Often Are ATM Machines Refilled?
You may have pulled up to an ATM machine before and saw a sign that said the machine was under maintenance. When this happens, there is someone inside working on refilling the machine.
ATM machines are refilled according to a schedule. Busy ATMS may need to be refilled daily, while others may only need a refill every week or month.
Each ATM has an installed tracking system that keeps track of the withdrawals. An ATM owner will be notified when it is time to refill their machine. The owner may refill the ATM machine, or they may contract with a third party to keep their machines filled with money.
During the refill process, two staff members will shut off the alarm and put the ATM into an out-of-service status. The staff members remove the empty cassettes and replace the cash.
The staff members inform the computer system of how much money has been loaded into the ATM machine. The ATM machine then runs a scan to check the notes and ensure the system is operating normally. If everything checks out with the system, the ATM is booted back into operating service status. The door is locked, and the alarm is reset.
How Secure Is an ATM Machine?
ATMs have security measures in place to keep users safe and prevent theft from the machine. An alarm system sounds if someone tries to break into the machine to steal money.
There are also cameras working inside and outside the machine. Cameras aimed at the digital ATM screen record users in case someone steals another person’s bank card and tries to withdraw money. Cameras inside the ATM record entrances into the machine.
Interesting Facts About ATMs
We do not think often of ATMs, but they are fascinating machines. The following are some interesting facts you may not know about ATM machines.
- The term “Automated Teller Machine” was first used in 1967.
- The first ATM to use a four digit pin number was installed at Westminster Bank in 1967.
- There are approximately three million ATM units worldwide.
- Over half of all ATMs are located away from banks.
- ATMs were prohibited from charging surcharge fees until 1996.
- Around 63% of bank account holders in the US visit an ATM at least once a month.
- Around 43% of bank account holders prefer visiting an ATM rather than a bank branch location.
- The average ATM has around 800 transactions a month.
- The average times a person visits an ATM is around 7 a month.
- There are around 280 new ATMs installed every day.
- The average withdraw amount from ATMs is $60.
ATM Machines Offer Convenience
Now, you will never look at an ATM machine the same way. These machines offer convenience and allow you to withdraw your money when necessary, without having to wait on the bank to open.