ATM - Automated Teller Machine

The automated teller machine or ATM is a computerized device that allows the clients of banks and other financial institutions to carry out financial transactions. Clients do not need to communicate with bank tellers, clerks, or cashiers to do that. They can just use their credit or debit card, inserting them into the card reader. After responding to the prompts that appear on the screen, bank customers are ready to walk away with their money. ATMs are found at banks, many convenience stores, supermarkets, and travel centers. Other convenient locations are petrol and gas stations, airports, restaurants, and other places where many people gather.

All big banks in Canada such as the Bank of Montreal or TD Bank have networks of automated teller machines across the country. The Royal Bank, for example, gives its clients access to funds through over 4000 ATMs and is the first banking institution to offer ‘talking’ or audio-enabled ATMs. The Royal Bank of Canada works in cooperation with the Canadian Standards Association as to establish industry standards for barrier-free automated teller machines. CIBC has ATMs at close to 4000 locations, and CIBC Instant Tellers are available at the bank’s branches. The bank machines can be used at no additional cost by customers of CIBC. ATMs can be accessed at many President's Choice Financial and 7-Eleven, Mac's Convenience locations.

When using an ATM, customers insert a smart card with a chip or an ATM card fitted with a magnetic stripe. The card contains security information and a unique card number. Personal identification numbers are used for authentication. Many banks charge fees for ATM use. The Canadian government maintains a chart containing the typical fees for ATM usage in the country. It is a part of the Cost of Banking Guide by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. In terms of fees, with some banks, only users who are not clients of the bank get charged while with others, charges apply to everyone. Bank users are persons who have a bank account with a particular banking institution.

Bank clients can use ATMs to purchase cell phone credit, make cash withdrawals from their bank accounts, check account balances, or make cash advances. In some countries, clients can use ATMs to make donations, buy concert and train tickets, pay routine bills, print bank statements, and much more. If a client wants to withdraw money in a currency that is different from the one in which the account is denominated, a wholesale exchange rate is used to convert the money. In this way, ATMs offer the best exchange rates for tourists. It should be noted that there is a difference between the foreign fee and the surcharge. The latter can be imposed by ATM owners and charged to persons using the machine. The foreign fee, on the other hand, is a fee that is charged by the institution issuing the card. This fee applies when clients make transactions outside of their machines’ network.

Automated teller machines are composed of a number of elements, among which a display to help customers perform the transaction and a PIN pad which is similar to a calculator keypad. Function key buttons are found close to the display while the record printer provides clients with transaction records. Other features include a magnetic reader, CPU, vault, and secure cryptoprocessor.

The Canadian banking association called Interac facilitates electronic financial transactions and allows for shared cash dispensing. The shared cash dispensing permits cash withdrawals from automated banking machine with the Interac logo, which doesn't belong to your bank. If you have a chequing account with CIBC from example you can withdraw cash from TD Bank ATM machine because TD Bank is a member of the Interac network.