Automated teller machine

electronic banking kiosk

An automated teller machine (ATM) is a machine that lets people take or deposit money that they have. It can also be used by someone to see how much money they have, or see other things about their bank account. In the United Kingdom, ATMs are often called cash machines, cashpoints or the hole in the wall.[1]

ATMs may be found in stores and shopping malls. They can also be found in other places. Sometimes, they can be found in bars or restaurants. Other times, at special events, people may set one up so the guests can use the machine, like at a fundraiser.

People need a debit card or credit card in order to use an ATM. They also need to have a Personal Identification Number (PIN). A PIN is a code that lets them get into their account.

There are many scams with ATMs. In one scam, con artists look over the victim's shoulder and find their PIN.[2] This is known as shoulder surfing.[3] In another, they may put a video camera near the ATM to look at people using their PIN number.[2] They then make cards using the PIN number and account number to be able to use that person's account.


  1. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster. Archived from the original on 9 January 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Diebold ATM Fraud" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 September 2009. Retrieved 2011-02-11.
  3. Eiband, Malin; Khamis, Mohamed; von Zezschwitz, Emanuel; Hussmann, Heinrich; Alt, Florian (May 2017). "Understanding Shoulder Surfing in the Wild: Stories from Users and Observers" (PDF). CHI '17 – Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: 4254–4265. doi:10.1145/3025453.3025636. S2CID 11454671. Retrieved May 3, 2018.