First invented in 1939 by Luther George Simjian and installed in select bank locations, the idea of an automated teller machine (ATM) didn’t really take off until decades later. Initially, consumers did not want to use the machines and were eventually removed.
Fast forward to the present, most people could not imagine life without the convenience of ATMs. Now some banks are making additional changes to further increase the level of ease. W*USA News 9 reported the $20 minimum at ATMs are currently becoming a thing of the past. Currently, over 7,000 machines are up and running in the U.S.
New ATMs are designed to be able to dispense in denominations in other than $20 increments.
Since the ATM took off in popularity, bank customers could only withdraw money from their accounts in $20 increments, but with the new ATMs, customers could take out as low amount as $1, $5 or even an unusual amount of cash, such as $18.
According to CNN Money, both Chase and PNC banks have been actively testing the new machines over the last 18 months. Now both banks plan to expand and have many more of these ATMs installed in the U.S. by the end of 2013.
CBS News reported on the positive responses coming from some several bank customers.
“I always make $1 purchases all the time, like drinks. So, it kind of works out. I don’t ever overdraw my account. I know what I get. I’m actually kind of excited about it,” Tiffany Kowalecki, a PNC customer, said.
ATM user Mary Dabat told the network, “I really don’t want to get $30, but I want more than $20 so I’ll get $25.”
Both Chase and PNC have indicated they think the new machines will better serve their customers. With a more flexible ATM style, this can better accommodate customers and allow more freedom in the amounts of money withdrawn from accounts. With the newly designed ATM, customers can choose their amounts rather than being locked into selecting amounts from the traditionally rigid $20-based system.
This move could possibly also decrease customer use at window for those customers who fill out withdrawal slips and bring to a bank teller.
There are reportedly no fees associated with the new machines for bank customers and for non-customers who want to try out the new ATMs, only standard ATM fees will apply. Additionally, it is highly possible that future ATMs may also dispense coins.
No word on if other banks have plans to change out the $20 increment format in their ATMs, but if these are catching on in a positive way, chances are it won’t be long before all banks want in on the action.