ATMs - 100% accuracy

November 26th, 2012 at 3:04:37 PM permalink
Mondatta
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 2
Posts: 3
How are ATMs so dang accurate? I've never gotten too much, and never been shortchanged. How can they operate correctly 100% of the time?
November 26th, 2012 at 11:42:56 PM permalink
Dfens
Member since: Nov 2, 2012
Threads: 1
Posts: 16
I used to be a retail operations supervisor at a bank. From my experience, ATMs are highly accurate though they are not 100% accurate.

Sometimes the bills don't disburse the right denomination. We had the ATMs that only disbursed $20s (a few ATMs I've visited at other banks sometimes disburse $100 bills and/or $10 with the 20's and obviously at casinos they distribute other denominations as well). Sometimes a $10 bill (or any denomination) will get into a strap of $20 bills. Then those bills are loaded into the ATM and the ATM assumes the $10 bill is a $20 bill. With multi denomination ATM machines, I assume that the hoppers are designated for specific bills (Ie hopper A is for $100, hopper B is for $20, etc... ) and the same problem can creep up.

I also suspect that it may be possible for the ATMs to disburse extra bills due new bills sticking together. I've seen the ATMs off by a $20 in a blue moon and figured that it can be from the ATM disbursing two bills stick together or a $20 strap was short a bill.

The worst is when the ATM never spit out money but charged a customer's accounts. This never happened at a bank ATM where I worked at those independently run ATMs.

When our bank customers got short changed from ATMs, they would fill out they dispute form and typically we gave them the benefit of the doubt. But they were very rare and I always assumed that if they got too much money (for instance a $50 bill that was in the strap of $20 bills) they wouldn't dispute it.

I have worked in both a large commercial bank and smaller chained community bank up until 2001. The ATMs today may be more accurate than the ones I worked with though I don't think they have changed much.

The ATMs are accurate as they do a repetitive task over and over again. Also, our central warehouse had specific cash that was designated to be used for the ATM. The ATM was loaded with clean and crisp bills so that the ATM could easy handle the cash and it improved the ATMs performance. For one of the banks I worked for, one of the dimensions the operations managers were evaluated was ATM availability. If the ATM jammed or ran out of cash, the ATM would shut down down. If this happened often the operations manager evaluations would be impacted.

As a side note, the next time you go to a bank ATM look at the edge of the bills that it spits out to you. At some ATMs, you'll notice that the bills will have one of the edges (typically top) marked with a sharpie. It's there to help visually count the ATM hoppers. The $20 bills are typically taken from straps ($2000 per strap) and then marked on an edge. Then the straps are loaded into the ATM and alternates directions so that you can open up a hopper and count it to visually verify the balance.
November 26th, 2012 at 11:59:42 PM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 54
Posts: 6503
Developed largely by Diebold a safe company. Often the camera timing and transaction timing are on separate computer clocks so use caution. Many ATMs are targeted for physical attack.
November 27th, 2012 at 2:39:25 PM permalink
Ayecarumba
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 85
Posts: 1600
Quote: Mondatta
How are ATMs so dang accurate? I've never gotten too much, and never been shortchanged. How can they operate correctly 100% of the time?


I had an ATM report cash out, but actually nothing was delivered out the slot, so it is not 100%.

Based on what I hear the machine doing when I make a withdrawl, I would guess the bills are counted twice to verify the the total before sending them out the slot. While this slows the transaction, it must help catch sticky bills. Interestingly, one thing I notice alot is that the ATM's don't kick out new bills. They are usually used to various degrees. This must help with "stickyness" too.
November 27th, 2012 at 3:54:55 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 345
Posts: 12536
Quote: Ayecarumba
Interestingly, one thing I notice alot is that the ATM's don't kick out new bills. They are usually used to various degrees. This must help with "stickyness" too.


People expect new bills from the bank, too, especially when making large withdrawls. But banks, and ATMs, use the same bills we all do: whatever is in circulation.

New bills are issued largely to banks, therefore they're most likely to have any. But any given day a withdrawl will include whatever bills the bank has available.

As for ATMS, they are filled the same way: whatever's handy. If they are serviced by banks, they may get new bills more often. But some ATMs belong to stores, gas stations, etc. Some are owned by small businesses or even private individuals. These last make almost all their money from ATM fees.
Donald Trump is a fucking liar
November 27th, 2012 at 5:33:19 PM permalink
rxwine
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 132
Posts: 6667
For whatever the error rate of ATMs, I'm sure I've lost more money over the years using vending machines which somehow can't manage to count off one relatively large object and deliver it successfully.

(as a side note, once I walked into a hotel laundry room, and a large crowbar was jammed into one of those bank vault-like Coca-cola machines. Someone had unsuccesfully and apparently foolishly tried to break into it during the night. Same machines has the little man picture on it of someone about to be crushed if you tip it over)
Nobody learned anything from the global financial crisis.
November 29th, 2012 at 12:18:11 PM permalink
Ayecarumba
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 85
Posts: 1600
Quote: rxwine
For whatever the error rate of ATMs, I'm sure I've lost more money over the years using vending machines which somehow can't manage to count off one relatively large object and deliver it successfully.

(as a side note, once I walked into a hotel laundry room, and a large crowbar was jammed into one of those bank vault-like Coca-cola machines. Someone had unsuccesfully and apparently foolishly tried to break into it during the night. Same machines has the little man picture on it of someone about to be crushed if you tip it over)


I've often wondered if vending machines were deliberately set to short change folks or take their money with no return. There is very little downside for the owner of the machine, since most folks simply give up, don't bother calling the number, or stupidly put more money into it.
December 9th, 2012 at 6:54:55 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 93
Posts: 2328
Quote: Dfens
The worst is when the ATM never spit out money but charged a customer's accounts. This never happened at a bank ATM where I worked at those independently run ATMs.


This never happened to me, but I saw a lady claim it happened to her at a casino. She complained to the casino, but I don't know how it turned out.

Quote: Fleastiff
Often the camera timing and transaction timing are on separate computer clocks


There was a case in Prince George's MD near DC:

"The time of the withdrawal from [a murdered woman's] account, recorded by a bank computer, corresponded to the times stamped on the ATM video of the suspects."

"[The Arizona suspects] said they told the detectives again and again that they had not used a stolen card and knew nothing about a killing"

"Transaction records for the cards used by [the Arizonans] show that the three were at the ATM earlier than the time stamped on the video. Detectives had those records on the day of the interrogations, but it is unclear whether they closely examined them before making the arrests." [PG county police rival the Keystone Cops]

"The murder charges were dropped only after [one woman's] father took it upon himself to gather his own copy of the records, then fly from Arizona to Maryland and ask a Prince George's prosecutor to review the records."

"Pr. George's Murder [still] Unsolved "

http://truthinjustice.org/PGfalse-confessions.htm
Mustard:You like Kipling, Miss Scarlet? Sure, I'll eat anything [from movie]
December 9th, 2012 at 9:05:12 AM permalink
miplet
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 7
Posts: 951
I've had an ATM give some weird error message while trying to get some money. About 30 days later I get something from my bank. It mentioned reversing a deposit for amount I was trying to withdraw. That ATM didn't even accept deposits! It took three phone calls to get everything straightened out.
"...remind me of clue: Colonel Mustard in the billiard room with the candlestick."- Derek Morgan