By Oyetunji Abioye
Many bank customers have yet to avail themselves of the abundant benefits the Automated Teller Machine offers.
Bankers say over 70 per cent of Nigerian customers make use of the ATM solely for the purpose of withdrawing cash. Incidentally, cash withdrawal is just one of the several services the ATM renders.
An ATM does more than dispensing cash. The ATMs have evolved from being mere cash-dispensing machines to offering multi-utility services. Apart from this basic function of facilitating cash withdrawals, the ATM can also be used to perform a variety of functions. Let us take a look at some of the services the ATM offers.
According to www.itsallaboutmoney.com, one of the most basic functions of the ATM is that it comes to your rescue if you face an unexpected need for cash and are unable to visit your bank to undertake a withdrawal of the same. All you need to do is visit the ATM and dip your ATM card in the relevant slot. Enter the PIN upon being prompted. Input the amount of money required to be withdrawn. Subject to the account balance, the machine dispenses the required cash.
Payment of bills
The ATM can be used to undertake various payments such as utility bills, airtime purchase, digital/ cable television services subscription renewal (DSTV, StarTimes, GoTV, etc), tax remittances and insurance premium, among others.
Undertaking funds transfer between bank accounts maintained with the same bank and other banks could be done via the ATM. Although there is a limit to the amount a customer can transfer from one account to another on the ATM machine, seamless transfers to various bank accounts are possible on the ATM.
Banks are already installing scores and hundreds of ATMs that have capacity to obtain deposit from customers. Bank customers need to take advantage of this. Instead of going into the banking hall to queue up for this service, a customer can deposit cash in his or her account at the ATM.
Checking account balances
Some bank customers, out of ignorance, go into banking halls to queue up to check their account balances. The ATM offers several services that customers go to the customer care desk of banks to queue up to do. This could be time-wasting, tiresome, boring and unproductive.
Opening bank accounts
Some banks allow certain type of accounts to be opened by a customer via the ATM. This is possible because such customer already has a particular account with the same bank. For instance, some banks allow customers to open a fixed deposit account on the ATM machine. Other details about such customers are already in the system of the bank since they already have a savings or current account with the bank.
Banks have enabled their ATMs to render services to customers who for one reason or the other are not with their debit card or credit card and need to do some transactions on the ATM. When certain codes are entered, a customer can be allowed to access his/her account and make some limited transactions or get some small cash for emergency purpose.
Banks have been actively adding more functionality to the ATMs. So, explore and avail yourself of the various conveniences offered by an ATM, but also understand its security concerns.