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Sujai Adithya
Human Resource and Banking & Finance Expert
Asked a question last year

Are ATMs safe for depositing money? What are the risks involved?

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Sujai Adithya
Human Resource and Banking & Finance Expert

ATMs are really convenient and time-saving, but it has its own problems too. At the end of the day, it is a machine and can make errors. There are many horror stories regarding unsuccessful ATM deposits, which might actually scare you. Though ATMs are very effective in this fast-paced world, some precautions from our side can make this process hassle-free. Generally, if you are making large & important deposits or if you are in danger of bouncing checks, you can opt out on ATMs. Some people have experienced cases as bad as the money vanishing after making a deposit, without any record. Other types of machine errors can occur too. So it is best to avoid ATMs for such kind of deposits. 

While using an ATM, you can take these steps to ensure a good experience:

  1. ) Always deposit in YOUR bank ATM - Generally you will be able to deposit only in your bank ATMs. But in case if your bank is under a network, you might be able to deposit in any of the bank ATMs which are under the network. But for safety purposes, it is better to deposit only in your bank ATM. If you are using a different ATM (still under the same network), your funds might not be credited as quickly as if you use your own bank ATM. It can also cause problems like overdrafts, fees, etc.
  2. ) Choose safe ATM locations - It is best to use ATMs which are inside bank branches. Even in case of any problems, they can assist you immediately. Otherwise, you can look for ATMs in safe neighborhoods, ones which have a security guard, etc.
  3. ) Prepare in advance - Before reaching the ATM, make sure you have the cash organised. Fumbling around with the cash inside the ATM, especially large amounts, can be risky. In case if you need any deposit slips, keep an extra one filled before going to the ATM.

In case of errors, it might be a time consuming process to get back your money. In some cases you might end up losing it. Even in your bank ATMs, the ATM operator could be a separate organisation, so the bank staff cannot open the machine and help you out immediately. They might even have to check the security footage in order to confirm doubts. So it is better to deposit in banks directly, in case of large and important deposits, to ensure a smooth and safe experience.