While the history of the ATM machine is convoluted in that you cannot trace it to one bank (there were developments in different countries in the 1960s including Japan and Sweden), there is no doubt that these cash-dispensing machines have made our lives easier.
Without one nearby, it would be impossible to haggle with street vendors because you won’t be able to dangle cold cash in front of them. But even if you are not into buying stuff from informal sellers, there are many ways that our lives have become more convenient because of the ATM.
Before Internet banking, people used to transfer money through The ATMs. Although more people are using the Internet to do banking transactions, it does not mean that they are not using cash machines anymore. Really, there’s no telling when someone needs to make a quick cash transfer and there is no Wi-Fi connection.
The good thing about ATM machines is that you can access your money from any bank, unlike in the past when you needed to go to a branch of your bank if you wanted to deposit or withdraw money.
Even with a credit card, having a machine nearby ensures that you have cash for emergencies through your credit card’s cash advance feature. Even if you are using the cash machine of another bank, you can still make that transaction. Of course, you have to pay transaction fees but it’s really nothing compared to the convenience.
Just like Internet banking, it is possible to check your transactions within a given period of time. If you are old-fashioned, you can use an ATM to print all your transactions on your passbook. It’s free to do it at your own bank.
If you are traveling abroad, ATM machines that have a Visa or MasterCard logo allow you to access your money using your card. There is no need to carry dollars or traveler’s checks, which are items that can make traveling dangerous. As it is now, the transaction fee is $3 for international withdrawals.
As you can see from above, there are many ways in which the ATM machine, as bulky as it looks, have made our lives easier. Currently, there are around 3 million of them worldwide. The number is expected to decline according to experts but really don’t see that coming. There’ll always be a use for these machines especially because we are still a cash-based society.