Steps for Using an ATM

Steps for Using an ATM
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A checking account gives you a place to store cash that you can access easily by writing checks or paying with a debit card. Some businesses, however, don't accept checks or debit card payments, so you may have to withdraw cash from your checking account from time to time. Automatic teller machines provide quick access to the cash in your checking account.

Read any instructions posted on the ATM or that appear on the machine's digital display. The exact procedure for using an ATM can vary slightly from one machine to the next, so it is important to follow any instructions or prompts the machine gives you.

Insert your card into the card slot on the ATM. Some machines keep the card for the entire transaction; others read the card's strip and immediately returns the card.

Enter your account's personal identification number using the ATM's keypad. After entering your PIN, you'll may have to press a button called "Enter," "Proceed" or something similar to continue. If you have multiple accounts with your bank, you may be prompted to specify which account you want to interact with.

Choose the type of transaction you want from the list provided. ATMs vary in terms of the services they provide. ATMs are primarily used for looking at your account balances and withdrawing cash, but some also let you make deposits.

Enter the amount of cash you want to withdraw using the ATM's keypad. The machine will dispense the cash as long as your account has enough money in it and you don't try to withdraw more than your bank allows. Alternatively, if you choose to make a deposit, insert any checks or cash you want to deposit into the machine's deposit slot. You may have to put your checks and cash in a deposit envelope and fill out some information on the envelope to make a deposit.

Take any cash you withdrew. You may also be prompted to choose whether you want a receipt; take your receipt if you choose to have one printed.

After completing your first transaction the machine may ask you whether you want to make another. You may have to select an option such as "No", "Done" or "Finished" to end your transaction. If the machine kept the card for the entire transaction, it should be returned to you at this point.


  • ATM withdrawals using credit cards are called "cash advances" and tend to carry extremely high interest rates.

    Using an ATM outside of your bank's ATM network can result in paying fees.

    Foreign ATM machines often accept American debit and credit cards.

    Make sure no one else can see the ATM's number pad when you type in your PIN.

    It is safest to use an ATM inside a bank.


  • Be wary of using an ATM in secluded locations, at night and when suspicious people are nearby. ATM users are sometimes victims of theft.