Wednesday, October 27, 2010

High-tech ATM

I have checking accounts at two banks. There’s the big institutional bank that ate the bank that ate the bank where I had an account long ago, and then there’s the little local bank where I know everybody and they know me. The little local bank gets all the business because they take really good care of me, but I kept the account open at the big bank in case of some sort of emergency like losing an ATM card overseas.

Noticing that I haven’t been doing any business with them, the big bank sent me a letter. They promised me $75 if I deposit $750 or more in three consecutive months. That sounded like an easy $75, so I went down to our local big-bank ATM a couple of days ago to deposit a check.

I was disappointed to discover that there were no deposit envelopes in the little automated ATM office. I thought I’d have to go and get an envelope somewhere else, but another customer pointed out the sign saying that the ATM’s work without envelopes. So here’s what happened:

  • I put my card into the ATM and entered my PIN.
  • The machine asked if I wanted to make a deposit or withdrawal.
  • I pressed the “deposit” button and the machine asked me to insert my check in the slot with the flashing light.
  • I inserted the check. It never asked me to enter the amount; it just read the check.
  • The machine asked me to confirm a deposit of $750.
  • I pressed “yes.”

That’s it. We were finished. Here’s the receipt with a picture of the scanned check:


  1. Steve, dude, this sounds a lot like George Bush (I think it was dad not W) when he first encountered bar code scanners at the supermarket. Where have you been?

  2. Pegi, I guess my little local bank isn't so high tech. I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I did believe there were still elves somewhere reading all our checks by hand. When do you suppose that ended?