Just like the dog ate your homework from years ago, so can your local ATM.
So, what’s a depositor to do? There is something other than letting it devour your currency and checks.
According to Statistic Brain, there were 425,000 of these machines in the US as of March 29, 2017. Statistic Brain also reported that the average ATM in the United States saw 800 transactions every month, says Wisebread.com.
Considering how many ATM machines there are and the work out they get in terms of transactions, it’s no wonder an ATM can eat a consumer’s cash or check deposit without crediting their account or providing them a receipt. Here are some steps to help if it happens:
Contact your Bank ASAP
First, if this happens to you, don’t just ignore it. Contact your bank and do it immediately.
If you are standing outside your own bank, using one of your financial institution’s ATMs, simply go inside and explain what happened. Your bank can correct the situation on the spot, crediting the deposit to your account and issuing a paper receipt verifying the funds.
This is the quickest, and easiest. However, what if you are using a stand-alone ATM that’s not near your bank branch?
Frustrating and weird but try not to panic. It’s important to call your bank immediately. Use the number on the back of your debit card and explain what occurred to the customer service representative. The bank will typically credit you for the deposit and begin an investigation. If it determines that you did deposit the amount you claimed, it will finally deposit that amount in your account, removing the credit. How long this takes, varies depending on your bank.
So, how often does and ATM eat your deposit? Hard to say, as there are no actual stats. But what is known is that consumers use their ATMs often. A 2017 banking study reported 61 percent of consumers visited an ATM at least once a month. This leaves the chances wide open for potential ATM grabs.
If you are depositing cash, visit a bank branch in person and make the deposit with a teller. This might be an inconvenience, depending on your bank’s branch locations and its hours, but it’s surely safer to hand your cash deposit to a teller than it is to put it in a deposit envelope and place it in an ATM that could make an error.
While ATMs are convenient, they can also cause you some trouble if you don’t watch out; just be alert and if one does eat a deposit, contact your banking institution.
If you are depositing a check, you also have more options. Sure, you can deposit your check in person with a teller if you want to avoid the ATM. However, you can also sign up with a bank that offers mobile deposit. Using your bank’s Smartphone app, you can take a photo of your check and deposit that check directly into your account from anywhere.
Be aware that mobile banking isn’t always perfect, either. Hold onto your checks after you deposit them until you see the money appear in your account. Your bank might send you a message saying that it couldn’t read the photo, or that there was an error. At this point, you may need to take another photo of your check and deposit again.
In the end, just be sure that you keep track of what you are doing when it comes to any ATM as it may or may not eat your deposit on any given day.