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Personal Finance

Save Time By Depositing Money Through Your ATM (or Who In the Hell Deposits Money in an ATM?)


I love ATM machines. Whenever I need cash, my money is just a few clicks away. But there’s one service on ATMs that I haven’t taken advantage of: deposits. And it looks like I’m not alone. While a staggering 90% of American households use ATMs to withdrawal money, only 29% take advantage of the deposit service at ATMs.

I don’t know what it is. Something about putting my cash or a check from my grandpa in an envelope and placing it in a machine gives me pause. What happens if I deposit money and some jerk drives a beat up Chevy van into the ATM in order to steal my birthday money? I don’t think I’m the only one who has that fear. However, like most fears, I’m sure it’s irrational. I haven’t read about any ATM busts in the paper since…. come to think of it, I’ve never heard of an ATM deposit heist. I guess the robbers think no one else uses ATM deposits either.

Another reason I think people don’t take advantage of the ATM deposit service is that their money won’t be available as quickly if you do your deposit with a flesh and blood teller. Thankfully, banks are working on technology that should speed the time you deposit money into an ATM and the time it appears in your account.

I really need to get over my angst over ATM deposits. I hate going to the bank. Whenever it’s open, I’m busy and whenever I’m free, it’s closed. When I do get a chance to get over to the bank, the line is huge. So, I wait 20 minutes so I can do a transaction that takes 2 minutes. Depositing at an ATM could really save me some time.

How to make an ATM deposit

OK, we all want to make deposits using the ATM. How do we do it? Here’s a short little guide to losing your ATM deposit virginity.

1. Find which ATMs have deposit service. Because so few people take advantage of ATM deposits, many banks have limited or completely gotten rid of the service. Call your bank to find out if they still have the service at their ATM’s and if so at which ones.

2. Swipe your ATM card and enter your PIN.

3. Instead of selecting WITHDRAWAL, select DEPOSIT. I know. It’s going to be hard after years of muscle memory training selecting withdrawal. That’s why focus is so important here.

4. Get an envelope and fill out the requisite information.

5. Insert cash in envelope.

6. Place envelope in deposit compartment.

7. Select complete transaction.

8. Walk away.

Total time: 2 minutes. 3 if you accidentally hit WITHDRAWAL the first time.

So, I’m curious. How many of you make use of the deposit service at the ATM? Please take part in this little poll I’ve set up:


Image by m.gifford