How to Use An ATM Machine – Easy To Understand Guide

It’s all over! Whether you live in an urban, suburban, or rural area, ATMs are a common sight (though the number may vary). Without ATMs, life would be practically unimaginable. You would have to personally visit the bank, stand in long queues, and retrieve your money for every single penny you wished to withdraw.

At some point in our lives, we’ve all used an ATM. But do you understand how ATMs work from a scientific standpoint? Continue reading to find out how to use an ATM.

What is an ATM?

The acronym ATM stands for Automatic Teller Machine. It performs the functions of a bank teller. Your withdrawal/deposit request is collected by the teller, who then exchanges the money with you. The balance in your bank account is then updated.

This is how an ATM works.

You will be able to make transactions at most ATMs if you have a credit or debit card. It eliminates the requirement for a actual banking representative every time you withdraw or deposit funds.

Yet, an ATM’s capabilities extend beyond cash withdrawal and deposit. You can use some of them to pay your utility bills and make transactions between other bank accounts.

You may be charged a little fee depending on the bank your account is with and whose bank the ATM belongs to. Check with your bank to see what fees are linked with it. Nonetheless, this cost is usually insignificant.

What is the History of the ATM?

The first ATM in recorded history belonged to the Barclays Bank in London, back in 1967. Initially, it was limited to customers of Barclays Bank only. But in the following decade, machines that could accept any debit or credit card came into existence. 

ATMs spread like wildfire across the globe in just a few years after that. Individuals all throughout the world learned how to use an ATM machine. Almost 3.5 million ATMs are operational around the world as of this writing. Regardless of how poor an region is, you can usually expect to find at least one ATM nearby. ATM penetration is at this level.

How to Use An ATM Machine – Types of ATMs

There are two types of ATMs, depending on their functionality.

One is a straightforward machine that lets you insert a credit or debit card and withdraw cash. You can also obtain a slip printed with your bank account balance, a mini-statement, and, in some cases, the chance to modify your Personal Identification Number (PIN) from these devices.

The second sort of ATM is a more complex model that also allows you to deposit cash. These machines have a slot where you can insert your money (only notes are accepted). The machine counts the cash, and the sum appears in your account practically immediately. You can also pay your utility bills with some of these machines. If you know how to use an ATM machine in general, you should have no trouble operating either of these machines.

Several types of ATMs exist in India, based on their location and ownership. Here are a few examples:

Onsite ATMs:

These are ATMs that are located on a bank branch’s premises.

Offsite ATMs: 

They are stand-alone machines that can be found on major streets and in rural and urban regions. They are affiliated with a specific bank, however they frequently accept cards from other banks (for withdrawal).

White Label ATM: 

Non-bank organizations set up these machines to provide financial independence and penetration into rural areas of the country. The logo or design of any particular bank is usually absent from these white label ATMs.

Brown Label ATM:

The bank does not own them; instead, they are leased to offer service to consumers.

How to Use An ATM Machine – Activating an ATM Card

It’s simple to figure out how to use an ATM machine to activate your card. You must activate your card for ATM use once you have opened an account with a bank and received your card. However, doing so is simple. Depending on your bank and branch, here are some of the most common methods.

  • ATM Activation:

If you withdraw money from an ATM belonging to the bank where you opened the account, your card will be automatically activated. You will then be able to use your card at any ATM across the country.

  • Activation via Net Banking:

Along with your account information, you’ll be issued a User ID with which you can access your online banking portal (after creating a password, of course). The option to activate your ATM card will be available here. The procedure is simple, and some banks even allow you to do so using their mobile apps.

  • Using Customer Service:

To activate your ATM card, call your bank’s toll-free number and select the appropriate option. You may be asked to submit your account number, registration address, mobile number, and proof of identification here. Your card will be activated once everything has been completed and approved.

The primary functions of an ATM card are to withdraw cash, deposit cash, pay bills, and complete specific financial transactions.

How to Use An ATM Machine Card – Step-By-Step Process to Withdraw Money From ATM

Do not be concerned if you have never used an ATM machine before. The procedure is straightforward and similar to that of other bank ATMs across the country. The sequence of events on how to operate an ATM machine may change depending on the Bank ATM.

Step 1:  Insert ATM Card to Machine

Put your debit card into the ATM machine’s card slot. Some machines will take your card and hold it inside until your transaction is complete. Others may return the card once the chip has been read.

The ATM would be inserted into a slot (which would most likely light up green).

Step 2:  Select the language

The ATM will prompt you to choose between Hindi and English for your transaction. Choose whatever option suits you best.

Step 3:  Enter Screen Test number

At some bank ATM machines, you’ll be asked to enter any number between 10 and 99 to test the keyboard and screen’s functionality. For example, in an SBI ATM, you’ll be asked to type any number between 10 and 99, such as 25, and then hit yes if the number is displayed properly or no if it isn’t.

Step 4: Enter 4 digit ATM PIN

After that, you must enter your PIN. It’s a four-digit secret code that you must remember at all times in order to use the ATM to access your account. Try to hide your hand on the number pad while entering the PIN so that no one else can see it.

Step 5: Select yours Account type

After that, you must decide whether your account is a current or a savings account. Individuals (Salary, personal accounts) usually have current accounts, whereas businesses usually have business accounts.

Step 6: Select the withdrawal amount

You will be asked to select an amount for withdrawal. Enter the amount you need to withdraw using the Enter Your Amount option. Normally, it must be a multiple of tens and must be less than the maximum amount accessible in your account, or the transaction will fail.

Step 7: Collect yours Cash

The cash will be dispensed after you confirm the amount.

Step 8: Collect the printed Slip if required

After cash is withdrawn, you will be asked whether you wish to collect the printed receipt as well. If so, select the appropriate option.

Step 9: Make another Transaction

If you want to make more withdrawal transactions, choose this option.

Step 10: End Session

In some ATMs, the transaction session is normally cancelled soon once the cash is dispensed, but be sure that it is not ongoing on the machine after withdrawal. To end the transaction, push the red button on the keypad, or just press other buttons to see if the transaction is still active.

Last but not least, before leaving the ATM room, remember to remove your ATM card from the machine.

This is how to operate an ATM! You now have your money!


ATMs play an crucial role in our daily lives. I hope this information has helped you understand how to use an ATM machine. They’re ubiquitous, and their numbers are only going to grow as our country’s financial penetration rises. Learn how to use an ATM, online banking, and mobile banking services so that banking becomes simple and convenient for you. If you have friends or relatives who aren’t familiar with ATMs, show them how to use one.

Recommended:In India, the Best Debit Cards

FAQs – How to Use An ATM Machine?

What cards are accepted at the ATM?

For financial transactions, almost all ATMs accept credit cards, debit cards, and even some prepaid cards (eligible for cash withdrawal).

What is a PIN?

The bank will supply you with a four-digit secret number when you open an account. It may be included with the first batch of documents, or it may be sent to you separately by courier or post. You can use this PIN and establish your own PIN to access your bank account through the ATM in any case. Remember to keep your PIN private.

What are the different ATM services?

Account information, cash withdrawal and deposit, mini statements, and bill payment are all common services provided by ATMs.

Is there a service charge for using other bank’s ATMs?

According to the RBI’s Free ATM Access Policy, an ATM must have a minimum number of free transactions for other bank cards. Banks may then levy a transaction fee beginning at INR 20.

What to do if the card is lost/stolen?

Contact the bank’s customer service and request that the card be blocked right away. You can ask your bank for a replacement card later.

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