In the early days, a person is required to go to the bank personally and withdraw his money manually from his account. He would have to wait for countless hours in turn before he could have his money. He has to fall in line, fill-up forms and wait for the teller to count the money. However, this method of getting money from the bank can become a hindrance especially in certain instances such as in emergencies, trips or even in purchasing items. Today, ATM cards are issued to allow clients to access their bank accounts wherever they are and for whatever use. One can access it in any place that has an ATM. But how exactly does an ATM work?
According to Menzies (1982) the ATM card and the ATM has been first introduced in the 1970s which allows customers to view their transactions through a computerized system that is also reflected in their bankbooks. An ATM is a microcomputer station that can be mounted in a wall, but it is limited in transactions. Machines are also different per Bank as some ATM terminals can accept deposits and payment . Upon inserting the card, instructions as to what to do next are flashed in the monitor of the machine. The PIN is immediately asked and varies in length. When the PIN is incorrect, the machine asks for the PIN again, or it will decline and lock the card. Upon putting the correct PIN, the transactions options are immediately shown. The system would immediately recognize the bank account it should use, due to the ATM card’s digital signature associated to the bank account to be used.
The amount of money that could be withdrawn is dependent on the bills the device could release since I noticed that the system could only dispense bills and not coins such as $20, $50, $100 and $1,000. Each bank also has a limit as to how much could be withdrawn, but multiple withdrawals are possible as I have tried it twice. There is a time limit with each request, because when I was trying to copy my balance, the screen changed and asked me if I needed more time. Brown (2008) cites that ATMs have time allocation summaries programmed to cater to each transaction requested. For example, withdrawing responds quickly in 30 seconds while communicating with the bank server will take up to 1-5 seconds in interval . All in all, the user interaction of the machine are easily to learn as instructions are both on written and drawn as seen in the monitor of the machine. It also adjusts to the user preferences since it asks also if one prefers English or another language to follow the instructions of the machine.
However, there are still possible improvements with the ATM that can be done to improve the design of the machine. The first is applying the touch screen mechanism since the standard option buttons are hard to push and sometimes, they do not enter in the machine. To allow the touch screen interface to refrain from errors, the ATM program must be calibrated to identify touch in a given range for each option. This will stop execution error and contradiction. Another improvement to the design is the function of the system to assist clients with handicaps. Voice recognition, braille keys and even user-friendly instruction guides are just some of the potential improvements that can be done for handicapped clients. Finally, an ATM can also use the same method to communicate with the bank in reporting transaction errors and card captures, so that banks can immediately act for their clients. These improvements can improve user interaction with ATMs as many users are frustrated with ATM that do not process their transactions correctly.
Brown, P. (2008). Implementing SOA: total architecture in practice. Boston: Addison-Wesley Professional.
Menzies, H. (1982). Computers on the job: surviving Canada's microcomputer revoution. Toronto: James Lorimer and Company.