ATM: What is ATM and Why It's Pin Has 4 Digits Only? - [Must see]




Ever perplexed why most ATM pin have only four digits? Wouldn’t it be more intellectual if the PIN was longer for security purpose and tough to guess for others? Just like our long and hard email passwords as they are 6 letters or more. Well, Scottish inventor John Adrian Shepherd-Barron, the man who pioneered the development of the ATM machine, had also proposed a 6-digit PIN.

Barron, born in Shillong, son to a Wimbledon ladies doubles champion Dorothy Barron, was very creative and innovative since childhood. Let’s talk about the history of Automated Teller Machines (ATM) which is operational since 1967. ATM have been around for 5 decades now one of the most commodious inventions till date. ATMs are now installed across the globes, making it super convenient for those who have debit or credit cards. A simple and silly to withdraw money anytime, anywhere.

What is an 'Automated Teller Machine - ATM'

An automated teller machine (ATM) is an electronic banking outlet, which allows customers to complete basic transactions without the aid of a branch representative or teller. Anyone with a credit card or debit card can access most ATMs. The first ATM appeared in London in 1967, and in less than 50 years, ATMs spread around the globe, securing a presence in every major country and even tiny little island nations such as Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia.



Actor Reg Varney using the world's first ATM cash machine in Enfield Town, north London on 27 June 1967

BREAKING DOWN 'Automated Teller Machine - ATM'

There are two primary types of ATMs. Basic units allow customers to withdraw cash and receive reports of their account balances only. The more complex machines accept deposits, facilitate line of credit payments and report account information. To access the advanced features of the complex units, a user must be an account holder at the bank that operates the machine.
Analysts anticipate ATMs will become even more popular and forecast an increase in the number of ATM withdrawals. ATMs of the future are likely to be full-service terminals instead of or in addition to traditional bank tellers.

ATM Ownership
In many cases, banks and credit unions own ATMs. However, individuals and businesses may also buy or lease ATMs, on their own or through an ATM franchise. When individuals or small businesses such as restaurants or gas stations own ATMs, the profit model is based on charging fees to the machine's users. Banks also own ATMs with this intent, but in addition, the convenience of an ATM is a service banks use to attract clients. ATMs also take some of the customer service burden off bank tellers, saving banks money in payroll costs.

ATM Fees
Account holders can use their bank's ATMs at no charge, but accessing funds through a unit owned by a competing bank usually incurs a small fee. As of 2016, the average fee to withdraw cash from an out-of-network ATM is $4.52. Seattle boasts the lowest average ATM fees at $4.21, while Atlanta tends to have the highest average fees at $5.15. In 2014, consumers withdrew a total of $92 billion in cash from ATMs.

Using ATMs Abroad
For travelers, ATMs make it simple to access their checking or savings accounts from almost anywhere in the world. When travelers use foreign ATMs, they receive a better exchange rate than they would at most currency exchange offices. Additionally, using an ATM is easier than cashing traveler's checks, and arguably, it makes travel safer, as the traveler doesn't have to carry a lot of cash. However, the account holder's bank may charge a transaction fee or a percentage of the amount exchanged. Most ATMs do not list the exchange rate on the receipt, making it challenging to track spending.


John Adrian Shepherd-Barron inventor of Automated Teller Machine

But if a burglar or thief steal your card, the only wall securing your money is your 4-digit ATM PIN. But, for a hacker, this is quite easy, isn’t it? Then why ATM pins have only 4-digit code.


Why ATM Pins have only 4-Digit Code?
Scot’s wife Caroline rejected the longest string of numbers and the idea of the 6-digit PIN as funnily she could only remember the numbers up to four. Reportedly, 6 numbers stringed together were too much information for her to recall. There are some banks that provides 6 digit PINs for more safety purposes, shouldn’t those of us using 4 digit PINs be thanking the woman?


Withdraw Money from ATM

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