How to Deposit Cash at the ATM and Other ATM Features

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ATMs have plenty of features you may not be aware of! Learn how they can make your life even more convenient.

Did you know you that you can deposit cash at the ATM? Some people stick to traditional methods like dropping by a bank to make a deposit or choose to go through a drive through. But what happens when it’s a holiday or the bank is closed? ATMs aren’t just for getting a quick $20 to fund your Friday night, but they also have quite a few features that most people are unaware of.

Finding a Cash-Accepting ATM Near You

Your first step is to remember to bring all of the appropriate banking cards and the cash you want to deposit along with you. Getting into the habit of including these items in your day bag will make visiting an ATM much more convenient, which is exactly how it should be. The last thing you want is to get to an ATM and realize you’ve forgotten to bring all the proper identification and bank cards with you.

With whom do you bank? You’ll have the best luck in finding an ATM that is a part of the bank you belong to. That way, you won’t have to worry about being charged fees when making a cash deposit into your account. There are ATMs that don’t have fees if you’re using them outside of your banking network, but it’s easier to instead find the ATM that corresponds with your bank. You don’t have to guess whether you’ll be hit with fees later. 

These fees usually occur when non-members of the ATM’s branded bank are opting for withdrawals, but for deposits, you’ll likely need to find your bank’s own ATM anyway for your cash deposits to be accepted.

Depositing Cash at the ATM

You’ve located an ATM that works with your bank account and accepts deposits (some ATMs have limited features, so take the time to do a little research beforehand), your next step is to dig out your debit card because this is the card you’ll need to use for a cash deposit. Insert the debit card into the ATM and follow the prompts on the screen.

The ATM will then ask you for your PIN number. Go ahead and enter your PIN to proceed. Surveillance cameras always observe ATMs along with other security measures, but it doesn’t hurt to take a few extra precautions and look around to ensure you are in a safe environment. Avoid using an ATM if anyone nearby is acting suspicious or if you feel as if someone is watching you. After you have punched in your PIN number, the ATM’s screen will then present to you the main menu. Select the on-screen option for deposits.

The next step will be deciding which account you want to deposit the cash into. If you have multiple accounts, like a checking account and a savings account, the ATM will ask you which one of these accounts you want to select. After doing so, it’s now time to insert the cash into the designated slot on the ATM.

You don’t have to enter the bills one at a time - you can place them in a stack and submit them to the ATM because the machine has modern technology that scans and differentiates whatever bills you feed it.

If you have checks to deposit at this time as well, you can even submit those along with the cash. The ATM will be able to tell the difference, all you have to do is to make sure the back of the check is endorsed with your signatures.

ATMs have superior technology, but it’s always a good idea to take note of how much you are depositing into your account, just in case. The ATM will then calculate how much cash you have just deposited into your account, but before the funds are transmitted, you must approve the amount first. This is a protocol to help ensure that the machine counted your money correctly. Once you have confirmed the correct amount, you can go ahead and authorize the transaction.

Make sure to get a receipt for your transaction for your records. The majority of ATMs will allow the funds of your cash deposit to be made available to you instantly, but if there should be a waiting period, keep an eye on your account until the transaction has been fully approved.

Other Features of ATMs

Different banks will have different features on their ATMs, but with the advances in banking and financial technology, ATMs are changing across the board throughout the industry. Here a few features that are making ATMs easier to use:

Email receipts - if you frequent ATMs often, your car or purse is probably littered with receipts. In our digital age, this seems like an archaic problem to have, which is why so many ATMs are allowing the option of emailed receipts instead.

Cardless ATM identification - speaking of the digital age, new ATMs are utilizing near field communication (NFC) technology, linking your smartphone up to certain devices like the ATM itself for quick and convenient access. ATMs must keep up with our reliance on and prevalence of smartphones and equivalent technology, so there’s hopes that NFC technology will become more and more active in the coming years with ATMs.

Top up - it seems like you can do just about anything on an ATM, and this includes topping up your mobile phone, too. Many banks offer this service to their clients, and the feature is easy to use. Just enter your PIN number, select an option for a top-up or pre-pay for your mobile phone, select your phone carrier, and finally, select the amount you wish to top-up with.

Bill denominations - banks are now recognizing the diverse needs of their customers who don’t always want to withdraw $20 increments of bills. More and more ATMs are equipped with varying bill denominations, allowing banking customers to enjoy smaller bills instead of taking out more than they need.

Statement balance - almost all ATMs can provide the balance of your accounts. You can request the statement balance of any of your accounts on the ATM’s general menu screen.

Pay bills - yes, you can even pay your bills and transfer money with an ATM, although you may have to initially set this up online. Check your local ATMs to see if this feature exists near you.

Make Banking Easier

ATMs certainly make banking easier for someone on the go, but if you’re even too busy to carve out time in your day to seek out an ATM (and especially an ATM with the features you’re after, like accepting cash deposits), you may want to consider mobile banking. Why not use your smartphone as the ultimate banking shortcut?

Banks streamline the process for you in their easy to use, branded phone app that has just as many, if not more, features as an ATM. With mobile banking, you can even deposit checks by taking a quick picture of the front and back, check your statement and activity, and access a handful of other features.