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All ATM machines are comprised of one data terminal, two inputs and four output devices. All these are not useful without the availability of a host processor. Without the host processor, the ATM will not be able to connect and also communicate or relate with the user trying to get cash from the ATM. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) is a very vital component of the whole process and even the machine as a whole. This ISP acts an access to the transitional networks and also the banks data base.
Generally there are two types of Automated Teller Machine. These types are classified according to the way and manner of their operation. They are referred to as;
- Leased-line ATM
- Dial-up ATM machines
Parts of an Automated Teller Machine
As earlier stated, the ATM comprises of four output devices and two input devices.
Input Devices of An ATM
The input devices include;
- Card Read:this is a device that aid in the identification of the particular account number that is to be accessed. For this, the ATM as being designed in such a way that when the card is inserted into the machine, the magnetic stripe on the card will slide against the card reader so that the card reader can capture the account information. For the machine to recognise the identity of the user, the data gotten from the card is channelled to the host processor. This host processor reads and interprets the information obtained from the card linking it to the bank.
- Keypad: immediately the card is identified and linked to a particular account, the ATM asks further information such as your pin, your account type, amount to be withdrawn to mention a few, all this information are supplied to the machine by tapping some keys which makes up the keypad. The ATM keypad has been designed in such a way that it only has the keys it needs to function properly. The keypad includes
- The set of keys with number 0 to 9
- The Enter key
- The Cancel key
- Correct key and
- A set of four keys on two sides on the display screen.
The output devices of An ATM
- The Speaker:the speaker generally produce the audio sounds from the ATM. Mainly, it gives feedback on every action taking place on and within the machine. Also the ATM’s Speaker is often used bank the operating bank as a means of advertisement. Usually when the ATM is dormant (when there is no one using it), the ATM is used to highlight the bank’s (the bank operating it) range of services.
- The Display Screen:the display screen shows every question and options required for the correct functioning of the machine. This display screen displays everything as regarding the transaction been made so as to ensure the correct and proper operation of the machine. Each phase of the transaction is shown on the display screen.
- Receipt Printer:the ATM is fitted with a customize printer. This printer is to print out a receipt showing important details as regards your transactions on the ATM such as;
- the ATM address and bank
- the date and time of the transaction;
- the amount withdrawn;
- the account balance of the user. Thus a documentable receipt and evidence of payment of the present transaction is issued to the user.
- Cash Dispenser:this is the device in which the money required by the user is given out. It is from this device the user of the ATM can collect his money. As the whole purpose of the Automated Teller Machine is to enable a user to withdraw cash at any point in time without going into the bank, for this to be effective the cash dispenser needs to function efficiently.The cash dispenser has the function to count the exact amount of money required by the user. The cash dispenser also as the function to separate torn and tattered bills and move those bills to a unit called the reject bin. Also bills that are stuck together should also be moved to this unit. All these functions performed by high precision sensors. In some cases, the sensors may be bad and it will reject notes that are still good and tenderable, for this to be managed without much trouble, a designated bank official needs to check to check the ATM everyday and also collate the number of reject notes to ascertain the consistency of the machine.
Networking of an Automated Teller Machine
During a transaction on an ATM, when the user enters the account details into the ATM, the information is sent to the host processor. At this stage the host processor confirms the details with the authorized bank, and establishes the authenticity of the details. If the details supplied by the user are correct, the requested transaction is accepted by the host processor’s account, the transaction will be completed.
Safety and Security of an ATM User’s Account
An account and the funds inside the account is safe and secured as long as the Personal Identification Number (PIN) is kept personal and confidential by the owner and user of the account, also the ATM card attached to the account should be kept safe at all time. On no occasion should a card (ATM card) holder release the details of his or her account to anyone. As soon as a card holder suspects that someone else is in possession of his ATM card PIN, he or she should visit an ATM and change his or her PIN.
Other Tips for an ATM User
- ATM cards are to be kept in places where it won’t get scratched such as a purse or wallet.
- After the sum requested has being dispensed to you, you don’t need to stay behind and count the money to check if it is complete as the ATM has a Ninety-Nine percent (99%) accuracy.
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