An automated teller machine (ATM) is an electronic telecommunications device that enables customers of financial institutions to perform financial transactions, such as cash withdrawals, deposits, transfer funds, or obtaining account information, at any time and without the need for direct interaction with bank staff.

On most modern ATMs, customers are identified by inserting a plastic ATM card (or some other acceptable payment card) into the ATM, with authentication being by the customer entering a personal identification number (PIN), which must match the PIN stored in the chip on the card (if the card is so equipped), or in the issuing financial institution’s database.

Using an ATM, customers can access their bank deposit or credit accounts in order to make a variety of financial transactions such as cash withdrawals, check balances, or credit mobile phones. ATMs can be used to withdraw cash in a foreign country. If the currency being withdrawn from the ATM is different from that in which the bank account is denominated, the money will be converted at the financial institution’s exchange rate.