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Business: ATM
Small Denomination ATM's   (+7, -2)  [vote for, against]
For when you don't actually want £10

I'm sure you can guess how this one goes, so I'll be brief. An ATM that would not only dispense money in multiples of ten pounds, but would also have five pound notes and possibly one and two pound coins at its disposal. (I've placed this idea in an english context, because I'm not entirely sure whether ATM's in America will dispense five dollar notes).
-- kaz, Feb 16 2002

for XSarenkaX http://www.theatlan...s/2003/03/rauch.htm
[mrthingy, Oct 04 2004]

In re American ATMS: Smallest denomination is usually $20. Problem is, one usually wants to take out a sizable withdrawal, since the ATM fee is the same either way.

Speaking of ATM fees, does anyone else get pi$$ed off paying the bank not to hire more tellers?
-- phoenix, Feb 16 2002

I get pissed off having to pay anyone anything. I've grown to tolerate the practice, though. There is an ATM that I use that does dispense $5 and $10 bills if the withdrawal request is under $40 or so. I also think that it gives the user a choice as to denomination--can't remember, exactly.
-- bristolz, Feb 16 2002

In the U.S., the vast majority of ATM's I've seen are in one of the following configurations, in something resembling the rank order listed (from most common to least common):

$20's and $5's.
$10's only
$20's and $10's
$20's only

I have never seen an ATM ask what denominations I wanted, nor am I aware of any being programmed to use anything other than the largest possible bills. While ATM's are smart enough to give out smaller bills if the supply of larger ones is exhausted, the only way one can be assured of getting $5 bills from a machine that can dispense them is to ask for an amount of money that is not a multiple of $20 [I probably use $35 or $75 most often].
-- supercat, Feb 17 2002

The old TSB ATMs used to dispense £5 notes, which was very useful in my student days - e.g. Friday night and only £6.42 left on your overdraft. I find large donomination ATMs tends to make me spend faster. whenever the machine runs out of £10 notes and I get £20s it makes me that little bit more generous in the pub, and much less well-off the next morning.

I can't see the need for £1/£2 coins, but croissant anyway.
-- mcscotland, Feb 18 2002

The very first ATMs I encountered, umpteen years ago, did dispense multiple denominations, and after you entered the amount of money you wanted (eg $50) would then offer, "2 x $20, 1 x $10. OK?" and if you said no, would cycle through a few other permutations of bills. I haven't seen this feature in a long time though --- all the ATMs I use either dispense only $20s, or $20s and $10s in a combination of their choosing.

As phoenix points out, the ATM fee is the same for small or large withdrawals. My bank doesn't charge me for using the ATM (instead, they charge me $5 if I talk to a teller for anything that could have been done via ATM), but I'm sure my use of the ATM costs the bank something. So my bank has an incentive to make me use the ATM for fewer, larger transactions instead of many small ones.
-- wiml, Feb 18 2002

An ex-roommate claimed that there was an ATM in the vending area at some IBM facility that dispensed not only $1 bills, but coins too.
-- reece, Feb 18 2002

Great! Then I can withdrawl more pennies to throw at homeless cum potheads!
-- net_addict, Feb 18 2002

I worked for NCR in Dundee for a time a few years ago. They design and make ATMs sold worlwide and have about 90% of the UK market of installed ATMs and, I believe, about 50% of US market.

For all except those baby ATMs you find in convenience stores, and drive-up ATMs (which are very rare if not unknown in Britain) all models can be fitted with a coin dispenser.

ALL models can take at least 2, mostly 4 and sometimes 8 currency cassettes which can handle almost all sizes and types of notes used anywhere in the world.

(Many other options are available but tend to be used only in certain parts of the world, such as motorised, page-turning passbook printers which I was told were popular in German ATMs.)

My point is that small denomination ATMS are baked. What you have seen is a lack of imagination (read: "it's too expensive to implement") by the banks. Even with a standard size wall or lobby installed ATM there will be 4 currency cassettes inside. The only thing stopping it being loaded with 4 different denominations is the software that runs the customer interface and currency dispenser -- and that is the reponsibility of the bank.

It all comes down to economics -- if all a bank's ATMs only need £20 notes, the security van need only carry filled cassettes of one type and can't make any mistakes. (Many bank branches don't even service the ATM in their own front wall.)
-- grob, Feb 18 2002

Darnit, kaz, I thought I could've posted the idea of ATMs offering a choice of denominations - but you beat me to it.

The best I could get is a bunch of $20 bills and one single $10. The ATMs I use don't allow me even $5 bills or anything smaller than $10. And the only time I'd ever gotten more than one $10 bill from an ATM could probably be attributed to its running out of $20s.

I sometimes wish I could get bigger bills, though. I want to get my hands on a nice crisp $50 for an upcoming gift occasion. My bank limits my human teller transactions before they start charging me for them (ridiculous, I know) so I've grown to fear stepping foot inside the bank or even using their drive-up service, for fear of crazy teller fees. However, since I can't get my $50 from an ATM, I'll be forced to (gasp!) interact with a human at the bank.

Side note: Does anyone worry that as we grow to love the Internet more and more, we tend to become more and more antisocial in person?
-- XSarenkaX, Jun 05 2002

baked: i once hit an atm near a college campus and withdrew $200 before noticing the sign that said "this machine dispenses $5 bills only". sitting on $200 worth of 5's is quite uncomfortable.
-- jiggersplat, Jun 05 2002

bm, I'm not sure how to reply to the deep thoughts you posted, but here's what I have to say about it.

I notice a tendency, especially among those who are more computer- and Internet-savvy, to prefer the semi-anonymous text transmission of thoughts and messages to the face-to-face and telephone kind.

Personally, I have always had a tendency to be introverted, and so may generalize that the nature of how the Internet works tends to draw introverts. My wonder was that I may be wrong - that it may be the other way around and that our technological advances are encouraging the populace to grow ever more introverted.

Obviously, hiding behind such an interface protects users from the judgment of others, which is lacking when using the Internet as a go-between. There is no pressure to give immediate, clever replies during a conversation; one can reread messages and study them at his or her leisure before carefully responding, with the added benefit of the ability to make changes to the response before submission. Any harsh words from others can simply be wiped from the screen to avoid the feeling of rejection, with the added option not to respond or give the rejectors the satisfaction of upset.

My conscience tells me that this tendency is not healthy, and that I should focus on getting back to socializing more with humans. Maybe I'm just being paranoid. Is paranoia a sign of too much 'putering???
-- XSarenkaX, Jun 05 2002

//Is paranoia a sign of too much 'putering???//

Who told you that!? Don't believe them!!

//I should focus on getting back to socializing more with humans//

Oh shit, what does that make me? Damn, I knew I was different! ;op
-- yamahito, Jun 05 2002

XSX --- and yet, it wasn't long ago that people bemoaned the loss of considered, leisurely written exchanges of letters in this fast-paced telephone-based age. Email has given that back to us, partly.

I think that online interaction just gives people the option to interact in a new way if that's the way they're inclined. And I know some people who interact mostly online who peobably wouldn't see people at all otherwise.
-- wiml, Jun 06 2002

Thanks, wiml, for making me feel normal again. :)
-- XSarenkaX, Jun 07 2002

random, halfbakery