Smart ATM

No, I'm not talking about Adobe Type Manager, nerds.

I was in Doylestown today and stopped at Commerce Bank to get some cash from the ATM. It's not a swipe reader; you have to fully insert your card. I've lost two cards to these types of machines. First, I left one in a Nashville ATM when I was in a rush to keep up with Ted's whims in a mall. I then lost the replacement card when a machine in Baltimore kept it because the PIN had been set incorrectly (probably by me).

I'm sure many cards are lost every day the same way that I lost mine in Nashville, costing banks and customers both time and money. One way to solve this problem is by using the swipe-style mag stripe readers, but it can also be solved on machines with card-eating capability. At the ATM in Doylestown, after I completed my transaction, I looked at the money dispenser and waited for my cash to appear. Nothing happened, so I looked at the screen and saw "PLEASE TAKE YOUR CARD." As soon as I removed the ejected card, the cash and receipt followed. It's close to foolproof. Forgetting a card is easy, but nobody's going to walk away without cash. Just moving what could be only one line of code is going to save a lot of people from frustration. A very simple idea, but most great ideas are.

Posted: Saturday - March 04, 2006 at 11:14 PM