The Science and Software of the ATM

When you insert you credit or debit card in an ATM, you set off a chain of events, commands and procedures that take mere seconds to complete, and give you instant access to your own money. But whether you're withdrawing cash, checking your balance, or doing something a little different like topping up a pay-as-you-go mobile phone, the ATM has to work just has hard to ensure that you are given what you requested. But what exactly goes on inside the ATM while you wait patiently outside? Here is a very short explanation.

All ATMs work on the same basic principle and use similar software to give the consumer what they want, and for a number of ATMs, this software is made up of three different products: Platforms, Applications and Management Servers.

The Platform is part of a family that provides the foundations for developing custom applications for all types of ATMs, including kiosks and branch teller stations. This software provides a developer with everything they need to create applications for ATMs and kiosk systems.

The application software gives the ATM complete functionality and can also be modified and tailored for specific needs by banks. This means that it can enable banks to add extra features, services and enable customers to complete extra transactions for customers.

Management Server
The Management Server is a remote management solution. It provides a very extensive range of ATM Management features in one place, which historically could only be provided by a number of separate systems, this enables it to provide secure management straight to every ATM or other kiosk in the network.

Another ATM management software that is less commonly used in the majority of ATMs is SafetyPIN software. As you might imagine, this software was created and installed to protect the user from fraud, and as such it is designed to alert the authorities, namely the police, of a forced cash withdrawal. The way this works is that a customer enters their PIN or Personal Identification Number in the wrong order, such as backwards when forced to do so. However, while this system dates back to 1986, when former US police officer proposed it in Congress, the system has not gathered a lot of support, and as such, it is only available on a handful of ATMs in a handful of places, contrary to popular belief, this software is not in place on ATMs around the world.

While there is a lot more to ATM software than meets the eye, it can be quite complicated to explain to people who are unfamiliar with technology, or someone who has never worked in software development. However, if you really want to know more about ATM software, then the internet is the best place to start, so type the phrase into a search engine to begin your search journey, and see what other information you can find out.

Harvey McEwan writes to offer information and advice on a variety of areas, from technology to holiday destinations. Read through Harvey's other articles here to find out more.