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Personalizing your ATM trips

By David McMillin ·
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Posted: 12 pm ET

One of the biggest banks in America is making its ATMs smarter.

Wells Fargo is unveiling a redesigned ATM interface that will track your transaction history to offer a personalized experience when you swipe your debit card at one of the bank's machines. While the interface is currently available at a few hundred of the bank's machines, it will be on all of the 12,000-plus Wells Fargo ATMs by May.

Rather than a traditional ATM screen that asks what you want to do, Wells Fargo will use your frequent banking activities to predict your needs. If you typically make $60 withdrawals from your joint checking account, that will be one of your primary options. If you normally make deposits to your savings account, that will be one of your primary options, too.

"The ATMs really know you better," says Alicia Moore, head of Wells Fargo ATM Banking.

With more knowledge comes more speed, and it seems like the interface will knock off some of the waiting time at a cash machine.

In addition to saving time, the interface comes with a tool designed to help account holders manage their money more effectively. With the ability to set a monthly withdrawal target, you can preprogram how much you're hoping to take out of your account in any given month. The bank's ATM Cash Tracker feature will keep you updated on whether you're adhering to your cash withdrawal limits.

On a note unrelated to budgeting your money, Wells Fargo also displays a "Happy Birthday" message for account holders who decide to celebrate their big days by making trips to the ATM. (If only the message featured the bank's CEO singing to account holders,  that ATM trip could be a real party.)

What do you think of the new ATM interface? Have you seen other banks offering any kind of personalization on ATMs?

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February 24, 2013 at 7:23 am

I would like to be able to swipe my debit card rather than have my card "sucked" in, this makes me very nervous as I am not sure I will retrieve my card. My son had this happen to him, lucky for him the bank was open at the time and he was able to get help recovering his debit card.

Jim Hebenstreit
February 24, 2013 at 7:14 am

I would like to swipe my debit card rather than have my card "sucked" in, this makes me very nervous as I am not sure I will retrive my card.

February 24, 2013 at 6:57 am


February 24, 2013 at 6:13 am

No Adele, you go sing a song. Not use a bank.

February 24, 2013 at 6:12 am

Why do you do this,Patrick? Why? Use the ATM.

February 24, 2013 at 6:01 am

Haven't used an atm in years. All the more reason that I like using my nearby credit union. Fast and very personal.

February 24, 2013 at 5:54 am

Simple justification to once raise the fees for these machines and cut payroll inside

Adele K Shuart
February 24, 2013 at 5:47 am

I echo what Jay mentions. Only reason I use ATM is that it is very convenient that I have a choice to make a deposit or withdraw some cash in any amount without waiting in line. Thank you.

February 24, 2013 at 5:24 am

It all comes down to budgeting your monthly transactions to less is better,to save the bank money with managing these deposits and w/d.They are not doing it to help us .Look at this new feature as ."REMINDERS TO DO LESS BANKING"

February 24, 2013 at 2:51 am

Don't like a machine making choices for me and telling me what I want. I don't want an ATM telling me I've taken out too much money by "advising" me on my monthly withdrawls. As long as I have money in my account it is none of the banks business how much I want to take out at any given visit. What irks me most are machines that don't have money when you want to withdraw it.