Banking Blog

Finance Blogs » Banking Blog » Personalizing your ATM trips

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?

Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
February 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm

It frustrates me that people get so angry at banks, as though it's a god-given right that someone should take care of our money for us for free and make it available to us however and whenever we want. I haven't visited a bank branch for umpteen years and I find ATM's a great convenience. We have WF accounts after belonging to CU's and other national banks for years. The service is unparalleled, the on-line banking, bill pay, account transfer capabilities, etc. are the best, period. You can get old statements, check copies, deposit copies, etc. 24/7. We don't pay any fees for checking or savings--though I'd have no problem paying a fee for such top-notch service. With the additional regulation placed on banks in the last few years-- because the average consumer can't seem to take responsibility for their own finances and need the government to step in so they don't over-spend--it's a wonder banks aren't charging more! If you don't like it, go back to sticking your money under your mattress or bury it in a jar in your backyard.

February 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm

ABSOLUTELY HATE WF!!!! after my spouse died, they told me they would work with me while going through probate and not charge the already closed cc acct. finance chrgs & late fees. What did those heartless jerks do, they continued to charge fc & lf and after 4 months they went ahead and raped the checking account for the balance due. no notice nothing.

Joe Ferrante
February 24, 2013 at 3:27 pm

I find ATM's very convenient especially when banks are closed and even more importantly in an emergency. I'm not very concerned about the speed of my transactions but I am of their security. Just last month there were 4 Wells Fargo banks in the Newtown, Pennsylvania area that were found to have reading devices installed that allowed hackers to steal all your pertinent data so they could drain money from your account without any warning. This is my biggest fear. That is what they need to concentrate on. Not how fast you can make a transaction but how safe your information is kept.

February 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Wells Fargo is a piece of garbage company that will put ILLEGAL and IMMORAL fees on you. My wife had a 5K credit card debt to WF that she was just paying the bare minimum on plus about 20 extra bucks a month. Once she started paying between $200 and $500 extra bucks a month on it to pay it down faster she received an anual fee for the card because her balance was too high!!!! So it wasn't too high 4 months ago when it was $1,000 more, but now that she is paying it off faster and WF will get less interest it is too high!!! Needless to say we both closed all of our accounts, had to fight (almost yelling in the branch office) to get the immoral fee back. DO NOT bank at WF. They are trash!!! A joke of a company!

February 24, 2013 at 2:22 pm


The movie is 2001 Space Odyssey and the book "1984" was written by George Orwell. Therefore, whatever you have to say is irrelevant.

Cathy Lewis
February 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm

First, Misty, the article says it will NOT sing to you, thus the word "if". Next, has anyone seen the movie "2010: A Space Odyssey" or read the book "1984" by Upton Sinclair? Will the computer's name be "Hal?" Is its model #1984? Frankly, this much personal service and having the machine know me, are not things I either need or want in my ATM. I'd rather have people recognize me rather than a machine.

charles kania
February 24, 2013 at 12:49 pm

This is all being unneccesary. Too much technology and who pays for it - the consumer.

February 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

Wells Fargo has been doing this for like the last year... I worked for them and when they put the new atm in our building this was already part of the ATM's capabilities... this is not new news...

February 24, 2013 at 10:28 am

I don't really think that singing Happy Birthday is necessary. The person behind you will know it's your birthday so now they only need to guess the year. This is just making it much easier for ID theft! REALLY!!

February 24, 2013 at 10:21 am

Most people visit an ATM on pretty much a regular schedule with the same routine transaction, or maybe a couple regular transactions. That's me. I wouldn't mind a bit if the welcome screen offered me options for the last 2 or 3 transactions I made with the option "other" listed last. If the machine is smart enough to make things easier and quicker for me, GREAT! There's nothing worse than standing in line for an ATM while some moron tried to read the screens designed for dummies.