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Personalizing your ATM trips

By David McMillin · Bankrate.com
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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133 Comments
Frankie
February 24, 2013 at 2:43 am

The features Jon from us bank is talking about have been on Wells Fargo atm's for more than a year now. These are additional features beyond the fast cash withdrawal and no receipt. Heck I can even get my receipt sent to my email address if I so choose from Wells Fargo instead of having that receipt laying around in the car.

Rich
February 24, 2013 at 12:23 am

I want more options and features. I want the atm to recognize my voice and act on command. Or my screen saver to appear after I enter my pin. Or even the weather. And what about being able to get a roll of quarters and print money orders. Don't banks spend millions on brain-storming for ideas? Come on now. Weak........

Rose
February 22, 2013 at 5:54 pm

I'd rather the ATM screen be CONSISTENT and let me worry about the speed in which I use it. An optional forecasting tool is a nice idea if it sends off alerts. Then it could be used as a security feature.

Bulls Bears and Sheep
February 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm

This is not new. WFC has been doing this for probably two years-a few hundred machines? Most of the ones I go to have it. Invasion of privacy? Pretty much, but let's face it-they have all that info. anyways. It lists your favorites on the side and your all-time-favorite or most recent favorite (let's say you always take out $100) right under where you put your PIN in, that way you can do the transaction a little more quickly, but time savings are nominal, because that is what you are used to doing in the first place.

I think it was more of a convenience issue-they had all that info. anyways, why not put a couple programmers on it for a small amount of time and roll it out for a prettier interface. The expense of doing this would be very small when compared to, say, raising rates on checking. Not that it wouldn't be nice, but very different issue, and WFC won't be doing that for a long time, if ever.

Once you see it, you won't think twice about it. If you have someone peering over your shoulder at the ATM, then him knowing your last transaction is probably the least of your worries. If you are worried about a hacker finding out, well he could find out anyways, because the bank has always had it, at least for many years.

But if I were WFC I would worry more about ATM outages. I see more ATM outages in a month than I had the entire time I was with Wachovia before it switched over (about eight years for me).

Diana
February 22, 2013 at 12:19 pm

I agree with "Ferguson" and "Barbara".

jon
February 22, 2013 at 12:07 pm

US BANK has been doing that for my atm withdrawls for about a year now. One of my options is "fastcash $200.00 and exit without receipt". Perfect!

Rick
February 22, 2013 at 11:47 am

Sounds good to me since I typically make the same withdrawal. I always thought it was stupid that after using the ATM gazillions times, the first question alsways is in what language I want to proceed.

c ferguson
February 22, 2013 at 11:43 am

all I want is to be able to withdraw in amounts of tens as well as twenties.

Barbara
February 22, 2013 at 11:06 am

Too much personal information displayed in a public setting. Many of these ATMs are even OUTSIDE. What are they thinking?

Ramona
February 22, 2013 at 10:48 am

Don't like this idea. Don't like it at all.