An ATM card is a payment card or dedicated payment card issued by a financial institution which enables a customer to access automated teller machines (ATMs). ATM cards are payment card size and style plastic cards with a magnetic stripe or a plastic smart card with a chip that contains a unique card number and some security information such as an expiration date or CVVC (CVV). ATM cards are known by a variety of names such as bank card, MAC (money access card), client card, key card or cash card, among others.
Most payment cards, such as debit and credit cards can also function as ATM cards, although ATM-only cards are also available. Charge and proprietary cards cannot be used as ATM cards. The use of a credit card to withdraw cash at an ATM is treated differently to a POS transaction, usually attracting interest charges from the date of the cash withdrawal. Interbank networks allow the use of ATM cards at ATMs of private operators and financial institutions other than those of the institution that issued the cards.
All ATMs, at a minimum, will permit cash withdrawals of customers of the machine’s owner (if a bank-operated machine) and for cards that are affiliated with any ATM network the machine is also affiliated. They will report the amount of the withdrawal and any fees charged by the machine on the receipt. Most banks and credit unions will permit routine account-related banking transactions at the bank’s own ATM, including deposits, checking the balance of an account, and transferring money between accounts. Some may provide additional services, such as selling postage stamps.
The ability to use an ATM card for in-store EFTPOS purchases or refunds is no longer allowed; however, if the ATM card is also a debit card, it may be used for a pin-based debit transaction, or a non-pin-based credit-card transaction if the merchant is affiliated with the credit or debit card network of the card’s issuer. Banks have long argued with merchants over the fees that can be charged by the bank for such transactions. Despite the fact that ATM cards require a PIN for use, banks have decided to permit the use of a non-PIN based card (debit or credit) for all merchant transactions.