Monday, September 14, 2009

ATM Development

The other day, I went to my friendly neighborhood ATM machine to deposit a check. It had been months since I had ever really deposited an actual, paper check and I was really amazed with the new technology.

I had been used to filling out a deposit slip, filling out a deposit envelope, endorsing the check with my signature and account number and then, boop-boop-boop-boop, getting the ATM to accept my deposit and crossing my fingers that the funds would actually appear in my account someday.

Not anymore.

You just endorse the check and slip it in the ATM. It actually reads the handwriting, the account numbers, credits your account and includes a copy of the deposited check on your receipt. (Next thing you know, it will hand you a cappuccino.)

Oh my gosh! It was almost scary.

I had worked in the banking industry during the 80s and early 90s and have always marveled at the progress in technology.

I remember going out with some college friends one night in 1980. A friend of mine had one of those new “Automatic Teller Machine” cards and wanted to stop and get some cash. It seemed so high-tech at the time so all of us piled out of the car to watch.

After about fifteen minutes of failed attempts, he finally gave up. It just wouldn’t work.

In 1984, I was working in the customer service department at a bank in Austin, Texas, and we were really trying to promote the use of our new ATM machines. I remember one old crotchety customer (who had lots of money in the bank, by the way) made it very clear that he would never, ever use one of “those goddamned tit-less tellers.”


Like I said, we were heavily promoting the use of the ATMs and, subsequently, the ATM department was suddenly inundated with applications for cards. We were all summoned to help process the applications after work (overtime pay!) and really had fun doing this for several days.

On each application, the customer had to request a four-digit PIN – it could be letters, numbers or both. I can tell you this: The most frequent PIN that women chose was “L-O-V-E.” We’d be sitting there, entering the applications, and announce, “I got another LOVE one here” and we’d all act like we were gagging or stick our fingers down our throats. Such a great way to make overtime.

Guess what the most frequent PIN was for the guys?

Yep. It was the F-word.

I swear, I’m not making this up. We definitely noticed a pattern there.

Doesn’t that tell you a whole lot about the social make-up of men and women?

Women want “LOVE” and men want . . . well. . . .you know.

Men are such pigs.

By the way, my PIN number is 9999.

The '9' is closest to the 'enter' button and I really like the keyboarding efficiency of that configuration.

I'm such a nerd.


At 7:13 PM , Blogger f8hasit said...

Since we all know your pin number now, AND youir sharing...what would be the atm card number?

Oh, and the security code on the back would be nice. And a latte, hold the whipped cream.

Fun post! I haven't used a paper check myself in awhile. Maybe I'll write myself one so I can try out the new tech!

At 8:24 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

Did you really just share your pin number with the world? *grin*

I LOVE that new paper check depositing technology--it IS cool to see a little copy of the check scanned on the receipt! :)

At 10:30 AM , Blogger Buck said...

MHP - yep, that's my PIN. Now, if there are unauthorized withdrawals on my account, I'll know you did it.


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