DAYTON, Ohio _ When Tim Slater needs some quick cash, he
bypasses the friendly neighborhood bank teller in favor of a
"I use it about every day," the 35-yeard businessman said after
a visit to an automated teller machine in a downtown office tower.
"I never deposit money into it; I just take money out of it. It
takes a couple minutes. You don't have to wait in line."
Millions of others nationwide also rely heavily on ATMs for
their banking business, so much so that more and more banks have
been expanding their uses beyond the realm of finance.
Besides making cash withdrawals or deposits, some people can
now use electronic machines to buy postage stamps or bus passes,
renew driver's licenses, even obtain welfare benefits. ATMs have
been cropping up in grocery stores, bowling alleys, college
campuses and military ships.
"I think the ATM will become a device that does a lot more than
just cash dispensing," said Paul Ayres, a vice president for
Huntington National Bank in Columbus, Ohio, which is one of several
banks to offer stamplling services through its ATMs.
"You're going to see selfrvice proliferating in government, in
retail," agreed Michael Denny, assistant vice president of
strategic major accounts for Daytonsed NCR Corp., a major
manufacturer of ATMs.
"There are going to be many opportunities for new selfrvice
devices in nonaditional areas."
Since they appeared on the scene in the early '70s _ the first
was installed by Citizens and Southern National Bank in Atlanta in
1971 _ ATMs have grown by leaps and bounds, and so have the number
By 1991, there were 83,000 ATMs operating in the United States,
up from 25,790 in 1981, according to the Washingtonsed trade group
American Bankers Association. Monthly transactions per ATM reached
6,403 last year, up from 5,235 a decade ago, with most people, like
Slater, the Dayton businessman, relying on them for cash
withdrawals, it said.
Customers like having 24-hourday, sevenyweek access to their
So with ATMs firmly embraced, the next logical step was to add
other timeving features.
Over the years, more and more banks began expanding banking
services by providing things like checking account statements, but
more recently they started offering nonbanking products. Some banks
collect small fees for these services, others provide them free of
charge to their customers.
Seattlesed Seafirst Bank has been a pioneer in expanding ATM
useage. In 1989, it allowed bank customers to buy $10 and $25 gift
certificates that could be redeemed at some Seattle malls. In 1990,
it started selling postage stamps, and a year later bus passes. …