Two banks have unveiled ATMs that will dispense $1 and $5 bills, so the $20 minimum does not have to apply for transactions. Chase and PNC have started the trend, and other banks may be joining soon. There are already more than 7,000 ATMs with the new features across the United States. By the end of 2013, banks expect to have more than 8,000 ATMs dispensing $1 and $5 bills.
Customers simply have to select custom denominations from the menus at the new ATMs to get different bills and their choice of $1 and $5 bills. It is a streamlined process that the banks feel will increase the number of ATM users. Customers can now choose from bills ranging from $1 to $100 at these ATMs. Chase and PNC have also indicated that they plan to release machines capable of giving coins in addition to smaller bills.
“The changes seem to be part of the move to virtual tellers at banks. By giving more options at ATMs, banks are reducing the likelihood of customers coming inside and requesting help from actual tellers. It is an obvious money move to save on the salaries and other benefits of paid tellers. Banks are expanding more and more features at ATMs. It is now possible to pay bills at ATMs, request more money and deposit checks. The banks claim that this change will benefit customers and was created to help those who need smaller amounts of money in difficult financial times.
“Fees for Chase and PNC customers who use the new ATMs will remain at $0. However, customers of other banks who wish to use the ATMs will still pay the $3 fees. The extra $1.60 fee from the customers’ other banks will also be added to each transaction. It has not been verified if Chase and PNC will raise the fees over time. Considering it costs more to stock ATMs with more bill choices, this remains a possibility.
“The new ATMs may indicate more layoffs in the future for banking employees. Other banks claim they are carefully watching the success of the new ATMs to see if it is worth making the same changes. It is also possible that Chase and PNC may change their minds about the features and remove them. However, for now, they are both testing the changes and monitoring if it is worth adding more ATMs with lower bill denomination choices.