Those who start using ATM machines for the first time may think they’ll cut down their time sitting in a drive-thru line to deal with an underpaid bank teller. While ATM’s can do that if you’re there at the right time, you may have to wait longer than you want to when there’s a bottleneck of other ATM users ahead of you. This might be for stand-up ATM machines, and the same with drive-thrus. In that regard, what kind of etiquette should you apply in both places? You may have to make your own etiquette up in the moment, depending on certain situations.
Etiquette Applied at Stand-Up ATM Machines
Your most common problem at an ATM attracting foot traffic is going to be standing in a line waiting for other people. Despite some of those people perhaps taking longer than they should, you don’t necessarily want to show your ire for those people not taking their banking inside instead. You only create more problems when you show open disgust at people who seem to do the wrong things willingly.
While that might be an overly primary rule of etiquette, you may have to obey what they want in order to keep everything orderly. Once you stand directly behind someone as they enter their four-digit security pin code, you’ll want to openly prove you aren’t trying to watch their every move. Even if you’re wearing sunglasses, show some courtesy by standing a considerable difference back so it doesn’t appear you’re eavesdropping.
There may come a time when that ATM user gets the wrong idea and thinks you’re trying to pick up on their four-digit code. They may ask you to stand farther back to respect their privacy. Don’t feel threatened by this or feel embarrassed. You want the same treatment from the guy behind you who looks like he’s just been released from your local penitentiary.
Above all, have everything prepared so you don’t take any more than a few minutes to obtain the cash you need. Don’t fish around for your ATM card or stand there confused at how the touch screen works. If there’s a technical problem on the touch screen, let everyone know behind you so they don’t wonder why you’re holding things up.
Etiquette with Drive-Thru ATM’s
Drive-thru ATM machines can create as many complicated situations as at ATM’s you use on foot. While you don’t have to blame anyone except the driver ahead of you for slowing the car line down, distance is going to be equally important here. If you’re the only car in-behind another at a drive-thru ATM, leave at least a six to 10-foot distance behind them so it doesn’t appear you’re trying to pick up their pin code.
Another situation that might apply is a dangerous mistake some drivers do at drive-thru ATM’s: Not closing out the digital screen. I’ve been to drive-thru ATM’s that hadn’t been closed out, meaning the proverbial question of whether you want to do another transaction. A user should press “No” before driving off and potentially leaving it open for a dishonest person to take money out of their account.
Fortunately, I don’t have a Bonnie and Clyde mentality and close out the screen every time the previous user makes this blunder. While you may not be able to get their attention to tell them of their mistake, some ATM etiquette can be ethical where no one but yourself knows you did the right thing.
Just remember to not take too much time at the drive-thru ATM either. Because most ATM’s only hand out cash in $20 bills, some people do more than one transaction when taking hundreds of dollars out. Try to keep your withdrawals as limited as you can so you don’t tie up things if you’re there on a busy Saturday night.
If just starting, be sure to place your debit card in the right direction to avoid repeated error messages and wasted time. Looking like a clumsy neophyte at a busy ATM machine only shows you should be going through the teller window for now until you’ve fully mastered your own ATM etiquette rulebook.