How to deposit cash at an ATM cash machine

Check whether the cash machine accepts deposits, stack your notes and cheques, follow the prompts to insert, then verify your total.

Chanelle Bessette Published on 17 May 2021. Last updated on 14 September 2021.
How to deposit cash at an ATM cash machine

You don’t need to visit a bank to get your cash and cheques where they need to go. If you deposit cash into a cash machine you can skip the hassle of waiting in line at a branch.

Here’s our easy guide to using a cash machine to get your money into your bank account.

Here’s how to deposit cash at an ATM cash machine

1. Confirm whether you can deposit money into a particular cash machine. While many bank cash machines allow withdrawals from non customers, you’ll typically need to use your own bank’s cash machine system to make deposits. Your bank likely has a map of eligible nearby cash machines on its website.

2. If you have cheques to deposit, follow instructions at the cash machine. If cheques are the only thing you’re depositing, see if your bank offers a free mobile cheque deposit, which lets you use your smartphone to deposit them from anywhere, so you won’t need to queue up at a machine.

3. Insert your debit card into the card reader and enter your PIN. This security step acts like a password for accessing your funds.

4. Tell the cash machine which account you want to deposit your cash or cheques into. If you have multiple current accounts and/or savings accounts, the cash machine will ask where you would like your cash to go.

5. If the cash machine doesn’t require an envelope, stack your notes and/or cheques together and insert them. Most modern cash machines from major banks have scanning technology that can differentiate between notes and cheques and can detect the total amount of money you’re depositing. Many major banks allow you to insert dozens of notes and cheques at a time; there’s no need to feed them in individually or fill out a deposit slip. The cash machine will tell you to insert the stack of notes and cheques you want to deposit into the appropriate slot.

6. If the cash machine does use envelopes, put your notes and/or cheques inside and insert the envelope. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a cash machine that uses envelopes for deposits these days, but if you do, you’ll have to put the notes and/or cheques inside, seal the envelope, write the total on the envelope and manually enter the amount you’re depositing into the cash machine. It may take a couple of business days for your funds to become available since the bank must confirm the deposit amount.

7. Verify your deposit at the machine. The last step before you finish up at the cash machine is to make sure it registered the correct deposit amount into the right account. The cash machine will display a message asking if the total amount you deposited is accurate; you must OK it before the funds are processed into your account.

8. Wait for your deposit to clear. Instantaneous access to your cash is becoming the norm, but if your bank has a waiting period, keep an eye on your accounts over the next few days to make sure the full deposit lands.

How to deposit money with an online bank

If you want to deposit money into an online-only bank account — you may have some extra hoops to jump through. Some allow you to simply take a photo of the cheque with your mobile phone (up to a certain amount) while others require you to send it in the post. In terms of depositing cash, many app based banks have numerous PayPoints where you can deposit your cash. Some will charge a small fee, often as little as £1.

Other options may be to deposit cash in a traditional bank account, if you have one, then electronically transfer it into your online-only bank account.

Source: Getty Images

About the author:

Chanelle Bessette is a personal finance writer at NerdWallet covering banking. She specialises in current and cash management accounts Read more

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