Nowadays, we are so used to using machines for our daily banking transactions that we ignore the fact the first ATM was invented and came into service before most of us were even born. The Automated Teller Machine was invented by a Scotsman named John Shepherd-Barron who thought of the idea after being locked out of his bank. The first cash dispensing machine was made available to customers by Barclays Bank at their branch in Enfield town in England in 1967.
After the ATMs, banks offered us other machines to help us do transactions without the need to approach the counter. Someone came up with the brilliant idea that since we have a machine that spits out cash, why not have a machine that swallows it? Hence the Cash Deposit Machine or CDM. But why just stop at cash? We now have the cheque deposit machine too.
The convenience of having such machines is plainly obvious. I am now able to do the most routine of my banking needs outside office hours when parking would be much easier (have you noticed that bank branches are always located where parking is notoriously so difficult?). The flip side of this is I seldom get to meet the human bank tellers anymore and somewhat miss the personal interaction of such occasions. I can assure you there are quite a number of sweet and helpful lady tellers out there...
I was attempting to make a cash deposit at a machine last night when I realised that I am a customer of most of the major banks in Malaysia. I say `attempting' because the machines at this particular bank were out of service. This is where the performance of such machines differentiates the level of service from one bank to another. For the past few months, making a loan repayment via their CDM has been quite a chore because the machines have difficulty in accepting legitimate new notes, especially the RM50 ones. I have sent feedback via their website earlier this morning. Let's see if they reply within the 2 working days as stated.
Ok then.... before readers get any wrong ideas, I must clarify that being a customer of so many banks does NOT mean I have tons of money. Some are savings accounts while others are loan accounts and credit cards. In fact, I owe the banks more money than what I have kept with them. How I wish it can be the other way round.