An ATM card is any payment card issued by a financial institution that enables a customer to access an automated teller machine (ATM) in order to perform transactions such as deposits, cash withdrawals, obtaining account information, etc. ATM cards are known by a variety of names such as bank card, MAC (money access card), client card, key card or cash card, among others. Most payment cards, such as debit and credit cards can also function as ATM cards, although ATM-only cards are also available. Charge and proprietary cards cannot be used as ATM cards. The use of a credit card to withdraw cash at an ATM is treated differently to a POS transaction, usually attracting interest charges from the date of the cash withdrawal. Interbank networks allow the use of ATM cards at ATMs of private operators and financial institutions other than those of the institution that issued the cards.
ATM cards can also be used on improvised ATMs such as "mini ATMs", merchants' card terminals that deliver ATM features without any cash drawer. These terminals can also be used as cashless scrip ATMs by cashing the receipts they issue at the merchant's point of sale.
The size of ATM cards is 85.60 mm × 53.98 mm (3.370 in × 2.125 in) and rounded corners with a radius of 2.88–3.48 mm, in accordance with ISO/IEC 7810#ID-1, the same size as other payment cards, such as credit, debit and other cards. They also have an embossed bank card number conforming with the ISO/IEC 7812 numbering standard.
All ATM machines, at a minimum, will permit cash withdrawals of customers of the machine's owner (if a bank-operated machine) and for cards that are affiliated with any ATM network the machine is also affiliated. They will report the amount of the withdrawal and any fees charged by the machine on the receipt. Most banks and credit unions will permit routine account-related banking transactions at the bank's own ATM, including deposits, checking the balance of an account, and transferring money between accounts. Some may provide additional services, such as selling postage stamps.
Some ATM cards can also be used at a branch, as identification for in-person transactions
The ability to use an ATM card for in-store EFTPOS purchases or refunds is no longer allowed, however, if the ATM card is also a debit card, it may be used for a pin-based debit transaction, or a non-pin-based credit-card transaction if the merchant is affiliated with the credit or debit card network of the card's issuer. Banks have long argued with merchants over the fees that can be charged by the bank for such transactions. Despite the fact that ATM cards require a PIN for use, banks have decided to permit the use of a non-PIN based card (debit or credit) for all merchant transactions.
For other types of transactions through telephone or online banking, this may be performed with an ATM card without in-person authentication. This includes account balance inquiries, electronic bill payments, or in some cases, online purchases (see Interac Online).
In some banking networks, the two functions of ATM cards and debit cards are combined into a single card, simply called a "debit card" or also commonly a "bank card". These are able to perform banking tasks at ATMs and also make point-of-sale transactions, with both features using a PIN.
Some debit card networks also started their lives as ATM card networks before evolving into full-fledged debit card networks, example of these networks are: Development Bank of Singapore (DBS)'s Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) and Bank Central Asia (BCA)'s Debit BCA, both of them were later on adopted by other banks (with Prima Debit being the Prima interbank network version of Debit BCA).
Due to increased illegal copies of cards with a magnetic stripe, the European Payments Council established a Card Fraud Prevention Task Force in 2003 that spawned a commitment to migrate all ATMs and POS applications to use a chip-and-PIN solution until the end of 2010. The "SEPA for Cards" has completely removed the magnetic stripe requirement from the former Maestro debit cards.
- "Permata Mini ATM"
- "Mini ATM BRI"
- "Cashless Scrip ATM Terminals"
- Jarunee Wonglimpiyara, Strategies of Competition in the Bank Card Business (2005), p. 1-3.
- "EPC Card Fraud Prevention Forum - Agreement on new measures to fight card fraud", 19. July 2010 by Cédric Sarazin
- "SEPA for Cards", the SEPA Cards Framework and EPC Cards Standardisation Programme, accessed 06. August 2010