Five things you can do at an ATM apart from withdrawing cash

Over the last 25 years, ATMs have given bank consumers a refreshing break from visiting the bank branch. No standing in long line, filling withdrawal slips and dealing with PSU banks' sweater knitting bank tellers. But there is more to ATMs than just withdrawing and depositing cash and cheques. We bring you five more things you can do at an ATM. To know more, read on.

1) Investments: Making certain investments does not necessarily require interacting with a human being. There are ATMs allow you to make fixed deposits. All you have to do is choose the amount (usually 10,000 plus) and tenor.

 Five things you can do at an ATM apart from withdrawing cash

If FDs are not your idea of investments and you prefer mutual funds, ATMs can still be the answer. AFP

You usually get three-four options for the tenor. You will get the FD receipt in three to four working days at the address provided for communications. Remember, there are no extra costs.

Of course, you can avail of this facility only at the ATMs of the banks where you have a savings account and only if your bank provides such a service.

If FDs are not your idea of investments and you prefer mutual funds, ATMs can still be the answer. To buy and sell mutual fund units through ATMs, you will have to register for the service and do the necessary paper work. Once that is in place, you can buy and sell MF units and you don't have to cut a cheque, every time you invest.

You can pay your insurance premiums at an ATM as well. At some ATMs, you can pay only life insurance premiums, at others you can pay insurance premiums for any policy but only of those insurers that are part of your bank's group. At some ATMs you can pay your own premium and of others as well. Of course, you will have to register with the bank to avail this service.

2) Pay Tax: There are some banks that allow you pay your income tax at their ATMs. This requires some paper work and registration formalities too. But you need not go through these troubles again and again, even if you pay your tax in advance which would mean you paying it more than once. You also get a paper as well as an e-receipt of the tax

amount you paid.

3) Pay Bills: You no longer have to stand in a long line to pay your utility bills, the same can be paid at an ATM. Be it mobile bill, electricity bill, your credit card bill and the like. In fact, there are banks that offer you a small discount on your utility bill when you use their ATM to pay the bill. As far as credit card bill goes, you don't need to pay extra fees to use an ATM to pay the credit card bill, there are a few banks that do so if you pay cash at the branch.

4) Mobile Recharge: If you are still stuck in a pre-paid mobile system, and your balance is running out, getting a vendor to top up your mobile is not a problem for you anymore. There are banks that have ATMs that allow you to top up your mobile, that too across multiple telecom service providers.

5) Miscellaneous: Apart from the above mentioned facilities, at ATMs you can get account information, apply for loans, get mini statements and the like. There are even banks that allow you to make donations, say to temples, at ATMs. There are some banks that allow you to pay college and tuition fees, provided the institutions accept such payments.

Keep in mind that all banks don't offer all the service at their ATMs. So, you will need to get in touch with your bank to find out the services they offer. In fact, the next time you visit the ATM pay a little more attention to the screen and all the facilities will be displayed right on the screen. There are many who will use net banking to avail most of the above mentioned facilities.

But for those who are averse to using net banking, ATMs are an option, for they also help you escape cyber frauds and state-run banks' sweater knitting tellers.

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Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 20:24:28 IST